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Note to Cameron - stop wasting time on Greengate and hammer the government on the economy.

I wonder if McLabour paid more for this Poll than they did for the CONres one?.

A rather frustrating result given all that has happened with the economy and Damian Green.
Although this is Populus we're talking about.

Must say I'm suprised. The Green affair and the pre budget report would I thought be very bad for Labour but they're unchanged.Can't understand it,they're obviously clueless and overly authoritarian with it. This is the second poor poll on the bounce I hope it doesn't become a trend.
No doubt the usual whingers will make the usual remarks that deface so many Conhome threads but I hope not.

Just goes to prove that voters want jobs more than privileges for MPs.

Well it goes to show that calls from some posters here to talk more about Green were not worth listening to. The public doesn't care about it - move on and get back to the economy.

I think there's a large amount of people who are lying to try and make brown think he can win an election in the hopes that he'll call one.

This reduction in the lead isn't anything we haven't been expecting to happen ... I expect labour will do something even more disgusting in the new year and this will win them an inexplicable 5% lead, but I don't see that it makes a difference.

The public are not interested in Greengate, in fact the Conservative party excitement looks a put off. The reason I suggest is that, again, the Westminster Tories are just thinking of themselves unaware of how people outside Westminster view them, Westminster and life in general. Wordy stuff about democracy and freedom are pointless unless the value to people is described. I suspect Labour have spotted this and this is the reason for going back on the Speaker's promises last week.

Ambassador Timken has just criticised European Media for monomania in suggesting Obama was the sole candidate for US President.

The Media in Britain cover only Brown & Co. and there is the Putin Effect whereby people know we are living in a monolithic polity with only one party. I should think large numbers of people think Cameron is a Brown understudy and that Labour makes policy for Conservatives to defer to.

There is simply no forcible Conservative presence and people feel it is a lifestyle party for when things are going well, but Brown is for the difficult times.

There should be no prospect of Labour being re-elected - but it is a frightening thought..... Ireland gets a chance to vote "correctly
" on Lisbon and no doubt Britain will get the Euro when abour gets re-elected.

If the Conservatives do not get up and start fighting to win I fear Britain could become yet another Socialist Dictatorship with Labour entreched in power

It wasn't wrong to focus on the Green affair. Important principles were at stake that can't be judged simply by their opinion poll effect but, yes, the election is largely going to be about the economy.

I think the Queen's speech got good headlines ("2 year respite from repossessions"). All the criticism and small print of it was brushed aside, as usual; and the "Gordon Brown said" line is still the current media narrative, as it has been since his conference speech in late September. I think we need more media representation as that appears to me to be the main problem we face.
I still believe we will turn this around, as we did last autumn and many times before (1992, 1978/9, 1970, etc).

Big Jock Knew, exactly.

The ONLY thing people are now interested in is the economy and the plan to get us through the crisis.

Anything else, including countless efforts to skewer Brown for his 'no more boom and bust' boasts are just coming across as efforts to score debating points rather than addressing the issues facing the nation.

One theme and one theme only - the economy.

Is this meant to discourage the Tories from bringing about a general election now?

Judging by what I hear from the people on the street, the Tories seem to be gaining more and more support by the day.

The public at large are not interested in Greengate and probably see a headline like "Top Tory Arrested" and think same old Tories rather than consider the details of the case and the impact it has on MPs ability to scrutinise the executive. The latest issue poll shows that the economy is the most important issue and this has to be the emphasis for the party.

I keep saying come out and fight them in the open and where they are weakest. I wish the polls were with us but they are not. I said they would turn against us and they are.

Either get down in the dirt and fight as dirty as Labour or loose the elction.

Simple choise now. I we loose the elction we loose out contry as a fourth term would see a permenant labour government

You have been warned

The public at large are not interested in Greengate and probably see a headline like "Top Tory Arrested"

Probably, to start with, but the story has developed on from that now that I doubt it's seen as bad for tories in any way - especially as they have libdem support.

OH and prepare for a sudden call on a spring election. May sounds nice

This is mentioned somewhere every December, but...
Could there be any chance a certain proportion of core Tory supporters from Chelsea, East Surrey, Beaconsfield, Woodford Green etc were out doing their Christmas shopping, heading off on their holidays or visiting their relatives at this time of year?

David Cameron had better shake himself or he is going to find himself losing the general election!

Hints that he is going to change his front bench team need to become ACTION. Letwin and Maude should be sent packing they are seen as weak and ineffective - as are so many of them.

Cameron needs a clear out of his advisors at Central Office and to bring in a team that understand the majority of the people. We are not all toffs and public school you know! There are more votes amongst the common herd and he needs to get them on board.

John Gaunt, Richard Littlejohn. Nick Ferrari are people who can articulate what is worrying ordinary people. Cameron needs people like that and certainly not Aussies or Americans who live on a different planet.

No more Mr Nice Guy. Get in and fight.

Oh dear.

Still think George Osborne is the greatest thing since sliced white?

Team Dave cannot rely on Brown apathy alone.

No more Blue Labour please.

New Lab have failed miserably on the economy, immigration and the EU. These should be natural Tory territory.

And some vision on the UK - let's have a Union but a looser one with tax-raising natonal Parliaments.

This is very disappointing. Now for a Spring election and 4 more years of Brown.

I expect he will have much the same majority as he has now, thanks to the way the voting system is skewed against us.

I think we can kiss our country goodbye, as in four years there will be nothing worth-while left. Anyone young enough should seriously condider emigration.

Agreed on Greengate.

It's important, but it's also time to get back on to the economy and onto stuff that people outside Westminster are actually bothered about. Maybe they should be more bothered about it, but at present the risk is that the Tories were quiet and slow on the economy, and the opposite on Greengate.

The electorate is incredibly volatile at the moment and it is all to play for...

I am coming round to the view that unless Cameron develops a more inclusive team - we may be in for a hung parliament or we may lose...

In the cold light of day with such a tired and talentless government and such a dire economy - we should be 15 -20% ahead in the polls.....

The only conclusion is that the electorate are not sold (perhaps even not convinced) by the alternatives to Brown's chumps....

We have an electorate sick and tired of politicians!

Comres don't look so silly now!!!!

Didn't the last poll have us ahead by one point.. did we gain three points? Shouldn't we be happier?

I think at the very least the polls are a little bit too wild to take any huge notice of.

I’m at a loss to explain this downward trend which seems to buck what I hear elsewhere. The data, out tomorrow, will be interesting to see.

As to the importance of Greengate... true, the majority will see it as boring and unimportant. However, if it’s boring and unimportant to these people, is it really going to affect their voting intention? Meanwhile, for the politically active Greengate is a step too far from a government that has to go.

Ultimately the election will be about the economy. But the electoral process relies on motivated activists. That motivation is where the government faces long term damage over Greengate.

Wearside Tory

Spot on. It's incredible that with the economy falling apart the government is becoming more popular. Has this ever happened before?

Davis has to be brought back now and we need less of chinless wonders like Grieve and Osborne. Cameron has to focus on the conomy and repeatedly tell people why Labout have failed and that people's futuer taxes will be higher and pensions lower because of it.

The Conservatives have to develop an economic policy that people can believe in. We have to say the country needs to live within its means. If the Conservatives are honest they will be respected as things disintegrate during the winter.

"This is very disappointing. Now for a Spring election and 4 more years of Brown."

All is not lost. An election campaign could be all we need to get David Cameron and the Conservative Party all the coverage we deserve, then the voters will come to their senses.

I know populus and comres are unreliable and hugely left wing biased but I cannot help feel nervous about this one.

I know that pretty soon the public will realise that Gordon Brown has ruined the economy but I just hope they realise it in time.

Otherwise I will have to emigrate, I cannot survive another five years in the rotting hellhole that Britain is turning into under Labour.

"I’m at a loss to explain this downward trend which seems to buck what I hear elsewhere. The data, out tomorrow, will be interesting to see."

Don't go down that road again. I remember the denial that existed before the 1997 election.

As a former Tory member I have to say I don't know who I'll vote for at the next election. I'd like to vote Conservative, but to me the Greengate issue is important for the reasons discussed, but it has also highlighted how ineffective and invisible some of the shadow cabinet is. I've got to be honest and say I didn't know who Damian Green was until this episode. Even worse, I only found out that Oliver Letwin and Francis Maude are still in the shadow cabinet by reading this thread.

I don't know whether the polls will move back in the Tories direction in the next few months or not. I do think they need to focus on the economy though and articulate their position. Even though I try to follow political developments to a degree, I can't honestly say I know what the Tories would do differently to Brown wrt the economy.

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN.

Much as I would like to say that this is all to be expected, I'm actually a little surprised by this trend back towards Labour.

It was very easy to dismiss the MORI polls (well, they're hardly ever right anyway), and the Comres poll which quite obviously buggered up its figures somewhere down the line.

But when we start to see a trend like this ACCROSS polling organisations, we need to take it very seriously indeed. So lets take this poll as a warning and get back to the things that matter to people.

This is to be expected to be honest. Still a 4% lead is excellent, since we've not really presented a clear illustration of what we would do in government.

Our exposure has also been very low these last few days except GreenGate.

Labour is going to get 34-35% at the General Election. This is the limit of the party.

All we need to do is get over 40%+ and I think once we bring forward our policies in a the run up to the general election we will be ready.

Here are my top 10 reasons NOT to vote for NuLabour...

1) Future (our children will inherit a mountain of debt, worthless qualifications and a broken society. We'll have no pension nor savings and will work until we die.)
2) Security (we are all far less safe from Terrorism and crime than when Labour came to power - much of this due directly to HM Govt.)
3) Trust (there is no longer the truth and the lies, just differing shades of lie - the shafting of the Prison Officers and Police in the pay deals, cash for peerages, economic statistics etc, etc...)
4) Identity (Not content with selling out to the European Federal State, Labour harvest and then discard our personal details at a level previously known only to the Mafia but they still want to improve this process with ID cards.)
5) Freedom (100's of years of laws and hard earned British rights have been discarded without a thought. They want to take this further by abolishing the only steadying influence - the Lords.)
6) Bankruptcy (In revenge for the end of the industrial age and demise of working-class jobs, their policies have sought to bring ruin to the UK's few successes like financial services and consequently the middle classes. Falsely inflating economic boom to fuel political ends, incompetent regulation and a toxic debt culture.)
7) Theft (The implication of 100's of tiny obscure stealth taxes - like passports for horses or HIPS, or more openly 100%+ increases in Council tax.)
8) Inaction (Failure to commission new build nuclear and other alternative energy sources, failure to tackle poverty, failure to tackle crime, failure to improve education etc, etc...)(Contrary to socialist ideals, throwing cash at a problem for 11+ years does not constitute action.)
9) Incompetence (following in the footsteps of Mr Mugabe and systematically destroying a healthy country in pursuit of personal ambitions - Both Brown & Bliar. Failing to ensure the integrity of the democratic system in allowing search of serving MP's office)
10) Accountability (Absolute failure to accept responsibility for any of the above - even twisting the facts to maintain the illusion of competence and control)

Unfortunately, the electorate seems to quickly forget until after an election when history repeats and they moan like mad. It is the oppositions job however to remind them of the mistakes - let's hope it's a long campaign as there are plenty to list... THEY NEED TO BE STARTING THIS NOW!

The first of my list actually worries me the most. My son is not yet 5 but will undoubtedly inherit a tax-debt from the Brown economic mismanagement that he will probably have to work a third of his life to pay off. This is ironic for a PM who purports to care most about the children, but has systematically destroyed all the things they had going for them - peaceful, safe environment, good education, strong economy and good prospects. Fortunately, a happy & healthy upbringing isn't yet under government control so he still has a chance...

Classic post by Former Tory. Hilarious.

Yes Mr Cameron, you had better start thinking and talking about the economy and the welfare state, sharpish.

People don't know what they gave the last ten years of their lives for. Were they wrong to work hard, to do without?

Does this country have a future now that services have collapsed and there is no money to pay for new manufacturing?

Any ideas Mr C? If not, you are not fit to be Prime Minister at the moment, are you?

Another big problem is that we are BLAMING BROWN.

We should stop and blame Labour, New Labour and New Labour policies.

Remember, the voting intentions are on party, not the leader.

Petrol prices dropping, tracking mortgages falling, supermarkets pushing the VAT discount.

The perceived Conservative response - we are against measures to help in the recession.

Only a small percentage of people are feeling the worst of the recession. When the energy bills hit in the spring it might change, but at the moment alot of people are seeing their own financial situation improving and are wrongly giving credit to the government.

Henry Mayhew 21.34 - doesn't ukip have a website? Why don't you spend your time there?

What was done over greengate had to be done.

It isn't over -- it appears that the parliament has 'leaked' all MP's correspondence to the police (by giving them access to the servers), and the government are preventing parliament acting until the police have 'done their worst' with it.

However, any 'brownie points' to be collected from greengate have probably now been collected (and UKIP have burned all theirs irreversibly) - it has to go on, but not as the focus of tory attention.

To win an election every major action should result in something that can be referred back to come the election as a reminder of how poor labour are. Establish the milestones to be referred back to one by one come the election campaign

A period on 'the vat cut saved you 10p on a christmas drink -- but the hangover is 10 years of higher taxes' and similar should lay the right reminders...

We overmilked Greengate. Get back to the economy, explain loud and clear what we would do to mitigate the crisis. Too many people don't know what our policies are.

What's the point in preaching to the converted? You shouldn't give up on yourself Perdix and I certainly don't intend to.

Anyway, if I'm not a conservative, who is? Dave, Oliver and George? Whose question are they the answer to? The economy is in collapse Perdy. It is time to get serious and tell them to get their act together. I was about to say this country is worth saving, but I realise that would patronise you.

If you don't like my bon mots argue back with something substantial or at least witty. Playing who's in the gang is something I tired of some time ago (40 years).

"As to the importance of Greengate... true, the majority will see it as boring and unimportant. However, if it’s boring and unimportant to these people, is it really going to affect their voting intention?"

No, but the time taken on Greengate could have been used to articulate and advertise our economic policy. Greengate was an outrage but I began to get the impression that we were pushing it too much without obtaining any electoral advantage.

This still does not sit easily alongside the far more credible ICM polls.

2 polls with the Conservatives in the late 30's is not good and may even be a trend.

My instincts tell me there is a degree of volatility out there and some people wavering as they face uncertain times.

Its not enough to offer change any more, people are looking for security I think. That's where Brown, Mr Boom'n'Bust is scoring.

Those polled must be living on a different planet...................
but perhaps the next election is not one to win as the country will be in such a dire state

We need to take on Labor over the economy !

A three year real-terms public spending freeze , lower borrowing , a more credible inflation target , more effective management of the financial sector , small business deregulation , fighting for more free trade and yes when affordable lower taxes along with a pledge to keep the £ is what we need to offer ! We cannot beat something with nothing and must offer a recovery plan that replaces JSA & IB with one payment to slash economic inactivity while ending the New Deal. ID Cards , IT schemes etc can go to help slash public borrowing and telling QUANGO's to either cut their budgets by 25% over three years or lose their public funding (i.e. sink or swim by charging directly for their services ) would save money along with the end of Regional Development Agencies. Tax Credits can be axed for the rich too and already these plans would save roughly £72 billion. That would speed the budget towards balance and would stop bloated public sector spending & borrowing being a drag on recovery.

Greater economic stability after Labor boom & bust would boost confidence as would RPI-x at 2% being the two year inflation target. Bank of England members should serve fixed non-renewable seven year terms and should get the powers back so that people know who does what and can thus prevent any more bank runs. Ending the FSA and running our banks more sensibly must make sense. The Tripartite system failed - the old system worked a dream in the past. If it ain't broke don't fix it...

This is the agenda that we need to fight Labor so that we regain office on the basis that the voters trust the Tories to get an economic recovery going.

Lets get this right, we have totally murdered Greengate to death. The average voter is not interested. Political geeks or Mr Angry who writes into the Mail maybe but the public generally, are not, considering what is happening to the economy.

We may not agree what Brown and co are doing but hey are doing that DOING and that is what the people can see someone doing something.

Don't give me all this"we cannot get any press time".The press including those on the left have been slating the government since the PBR and what have we said to the public, next to nothing.

Osbourne, get yourself sorted or ship out and we should then get someone in that the public can relate to. A toff talking economics is hardly going to enthuse the people we need to switch.People keep saying, wait until the people lose jobs and then they will turn thier backs on Labour. Is that how we want to win it by default through misery?

I posted on here a few months ago that the public was getting fed up waiting for us to offer an alternative, and will return to Labour as they are seen to actually be doing something.

I will say it again, Cameron and Osbourne need a rocket up thier backsides or we are going to loase the election.

Believe that poll, and you'll believe anything!

"Judging by what I hear from the people on the street, the Tories seem to be gaining more and more support by the day."

Exactly.

The poll does not surprise me in the least. I'll be surprised and delighted if this IS a rogue, but let's please not bank on it.

I believe a recent poll showed only 23% of the population held Gordon Brown responsible for the problems of the slump. Is it any wonder therefore that the public are judging both parties as morally equivalent, and viewing the different offerings from each on their own 'merits'. This poll shows one thing: we have to prove Brown's guilt on the economy. Every effort we make must be not to change the headline poll rating, but to change that 23% figure. Poll leads come and go, but once people have realised that Gordon Brown landed us in this mess, they will not forget, or forgive.

I'm beginning to distrust these polls and wonder what 'funny business' is going on. I would not put anything past Labour at the moment.

I must live in a different world to the people asked. Nearly everyone I meet is very angry at Labour, and very open about it, and they hate Brown. From shopkeepers to colleagues to young people. On trains, at work, on the street - the 'word on the street' is not, I would suggest, on Labour's side.

These polls make no sense to me - infact only yesterday the Times was reporting that Brown's private polls were not looking good. There is a constant stream of negative leaders from many papers over Baby P, Karen Matthews, arrests without warrents, return to Old Labour, Northern Rock reposessions. Businesses are suffering, savers are suffering, pensioners are suffering, people are losing their jobs. If you haven't lost something yourself, you probably have family or friends who have. Why would any of this have a positive effect for Labour in reality?

To me, the Conservatives are beginning to get their act together and calling in the big guns (more of this). And yes keep explaining what is going on in the economy. Keep going, more and better of the same.

The issue over Mr Green absolutly had to be followed up. For those of us that do care about these things it was been very important for the democracy of our country.

The statement that 'the public don't care' is a gross generalisation - we are not all uncaring of our liberty. And you may well have attracted more activists because of it. You could not possibly have let it go, just because it may not win votes. It may, in the end, just be the thing that is remembered when the pencil is hovering on that ballot paper.

Brown/Darling have staked the farm on the recession being over very quickly.

DONT LET ANYONE FORGET THEIR PREDICTED END DATE.

If that date is right, then they will have performed an amazing manoeuvre - and the tories have some real competition.

If it is wrong (as it almost certainly is) then everything they have done to address the issue is misguided, wrong and an expensive waste of our (taxpayers) money. In that case, labour can only expect to get the 25-35 share of the vote that belongs to the brain dead, spongers and state clients (people the tories can only ever win over, once in power, by ensuring they can genuinely improve their situation by their own efforts.).

One can talk about the economy and the most important matters in the Universe until one goes blue in the face; what matters at the end of the day is whether or not one is going to be heard.

New Labour have now proven that they no longer wish to play by the rules, and this indicates that they are capable of anything in order to retain power.

Mayhew 21.57 - the reason I think you are a waste of space is that you never make any constructive suggestions. Your "preaching" is just ranting.I suggest ukip join up with NuLabour, your mate Spink votes for them.

Miranda, it is possible that the changes in vote shares reflect Labour resolve hardening in their safer seats. But it doesn't hurt to reinforce messages on the economy - "Greengate" was a distraction, even if saying nothing would have been worse.

It's difficult for the Tories when every radio news bulletin begins with "Gordon Brown said".
Have the Tory leadership thought of formally complaining?

I'm sorry, but some of the comments in this thread seem more interested in debating the ins and outs of this poll than what the Tories need to do to win the election.

It's quite simple. Start articulating some economic policies which people understand. Don't waste time with tiddler announcements which the public don't understand or quickly forget. Several big ideas are required in the new climate, and by this I don't mean a few quid off inheritance tax, or some farcical efficiency savings in the public sector which are wheeled out by all politicians.

The scale of the problems facing the country are now enormous. Probably as serious or even worse than in the late 70s. Cameron and Osborne need to grasp this. The landscape has been changed in the last 6 months. Broon figured this out and started 'doing something' about it. The Tories have been too happy to keep sailing serenely along as though the economy is just going through a minor stumble and business as usual will then resume. It won’t.

The country needs a viable Tory Party now, and it can deliver IMO. But it needs to wake up and smell the change which has occurred in Britain and much of the western world this year. Do this and the polls will look after themselves.

Mike @ 20.10 and all the other 'economy' posters.

Of course the economy is important to people, WE all know that so I would imagine do the Shadow Cabinet.

I would be very interested to hear HOW all you knowledgeable people would answer Brown, or Mandelson or Campbell when they state ad nauseam ON the TV that its all the fault of the US.

What do you do if you want to keep the truth from a politically ignorant public????? You sew up the media, dummies!!! You put Labour sympathisers in the Conservative newspapers, little Mary Riddell who loathes David Cameron so much - its virtually personal!.... and the others....

It would not surprise me that when the US Government get fed-up with being blamed for all our ills, that our Leaders don't turn to 'class warfare again', in other words blame the mess on the middle classes. And before you shoot me down as daft, just think about it a bit more.... With a politicised police force......

Failing that Gordon Brown will take us into Europe BEFORE the next election, plus taking on the Euro. Mr. Brown will hand us to Europe because he has found the responsibility of being a prime minister to be much more difficult than he ever imagined. And after all he has just brought into government a man who is openly, fully committed to the European project, and who is only too anxious to help Mr. Brown!

Jaz at 2132 thinks a 4% lead is good. The only trouble with that view is that Labour would be the largest party and only just of a majority. Not my idea of "good".

I believe that the polls are all pointing to one central fact. That doubting long-term Labour supporters have gone back to the fold in large numbers. You can see that in the North and especially in Scotland (where special circumstances apply) The headline figure is always erratic but underlying trends are not. It's all to play for still and Cameron - and this blog too - must get focused on what will win the election - "It's the economy, stupid!".

Cameron is headlined tonight on some speech on a touchy feely subject. He must be alerted to the dreadful weakness of his long term strategy when the world has now changed - FOR GOOD.

Former Tory @ 23.39 If you actually listened to what the government ministers say on TV when interviewed, I mean LISTENED, you could not possibly say that they are coming out with ideas, all they say is 'we are going to', 'we are going to', and then they slag off the Tories in the 80's and 90's as I said yesterday, to the extent that even some of the more honest interviewers say words to the effects 'we don't want to hear that' (again).

When Conservatives come up with policies, all they get from many posters on this site is criticism anyway.

Baffling and embarrassing.

Do I live in a country with a huge amount of tremendously stupid people?

How on Earth would 35% of people say they would vote Labour; especially now?

Why?

john | December 08, 2008 at 23:33

John, I was thinking about how BBC bias could be 'proved'... (or disproved!?!)

I think a simple analysis of whose quotes are used in headlines would do it.

Labour announcements are led with 'gordon says...' type of headlines, tory announcement are led with 'labour says (blah blah) about tories announcement' - aren't they?

Also FWIW I would rate the tory handling of the economy as ZERO - why? because they aren't doing anything -- why aren't they doing anything? because they are in opposition - they can't do anything !! DUH!

There is no single 'magic bullet' - if there were independants would also uses it (as would the lib dems) - it is about keeping everyone as happy as possible - lots and lots of messages, addressed to lots and lots of (different) people.

Want a good, solid tory drive? - integrate oppressed asian women forced marriage must imply rape - it should have the same maximum sentence.

The initial immigration may be a tricky issue - but once someone is legally british they must receive the full benefits of being so.

A simple conservative principal, screaming out to be applied.

Some people have commented that the public must be stupid, I think the public is largely politically illiterate, but I do NOT think that the public is stupid.

Think about it, for eleven years we were all told how brilliant Brown was as a Chancellor - over and over again. If anybody doubted that opinion they jolly well kept it to themselves until very recently. THEN in the speace of ONE YEAR, the man has gone from apparent brilliant chancellor to incompetent and wasteful prime minister, and has even been called economically illiterate.

I think that is a helluva lot for an ordinary person to get their head around - in such a short space of time.

As more and more people begin to feel the pinch, and maybe, change their attitudes about a consumerist-based society, they will more and more start to question the motives of the person who encouraged them to be consumerist (as they will see it!!). BUT it does all take time!!! And Mr. Brown will have difficulty in 'laying' this on Mr. Cameron!

I am saddened, but not suprised, that some Conservatives are still in denial about the opinion polls. The fact is that most of the polls in the last month have been in hung parliament territory, which is where they were six months ago. Gordon Brown accrued a considerable amount of political capital through being Chancellor during a decade of prosperity and the current crisis gives him an opportunity to spend it. Only time will tell how badly Brown's reckless gamble with public finances will turn out but right now voters prefer jam today to jam tomorrow. Labour are not in the same postion now as the Conservative Party were in 1995. They are a much more disciplined and united force; sitting back and hoping they will fall apart is not an election winning strategy.

Labour policies grab the headlines and since Draper's 'Rebuttal Unit' was formed they've been all over the internet blogs too, lying, smearing, spinning. Two more names: Mandelson & Campbell. We don't want the PR equivalent of Labour so the Conservatives must rely on the truth and only that. Have faith; Labour, those who vote for them, the media who support them, can't avoid the truth.

These polls seem to be confusing a lot of people, however we have been here before - 1992. Then Labour's problem was that they had Kinnock and Smith as shadow, banging out a manifesto which still stunk of socialism. Now we don't have that problem, but people instinctively want to stick with the devil they know until there is clear proof they don't have the answers. Add to that the fact that our message on the economy is mute, except for the feeling that we want to cut spending. No matter how sensible this is, ordinary voters don't choose based on their knowledge of macro economics, or even based on sound-bites - they go with those they know and tell them an optimistic message. We need to sell our plans in terms of as much optimism as pessimism, and we need to wait for things to get worse unfortunately.

So:

1. Articulate the message better and make it clearer
2. Mix in less bloody gloom and a bit more upbeat Dunkirk spirit
3. Patience

If poll results are to be believed then I think it's down to a perception of a lack of any distinct differences between parties on matters which count to the electorate.
The perception is that Brown is helping 'people' by tackling repossessions, attempting to get lenders to lend, lowering interest rates, giving money to pensioners, pumping money into the economy, lowering VAT, deferring VAT payments for businesses etc.

What is our policy other than loan guarantees ?

What are we asking people to agree to exactly ?

If the current system of capitalism has failed then someone should be looking to change it by demanding changes which create jobs.

What happened to "sharing the proceeds of growth Mr Brown" ?

Why are you giving taxpayers money ( in this way to banks ), when you could be giving it directly to the people in the form of tax cuts ?

Why are you promoting a rescue package for banks but not rescuing the taxpayers ?

Demand a tax cut, demand tax 'refunds' to businesses, demand the removal of stamp duty. Demand an enquiry into what Europe is costing us, and demand the government is held to account for its public spending plans and for the 'waste figure it gave of £5 billion'.

The Liberals will undoubtedly support tax cuts and will undoubtedly support a reckoning of government waste so what are you waiting for ?

Get on with it 'for the people', and show this shower up for what it actually is. Show the people you mean business and they'll flock to support you.

It's just my lone opinion of course.

I think the large amount of favourable coverage Labour receive does not help matters. We have clearly got to present our ideas on dealing with the Economy far more strongly to the general public. At the moment it is clear that they trust Brown to deal with the recession!

The problem is that the change Cameron espouses is not in tune with the change the public demands.

Tories are baffled why in the face of this most abysmal Government the public are not rushing to see them replaced by the Tories but for a non-party member, this couldn't be any clearer.

Our leading politicians often wonder why millions of people get excited and vote in tv shows like the X-Factor, but show no interest in voting in elections. They wonder if they need more pizazz when if they looked at things in reverse the answer would be obvious to anyone.

For example, imagine if Simon Cowell introduced an X-Factor voting system where it was impossible to vote off certain candidates (the Tory MEP selection process), or if instead of just adding up all votes, the voting was split per region and only the votes of the winners per region were counted (the First Past the Post system) or even if contestants who did well last year and re-entered this year had a large inbuilt advantage over newcomers (Cameron's extension to state funding proposals), would the public still vote in the same numbers? Of course they wouldn't as the system would now look rigged to favour a selected few.

For the British public, a choice of a goverment that is either Tory or Labour is not change, it is the same old same old. The differences between them are too small to mean anything. Even on policies that would seem very clear like ID cards, we know that actually many senior Tories like William Hague actually support ID cards in principle, so it is impossible to see any real difference between the two. Nuance that simply means the blues not the reds or the other way around are in charge will excite no-one but party activists.

Cameron and Brown fear real change, change that could break the two-party grip on British politics. I actually think that is self-serving, cowardly and short-sighted as, imho, it will actually be the innovative person within Labour or the Tories who brings in these changes who will reap the rewards, not the small parties who act as protest votes now.


Perdix @ 23:26 don't worry about Henry! He's quite harmless really. That said, I have to now be careful about how much I banter with our UKIP friends. I have been told off for "baiting" and am at present standing in the Naughty Corner!

In the words of Douglas Hogg who charged the Zanau Labour with “concealment, duplicity, whitewash, cover up” unfortunately the great British public are stupid. Start to bring out the old slogans as they all apply like “will the last one that leaves switch out the lights” or ”labour is not working ”simple words that your politically not adept might understand.
Strong people on all interviews and show passion and know how that will put these third rate Journalists in their place and a promise to end the bias of the BBC.
I thought that ROB [email protected] posting was good pamphlets should be distributed country wide detailing the following points he made and keep hammering home so every body is aware I also made a list which used in the right way could bring this Labour rabble down.
Raid on pensions
Selling of gold reserves at lowest price and announcing it before selling which forced the price down Now Gold at sky high price.
Introduction of HIP’S which put the cost of £500 to every seller and has no interest to mortgage companies.
10% tax level eradicated and new route to compensate with tax credits which will cost a fortune on administration costs.
No referendum on treaty
Not being competitive with company tax which is forcing companies to re locate to other countries
Student fees on education
Highest debt level in Europe
Council tax quadrupled in some areas since 1997
Full rates charged since April 2008 on commercial empty buildings.
Very large contribution for all London Boroughs on rates for Olympics
New car tax on old cars which will cost an extra £200 to poorer families
Tax on dividends on Isa’s and Peps introduced
Very high tax on petrol highest in Europe
No change on threshold levels on stamp duty although house prices have become nearly out of reach of first time buyers
Inheritance tax bands have hardly been increased despite massive increases on house prices over eleven years.
Most complicated tax scheme in Europe.
Congestion charges on a very wide band in London with hardly any difference to traffic jams
Small businesses badly affected by congestion charges on borders of entry.
Closure of post offices
To much red tape for businesses of all sizes
Incompetence with private personal data across government departments
Erosion of civil liberties
How many Government and non Government Agencies have been given access to private data and allowed to tap phones?

Rob C points 1) Future (our children will inherit a mountain of debt, worthless qualifications and a broken society. We'll have no pension nor savings and will work until we die.)
2) Security (we are all far less safe from Terrorism and crime than when Labour came to power - much of this due directly to HM Govt.)
3) Trust (there is no longer the truth and the lies, just differing shades of lie - the shafting of the Prison Officers and Police in the pay deals, cash for peerages, economic statistics etc, etc...)
4) Identity (Not content with selling out to the European Federal State, Labour harvest and then discard our personal details at a level previously known only to the Mafia but they still want to improve this process with ID cards.)
5) Freedom (100's of years of laws and hard earned British rights have been discarded without a thought. They want to take this further by abolishing the only steadying influence - the Lords.)
6) Bankruptcy (In revenge for the end of the industrial age and demise of working-class jobs, their policies have sought to bring ruin to the UK's few successes like financial services and consequently the middle classes. Falsely inflating economic boom to fuel political ends, incompetent regulation and a toxic debt culture.)
7) Theft (The implication of 100's of tiny obscure stealth taxes - like passports for horses or HIPS, or more openly 100%+ increases in Council tax.)
8) Inaction (Failure to commission new build nuclear and other alternative energy sources, failure to tackle poverty, failure to tackle crime, failure to improve education etc, etc...)(Contrary to socialist ideals, throwing cash at a problem for 11+ years does not constitute action.)
9) Incompetence (following in the footsteps of Mr Mugabe and systematically destroying a healthy country in pursuit of personal ambitions - Both Brown & Bliar. Failing to ensure the integrity of the democratic system in allowing search of serving MP's office)
10) Accountability (Absolute failure to accept responsibility for any of the above - even twisting the facts to maintain the illusion of competence and control)

This shows two things,

firstly the inability of Dave & Co to make a significant hit on Gordo desipite Gordo and Co being the most incompetant and corrupt government ever in this country

the second mitigating factor being the snivelling lickspittle media talking up Zanulab and reprinting Zanulab press releases as fact.

A freebie byline for Dave & Co

"The Credit Card Chancellor who has become the Sub-Prime Minister, condeming us all to a future of endless debt repayment"

I cannot understand how any poll can put Brown ahead in economic competence, when the country is being run with a massive Hire Purchase debt. that is; live today but regret having to pay tomorrow! I am sure the electorate are not that naive! I wonder in which area the poll was undertaken?

I knew the green affair would play bad with the public, conservatives have been so quiet over last months with regards to the economy, and yet all of a sudden they come out fighting but over a fellow mp getting his office searched!

it gives the impression they care more about that than ordinary people and just looks BAD

spot on will b!

Walk down any High Street - if you can get through the crowds (credit crisis - what credit crisis!)

50% off everywhere - thank you Mr Daling - everywhere - VAT Slashed - everywhere!...

Its all UNTRUE OF COURSE - BUT then its ALL TRUE!

There is a credit crisis - but people are starting to shop

VAT Reduction is a joke -BUT it is being trumpeted by the Shops...

50% off sales are working....

The thing we did'nt realise with the PBR was that in effect ALL OF THE MAIN RETAILERS - have become Pro-Government Marketing Depts...

Thanks Mr Darling - for basically nothing

BUT...

Its a message....a message that believe me is permeating....The Government is trying to help us....

Of course the fact that people now believe (wrongly) that they wont be reposessed ....and are getting to the shops in their cars costing £20 per tank LESS to fill up - than 3-4 months ago - is also a massive massive FACTOR!...

THE BIG LIE - IS BEING BELIEVED!

To exacerbate matters what have we been doing for the past 2 weeks????

WASTING HUGE AMOUNTS OF TIME ENERGY AND IMPACT ON A NON-STORY...."TORY POLITICIAN ARRESTED"...thats the original headline....no amount of politicing or debate will move that from the mindset of the floating voter..

Todays attempts to re-brand our economic message..

"we wont honour spending targets"

"we want an immediate general election"

WONT HELP....THEY WILL MAKE MATTERS WORSE!

URGENT MESSAGE TO DC...

whoever is telling you to follow this line = SACK THEM!

if you are following your own ideas = WISE UP!

I genuinely now fear that we will enter 2009 - ACTUALLY BEHIND IN THE POLLS...

Brown then will NOT call an Election....he will drum on and on and on and on about looking after the Country and the Economy - getting it right for Britain - and that will put him further ahead still...

Young Cameron...WISE UP FAST!

The issue over Green was fundamentally important and had to be acted on despite the polls, however I suspect the Labour spin machine at work again on lots of issues. Spin itself has become a risk for them again and an opportunity for us to highlight. However the main issue for us is one of focus and grit, moving forward on a few key messages that resonate and sticking at them. To me it seems that you have to view the modern busy world as like a very noisy system in which issues only come across after very sustained, consistent and strong pushing of messages that resonate. I think it takes 2 or 3 months of this for something to register with the general public. The economy, law & order, health, education are still the big issues as always.

Another Richard December 08: 21:03
"...It's incredible that with the economy falling apart the government is becoming more popular. Has this ever happened before?"
Yes: Stockholm Syndrome '.. a psychological response in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the risk to which they have been subjected. '
;-)

Diana from Devon @ 08.57 'I am sure the electorate are not that naive!'

I am afraid that a certain number of the electorate DO appear to be that naive - to put your mortgage on your CREDIT CARD, which apparently some people (even men) have done, has to be blinkered!

Now 'rugfish' @ 07.18 - I think you have some very GOOD ideas.

We need to start with Brown's eternal priority - to acquire money - in whatever form. So to change ANYTHING about running the country which means he is 'out-of-pocket' is unlikely to happen - he may say he will pursue a cost-cutting policy, but in the small print it will eventually be found to be nothing of the kind (10p's come to mind!!).

Soo! Yes
DEMAND TAX CUTS,
DEMAND TAX 'REFUNDS' TO BUSINESSES,
DEMAND THE REMOVAL OF STAMP DUTY
DEMAND THE GOVERNMENT IS HELD TO ACCOUNT FOR ITS SPENDING PLANS AND FOR THE 'WASTE FIGURE IT GAVE OF 5 BILLION'.
ATTACK!

After all that is what Brown has been doing for months now, which is absolutely absurd, as David Cameron is NOT the leader and Conservatives are NOT in government. AND it is NOT our job to produce policies for lacklustre Labour, although Brown plainly thinks it is!

Also get someone, to make a note everytime a minister or indeed Brown says 'WE ARE GOING TO', and then demand evidence that they HAVE actually done what they said they would 'going to'. Be specific about what you attack, AND demand CLARITY!

Polls crashing, people worried sick about their jobs, the housing market a shambles?

Never mind.
Windmill Dave Cameron has got it all sorted out.

He is making his "first major speech on human rights".

And this after returning from a pressing engagement in Belfast, refusing to move "teenage" Gideon Osborne to where he cannot do any more damage, and getting genuinely angry for the first time over something as inconsequential to Joe Bloggs as Greengate.

I won't mention the Woolies shopping trip (though quite why a couple with their wealth finds it necessary to save twenty quid is beyond rational comprehension).

Any day now, he will be back to hugging hoodies.

And you wonder why the polls are turning?

Alex @ 2358 - There are at least 35% of voters now who depend on government -0 one wat or another - for continued existence. If a Tory government does NOT cut spending that figure will grow till there is a permanent in-built dependency majority.

The party must really stop talking so much touchy-feely trivia and get down to the horror story which is the economy.

Even by your standards Jim Carr not the brightest of posts. What are you trying to prove? That you can through around utterly juvenile insults with the best of them?

While the VAT cut is meaninless in terms of the amount of money it saves the consumer - it is beng trumpeted in the high street so people are seeing it, and at least it is 'something' (or at least seen as such) which is 'good' for Brown/Labour.

If the tories want to undermine this, they really should be highlighting what this is going to cost the consumer in the long run -- so every time anyone sees 'vat cut' instead of thinking 'I guess they (labour/brown) are trying', they think 'oh my god, this is going cost me - what have they done' (which is the truth).

Have we got the nerve for such an honest but negative message?

Ringing around marginal seats last night- the vast majority do niot blame brown for the economy- not what I think but everyone keeps saying you would not have done things differently, the wiser oens note how we intended to 'copy' labour's spending plans. The good news is (only electorally for us- not in reality) in the long run people were relaise what has happened and our support will be back up i predict to ten points in Summer 2009

Does any one suspect that Gordon Brown is being lured again into contemplating a General Election?

Polls can be manipulated to deliver any result and should be banned.

This Poll was done in the wake of the Govts mortgage holiday announcement which received rave reviews and I would have thought played very well with the public. I was just grateful that we did not rubbish it.However when the furore dies down then the polls may change. Interesting to note that Brown did not himself gain from the last Poll. Maybe then this poll reflects the impression that the Tories managed to give that the Green affair meant more to them than people losing their jobs and houses.

One of Camerons many great skills was his ability to persuade many people that the Tories were not a narrow sect but concerned with everyone and their problems. In a sense our response to Greengate cut away at that especially as the Govt (quite disgracefully in my view) turned this into a simple "M.P's are not above the Law " issue.

To get into Office we HAVE to persuade sufficient Lib/Dems and Labour voters that the great Public Services are safe in our hands. To relish savage cuts is particularly stupid. We all agree that the public services need real reform but the language that the Party uses is equally important i.e it will be electoral suicide if we give the impression that we hate the public services and that is why I would not let Heffer anywhere near our deliberations !

Lastly, all the eurofanatics on here please note that our vote went down even though the idea of the UK joining the Euro was being mooted. I fully accept that on both sides there is a principled position that can be taken but we are living in cloud cuckoo land if we think that a strident anti EU stance in a time of recession will be a sure fire winner. If anything, as the Labour Party found in similar circs in 1983 it would be a certain loser.

PB - I agree entirely...

But once again I dont think DC is using logic!

At a time when the public are warming towards spending increases - DC lauds the fact he has asked every shadow minister to find cuts!

Now let me make this clear - they need to find cuts!

BUT WE DONT TELL EVERYONE DURING THE "SHORT VERY VERY SHORT TIME" when those spending increases are having MOST effect on the public mind!.....

Politics is all about TIMING!

And right now we seem RIGHT OUT OF TIME / RIGHT OUT OF TUNE!

Ian Bennett For God's sake stop shouting!

Have I ben banned?

Even by your standards Jim Carr not the brightest of posts. What are you trying to prove? That you can through around utterly juvenile insults with the best of them?

If you are going to launch an ad hominem attack based on someone lacking "brightness", you should make sure that your post does not contain any errors.
It looks, well, not very "bright".

With the substantive points which I made, I note that you cannot disagree.

Hands up for the appalling spelling error Jim!But as for 'substantive points' there weren't any that I could see. Just rather juvenile name calling.
Amusing line about 'ad hominem attacks' though. Coming from you that made me smile.

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