Conservative Home's debate blogs


  • DVD rental
  • Conservative Books
My Photo

Conservative blogs

Blog powered by Typepad

  • Tracker 2
  • Extreme Tracker

« William Hague interviews the two Davids | Main | Editorial: The Cameron Coalitions »


James Hellyer

The ICM poll destroys claims that Cameron is somehow able to engage with and interest the electorate. Cameron alone is clearly not the answer. If the party is looking for a magic bullet, it had better start looking elsewhere.

Oh, and I agree with Tim that Andrew Marr is a rubbish interviewer. He doesn't really push his guests and just lets them trot out their soundbite of choice (Cameron really shouldn't still be using that proceeds of growth formulation, because any competent interviewer will no point out how meaningless it is).

Mike Smithson

In fact this poll is substantially better for Davis and Cameron than the last similar survey by Communicate Research in the IoS on October 15th. Then when asked to choose between a Brown-led Labour and a Davis led Tory party the split was 45-26. With Cameron the figures were 44-26.

I was heavily critical of the CR survey because this was a forced question without reference to the Lib Dems or any other party.

Bearing in mind the dangers of comparing different polls from different pollsters margins of 7-8% seem much better for the Tories than the 18-19% of three weeks ago.

James Hellyer

That probably has something to do with the last few weeks having been rather bruising ones for the government.

James Hellyer

I note that this Telegraph article rehashes the already debunked Willetts defection accusations. You'd almost think that Melissa Kite has an agenda...

Graham D'Amiral

Electing the right leader is the start of a Conservative revival, not proof that the job is done. So I'm not too disheartened by these polls they do however illustrate the enormity of the task.

What is clear though if Davis or Cameron win they will carry that third of the electorate easily, there's no sense either will go backwards in that regard, so we need to concentrate on what we need to do to get our poll rating up to and beyond 40%. Now I'm not convinced the way to do that is to "shout a bit louder", we need to have a different conservative argument not just a more confident familiar one.


Off the topic but did anyone catch that repellant Prime Minister of ours on "Football Focus" just now? Shirt Buttons open to the navel, dropping his H's again, and on their sofa talking about Newcastle United of all things whilst the nation remains in a state of crisis.

Is their no limit to this man's shame?

Very funny though to see him pretending to know about football as we've grown accustomed to him pretending to know about everything else! (and follow the link)

Nice smear attempt James, Melissa Kite being a journalist couldn't possibly have an opinion could she? Evidently not.


Graham, shouting louder will never win the argument, but starting early and repeating a consistent well thought through policy is much more likely to succeed. Both Davids could win it for us, providing they are able to stick to their game plan and involve the front bench in a team effort. We must be a government-in-waiting.

James Hellyer

That's brave of you "anonymous".

The Telegraph - and Melissa Kite - in particular have been pushing fake DD defection stories for days now. We've already had it confirmed on this blog that they lied about Andrew Mackay, and claimed he refused to comment when he'd actually spoken to them to deny the story. Similarly the Willetts story was rebutted last week. Kite has revivied it, not to report the facts, but to try and imply that Davis's cam is in disarray. That's her agenda, not the news agenda.

So go and cower behind your veil of anonynimity.

James Hellyer

"Electing the right leader is the start of a Conservative revival, not proof that the job is done"

That's not what Cameron told Nick Robinson before the third MPs ballot! When pushed on what changes he could make to improve the Conservatives fortunes, the only one he could name was making him leader.

Kate Castle

"Cameron alone is clearly not the answer"

Of course not, no-one alone is. But he is the better choice as figurehead of the party.

Truth is that as improved as Davis has been, he offers little that we haven't tried before - slightly different takes on the issues we've lost elections on.

While Cameron's determination not to state firm policies is frustrating it does make some sense too. At the moment half the party aren't contributing to his ideas, when the contest is over then the division stops and Davis etc. can have their input and we can create Conservative policy but with a far more electable leader.

I hope Cameron does do Newsnight, it will be a useful experience and he is capable of doing well on it.

James Burdett

Graham, agree shouting louder would be a disaster. We do need a new dynamic in the party, and to talk about issues that have been appropriated by the left. What for instance is a Conservative Gay rights agenda, what about a Conservative agenda on Work life balance. We need to show a new Conservativs social agenda and that might have short term cost as certain people adjust to the new reality.


If we focus on gay rights we will be playing into the hands of Labour and Lib Dems. Even DC has not given this issue prominence. Social issues as part of an overall strategy to improve quality of life I agree. DC admitted himself that the party could win without carrying out his agenda, when interviewed by Andrew Marr this morning.

Cllr Iain Lindley

There's a difference between "focusing" on an issue, and acknowledging an issue and having a policy. Agreeing or disagreeing with something doesn't mean you think it is the most important thing.

The most obvious example of this is Europe. For the most part we have hit the right notes on Europe - most of the country agrees with us broadly at least. However, rather than acknowledging this, keeping the policy and moving on to things people cared more about, we banged the drum, over and over. This put voters off.


Back to the ICM poll - interesting in the detatl the Cameron/Brown scenario squeezes the Lib Dem vote down to 16% (18% if its DD) - seems to show many ex Lab LDs going back to Brown led Labour Party and ex Tories coming home. to DC led Tory Party Bad news where we won seats on increased LD showing but good where we could roll back the LDs.

James Hellyer

The detail is more encouraging than the similar polls that were concudcted featuring Ken Clarke. They showed that we could win people from the Lib Dems, but at the expense of losing current voters to fringe parties. Cameron doesn't seem to be having the wedge effect that Clarke did on his own electorate. Of course, this will be largely due to the "blank slate" effect. It has been noted that relatively little is known about Cameron's beliefs and positions, so people are reading in their own beliefs as being his. Obviously as more is known about what he actually stands for, people will find hime more or less attractive based on his own merits.

Henry Cook

I was reassured by DC on Marr's show this morning - a harder edge I thought, a sharper glint in his eye. I also thought DD did very well again.

If DC refuses Paxman it will be a serious error of judgement - I trust he won't.

James Burdett

When I mentioned Gay rights I did so in the sense that we should be articulating distinct agendas on social issues rather than modified Left approaches. Obviously the topic I picked is a fringe concern, but we need to emphasise the social aspect of right wing thinking which has gone awol in recent years.

Taxation and the relative balance of tax policy is as much a social policy as an economic one. We need to carve out a credible narrative of what type of cohesive society Conservatives are aiming at and then specific ideas as to how that is acheived.

Selsdon Man

The polls show that we will continue to flat-lint at 33%, i.e. our general election vote, until the new leader can reach out beyond that core vote. Brown's lead is inflated by Labour voters returning to the fold after voting Lib Dem in protest against the war.

Those Lib Dem votes were responsible for us gaining many seats. May's result must be seen as a huge disappointment. We have no reason to gloat.

James Maskell

TB on Football Focus, sweating like hell again. He cant even keep control of himself let alone his government!

Just watched the Sunday AM interviews. DD did OK but did stutter and pause a bit. Still, cant complain too much. DC did OK but I still stand unperturbed about him. He also cant deal with jokes or asides. It throws him off. Bouncing around on that chair when Marr cracked a joke. Very srange. Brought back memories of the infamous bear-hug. Cameron wasnt ready for that and he looked like a rabbit in a cars headlights.

James Hellyer

Yeah, it is quite noticeable that Cameron is unhappy when things aren't stage managed. One thing he really needs to do is show that he can operate without a script and can actually think on his feet.

Sally Rideout Baker

"One thing he really needs to do is show that he can operate without a script and can actually think on his feet"

Where have you been the last week?

Nicholas Soames, John Maples, Francis Maude, Andrew Mackay, John Bercow, Douglas Hogg, Michael Portillo and Crispin Blunt were those named as responsible for the deselection of Iain.

One must also suspect that Davis and Howard had a hand in it.

Iain had got 5% ahead of Labour and was still ahead when Portillo dealt his devastating blow.

"This is all about revenge," said one Tory backbencher.

Portillo had already “lost the plot” in 1997 when he lost one of the safest seats in the country; Enfield Southgate. That mainly over a scandal of the selling of the Conservative Association's HQ in Winchmore Hill to McDonalds in 1996 for a drive-through restaurant! He had claimed to know nothing about it!

We are two years down the line – and no further forward.

David Davis gave way to Howard in the expectation that Howard would do better.

I am sure Iain would have done far better than Howard. In fact Howard never even got ahead of Labour that I remember!

As we can expect Davis to do no better than Howard, there is no point in voting for him at all.


Did anyone else notice the ghastly 'news' jacket sported by Sarah Sands? Absolutely not approporiate attire for an editior of the Sunday Telegraph.

James Hellyer

"Where have you been the last week?"

Watching Question Time and the Channel 4 news, where Cameron was repeatedly wrongfooted by questioning, or watching Sunday AM where his performance was more polished, but where he still looked uncomfortable with anything spontaneous.

James Hellyer

"Did anyone else notice the ghastly 'news' jacket sported by Sarah Sands? Absolutely not approporiate attire for an editior of the Sunday Telegraph."

She was obviously inspired by the ghastly new look Sunday Telegraph! Her "editor's introduction" was almost enough to make me bin the paper.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About Conservative Home


  • Conservative Home's
    free eMailing List
    Enter your name and email address below: