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« Hustings Report (1): Leicester | Main | David Cameron promises to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime »

Comments

modern conservative

Sean Amen to that!

Good to see that both candidates want the same. Cameron's direction or Davis's strategy.

Gareth

Peter,

Concentrate hard and I will try to spell it out clearly.

The argument is not about whether we should or should not cut taxes. All Conservatives agree on that.

The argument is about the way we win elections and whether making dramatic tax-cutting promises the centre of our economic policy is (a) effetive or (b) counter-productive.

I argue (a).

Now, how about arguing against that proposition if you'd like to, rather than making random comments about whether my parents own their own home.

EML

I was impressed by Cameron's performance yesterday; as far as I am concerned he had the best of it all evening, including a far better support crew - with free mints on offer - and far better actual support (his stickers were to be found on most people).

It was clear that Cameron had done his homework, and that he had been stung by criticism of being too policy-light. Many of his answers started off in the following fashion: 'There are three ways we can deal with this ...', or 'There are two factors we need to consider ...'.

I am very glad that I went along, because up until yesterday I was slightly edging towards Davis. But he struggled to string a lengthy sentence together, and only talked vacuously of the need to tackle such-and-such a problem head-on, without very much by way of detail as to how it would actually be done.

I think if I was choosing a candidate that would definately be PM, then Davis might just scrape my vote (mainly because of experience and proven ability over a longer period); but the problem is that there is a long way to go between electing a leader of the opposition and that leader becoming PM. Cameron will almost certainly get my vote; he talks about issues that will appeal to new voters, and he showed himself to be a very good debater (contrary to what someone said previously in this thread), with both attack and defence.

At the end of the day, they are both Conservatives, but a leader has to be chosen that can draw in new support. Cameron has mass appeal, whereas Davis merely has Conservative appeal.

Also, I would just like to say that the meeting was very well organised, nobody was late, and I left with a sense that I had been watching the next-but-one prime minister (assuming Gordon Brown does eventually get his wish).

Peter

So Garth we got your answer that you are for cutting taxes but only what Cameron may say for in the future. That again will not win us an election if the Economy is not on its last legs in 2009. I think with that its you who has to concentrate on the base that being Blair-lite is taking a big risk on wether we will win the next election or not?

Peter

So Garth we got your answer that you are for cutting taxes but only what Cameron may say for in the future. That again will not win us an election if the Economy is not on its last legs in 2009. I think with that its you who has to concentrate on the base that being Blair-lite is taking a big risk on wether we will win the next election or not?

Peter

So Garth we got your answer that you are for cutting taxes but only what Cameron may say for in the future. That again will not win us an election if the Economy is not on its last legs in 2009. I think with that its you who has to concentrate on the base that being Blair-lite is taking a big risk on wether we will win the next election or not?

Innocent Abroad

I'm vaguely interested: where is the evidence that Cameron has this 'mass appeal' that the previous poster wishfully claims? The polling 'evidence' clearly shows that neither contender has mass appeal against either Blair *or* Brown.

It would no doubt be nice if Cameron was a demonstrable vote winner (as Blair, for instance, was in the summer of 94) but at the moment he self-evidently is not. Why do Cameron supporters have to, and I put this kindly, fabulise on this score? Surely the case for 'Dave' isn't featherlight otherwise?

Anyway, here's a prediction: the way the Tory party felt after Major's 95 reshuffle - like it had been punched in the stomach - will be the reaction to Cameron's first shadow cabinet. And for all the the talk that "Hague will come back" - so what? If ever there was a fluffing of the 'core vote', bringing back this demonstrably unelectable man is it.

Innocent Abroad

Took too long to post ......... my scepticism was directed at 'EML'.

Al G

Well its nice to know that image has finally won over policy!

Seriously this is crazy people. Tory members are the most narcissistic, self-regarding people alive. Obviously we are going to vote for the fellow with the best image, just as the MPs went with the hip, young William Hague in 1997 (great performer but what a strategic and tactical error that was: Clarke, Redwood... only Howard would have been a worse choice at the time).

I think we would stand a much better chance with the floating voters if we offered someone who believes what we believe rather than someone we hope beleives the right stuff who looks good.

Recall, if you will, that Cameron is trying to do on tax what we did at the election. Say nothing AND be the tax cutting party.

Did not work.

No one believed us.

Howard Flight etc.

So lets vote for Cameron who will change everything by keeping it the same.

Sean Fear


It's quite clear that neither candidate is particularly favoured by the electorate at large, Innocent. Neither is obviously more electable than the other.

So I think we should go for the more substantial candidate, who is clearly David Davis.

Innocent Abroad

Do you think you're on the 'to be purged' list Sean, or will they just settle for Tebbit?

michael

Al G - I think when the history books are written on this leadership election - they will conclude taht it was actually Davis's policies which contributed to his defeat.

Policies which add up to a narrow message which reinforce the negative perceptions among floating voters of the Conservative Party.

What many have come to accept - is that we need to look and sound different. We need to reflect the character of the country which will appeal to floating voters.

Cameron has the qualities which could best bring that about. Charisma and an ability to engage and inspire through a message which focuses on broader issues not normally associated with Conservatives and using language which is positive and optimistic.

The Party which attracts those with ambition and aspiration is the Party that wins. Thatcher did it in the 80s and Blair did it in the 90s.

Besides, Cameron listens to the Killers, so he can't be that bad.

Al G

"We need to reflect the character of the country which will appeal to floating voters"

What does that mean?

"we need to look and sound different"

How much is Cameron going to invest in Soames' liposuction? Can I expect to get whipped at voice classes as I bend over to pick up my h, being told "you won't need that, me'ol'mucka"?

"a message which focuses on broader issues"

Focus! How droll! How wonderfully dry.

"The Party which attracts those with ambition and aspiration is the Party that wins. Thatcher did it in the 80s and Blair did it in the 90s."

Blair has won on the lowest winning vote ever, so it is debatable whether he has actually attracted any votes. Labour's vote was higher in 1992 I think, that 2001/2005. Perhaps we ought to add Kinnock to the list.

It is also worth noting that Thatcher cut tax in the '80s.

Cllr Graham Smith

Wasp comments:

Yeah I never get the Hague thing, the man led the party to its worst ever election result.

Er, no. How could it be, given that it was an improvement on the 1997 result?

Some would even say that, in terms of regaining lost seats, Hague did much better in 2001 than Howard achieved in 2005.

 Ted

Blair won on the lowest winning vote ever

Shows just how bad we've been in last three elections doesn't it - still haven't reached Labours poor showing in the 80's. Every policy DD has put forward is one I support but he hasn't shown the capability to enthuse his own party let alone a wider electorate - we need to win back those voters who moved to NuLab or LD AND get the non voters to come out and support us. My view is DC can do that better than DD - its a gamble but playing safe with experience & dullness isn't going to get us there. Thatcher was attacked for inexperience but she surrounded herself with a strong mix of revolutionary thinkers and "big beasts", played on voters tiredness with the same old faces (and had the luck of government failure).

michael

Reflecting the character of the country is about talking about the issues people talk about - schools, childcare, hospitals, crime etc - but doing so in a way which is relevant to today not yesterday.

Looking and sounding different is about saying waht you are for rather than what you are against. Using language which doesn't patronise. Having a brand which is appealing to floating voters not just reassuring to core Conservative voters. Most importantly its about having a narrative - a tory story rather than populist focus group opposition.

Yes, Major got one of the highest number of votes ever in 1992 and a majority of 21. Blair won on fewer votes in 97 and the biggest majority ever! The point is, where he won the votes and the groups he attracted to do that. ie across class and society - because he scooped up the floaters in the marginals.

You're right, I should have said, shifting the focus onto a broader message.

michael

Graham - you can't be serious! in 1997 we lost 171 seats. In 2001 we won back....wait for it....1 seat net.

In pure technical terms that is an improvement. In reality it was an utter disaster.

wasp

Cllr Smith

2001 was a far worse result than 1997.

1997 was a huge failure but 2001 embedded that failure.

Second term government should be difficult, but having a majority in excess of 150 makes it very easy.

And besides it was only a gain of about 3 seats.

Al G

Michael, I agree with EVERYTHING in your previous post.

My point would be that Davis is doing that as well. Recently, the government threw away years of planning by rejecting the Supertram in Leeds. Here in Leeds, thats what people are talking about.

In the YP article posted on this blog, Davis is talking about the tram. Cameron talks about crime.

Now, I think crime is a big issue, locally and nationally. But is Cameron not making exactly the same mistake that he is defining him against? Is it really a bad thing to continue to talk about crime, immigration, red tape or other "core issues"? Why are these "core" issues? Everyone cares about them!

I remain unconvinced that Cameron has done anything more than identify the symptoms of the Tory malaise. His image first, policy second agenda seriously concerns me, especially when he contradicts the image.

michael

a core vote issues are part of a core vote strategy - ie you talk about the issues which obsess the already Conservative - Europe, Tax 'cuts', assylum & immigration.

The problem is, non Conservatives come to associate the entire Tory brand with this narrow range of policies and the often negative / populist way we talk about them. In short - it turns on core Conservatives and turns off floating voters.

That's why they are core issues.

But I wouldn't describe crime as a core issue. Actually it's one of our trump cards and one we need to talk about more, but not in a hanger and flogger sense.

Davis in so many ways is a core vote conservative - He's an old fashioned husband, he's pro capital punishement, he's my father's generation, he's voted against gay rights, his policies focus on europe, tax 'cuts' and grammar schools - the stuff we were pushing four years ago, he sits in front of portaraits of Margaret Thatcher, he answers sexist questions, he struggles to express feelings and emotion, he is a conservative Conservative.

Some of my examples are trivial, some less so, but if we are looking for a consistent moderniser, I don't believe we've got it in David Davis.

Gareth

2001 was certainly a worse result than 1997. By 2001 the government was not nearly popular as Labour had been in 1997. There were sufficient disillusioned Labour voters and 'stay at home' tories for us to have increased our seat tally by 20 or so. Hague had a net gain of 1. Given that we won back Tatton, which ought never to have been lost, he actually replicated the 1997 result exactly.

Sean Fear


I don't think I'm important enough to be purged, Innocent.

Nelson, Norfolk

Mr Editor,

Are you planning to have a poll on your site?. It would be good to see at a glance the voting intentions of members and the readers of this site.

Once again thank you for keeping this excellent site up and running. Are you planning to keep it going after the leadership race is over?.

michael

What would be more interesting would be a poll showing who people are voting for this time and who they voted for last time, age and location.

I voted for Ken Clarke in 2001
I voted for David Cameron this time
I am 26
I'm a North East (City of Durham) activist.

Editor

Good idea Nelson. I'll put up a poll at midnight tonight.

And on the future of this site... I'm about to launch a discussion post or two on that very subject...

Thanks.

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