As I lay here in my sickbed, unfortunately unable to canvass for Sadiq Khan and LCID, slowly going mad watching endless Law and Order and Scrubs, I’ve had the opportunity to read even more political articles than I would normally and it is clear that the Tories are in severe panic mode. Not just the doldrums and messaging meetings that you hear about in the media in general prior to today’s poll that saw them only two points ahead of Labour, but proper sweat inducing, palpitation creating, panic.
With the news of this poll, there is talk of them lurching to the right, looking scarily like the McCain 2008 campaign. McCain was known as a moderate and tried to appear so, but during the campaign, although somewhat earlier than Cameron is being called to, he had to lurch to the right to ensure he kept the base. There is significant pressure at the moment for Cameron to start campaigning heavily on tax cuts and immigration, sure signs of panic and dangerous ground to play, because all of a sudden you lose the moderates. There are even signs that some within the party have broken with Tory HQ and are already campaigning on immigration, without approval, but still in the name of Ministers.
There are even stories starting to question the leadership of Cameron, suggesting they would do better under Hague. It seems so long ago similar storylines were in print about Labour. Hoon and Hewitt seem a generation ago. The Conservative press are turning against the Tories and Cameron, they are spouting panic and that doesn’t help the them in the view of a very confused public who don’t know if they can trust him either. They certainly don’t know him.
There is a Cameron quote in the TimesOnline this morning;
Really, after 4 1/2 years he thinks a couple of weeks will make a difference? Surely that’s grasping at straws.
To be honest, credit where credit due, Cameron is doing the moral thing. I don’t like him, but he realises that the Tories of the far right isn’t where the party should be. And I hope he doesn’t go towards the immigration line and it appears he won’t, because that only gives credit to Griffin and the BNP’s argument.
The question is, is this a blip, or is this the Kinnock moment in 1992 that things went haywire for the Conservatives and they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. I sure hope so.
I just saw on sky news that the “official word from inside the Tory leader’s suite in the Metropole is that the latest poll setback “stiffens our resolve” and “blows out of the water their underdog strategy”. It is never a good sign when you are fighting for the underdog title, especially if you are still ahead in the polls as the Tories are, albeit by only two. points.