Tag Archives: Tories

The Tories are panicking

28 Feb

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;

“I would say after doing 4½ years of this job, people have got to know me — not as much as I would like but there are some weeks still to go.”

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.

Update:

I just saw on sky news that theofficial 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.

What the Glasgow North East victory means for the General Election

13 Nov

Not much. I’ve noticed a lot of Labour activists getting excited and saying Labour is on its way back up. This may be true to an extent, but when you look at the details of the by-election, it isn’t that cut and dry. Willie Bain won with 12,231 votes which equates to a majority of 8,111. The SNP got silver with 4,120 votes. The Tories must be disappointed with just over 1,000 votes, the fact that they haven’t made a statement suggests they are trying to ignore it.

But regards to the importance of the outcome, Labour has more or less owned that seat for 74 years and the most recent 10 of those years have been effectively uncontested as Michael Martin was Speaker, thus the Tories and Lib-Dems didn’t stand against him. You couldn’t get more Labour heartland.

Also of interest is the turnout; a record low in a Scottish Parliament. We have no real way of knowing what the turnout at a General Election will be until we have one. This is obviously at the forefront of Labour thinking, Tom Watson MP has already tweeted that the no vote party were the clear winners of the day.

But the biggest issues that is of interest is that this was a battle between incumbents. Labour, who rules the roost nationally, versus the SNP who runs Hollyrood. Neither are particularly popular that is obvious, but this, in a way, was a referendum on one or the other. Labour won this round, as it did in Glenrothes. This suggests the SNP are on the nose of the local populace, more than Labour.

Potentially, this is good news for Labour as the Tories still aren’t going to be able to take that many seats in Scotland, no matter their showing in England. I’d also suggest Labour needs to base part of campaign on the fact that Cameron has said he wants to take away Scottish seats in Westminster. I don’t think the Scots would go for that without a promise of independence.

Scotland could appear to be a bit safer than it was about 12 months ago, which will mean Labour won’t have to spend its money and time trying to keep heartland seats at the expense of marginal seats in England and Wales.

Don’t get me wrong, Labour is going to have to work hard in Scotland and would be stupid to neglect it, but the fact that a Labour heartland seat didn’t fall to another party must be a relief to the electoral strategy team.

But, the fact remains, Labour still has a lot of work to do and according to the latest polls, they are still behind by 10 points, enough for a decent Tory majority in the House.

Is this the beginning of Labour’s revival, I struggle to see that it is and I think it is more of a realignment back to the status quo than anything else. I’ve said it before, I think the polls will come closer together, but let’s wait and see.

Thoughts?