For all of that, the electorate does not appear to be turning to the Tories or showing any marked affection for the Boy-King of the Party. Anne McElvoy in the Evening Standard finds it all very hard to understand and thinks nobody can else can do so either. By nobody she means nobody in the Westminster bubble that she operates in. Lots of other people outside it can see what the problem is and have noticed that the Boy-King's popularity started plummeting about the time he reneged on his cast-iron guarantee for a referendum on the
Post-bullygate the opinion polls remain stubbornly bad. As ToryBoy blog reports: Tory lead stuck at 6%. That, as someone pointed out to me recently, is almost statistical parity. Things are not good in Toryland and trotting out Daniel Hannan MEP, the token eurosceptic politician is not going to help. In fact, it is not helping. As usual just before an election, Our Dan is everywhere, YouTube, Brighton Tea Party organized by the Freedom Association (surely the whole point of those tea-parties is that politicians did not address them till quite a long way into the movement), all sorts of meetings. It did not work at the Euros; it is unlikely to work in the General.
When one looks at those figures closely, one can see something interesting. Both Labour and Conservatives are down 1 per cent yet the Lib-Dims stay unchanged. Where have those percentages gone? On my reckoning this poll leaves 13 per cent unaccounted for. That is rather a lot of people in a closely fought election. Is nobody trying to find out where they are and what is to be done about them? Any chance of having a break-down of the smaller parties and the don't knows in future?
The Tories, however, are not wasting any time on analyzing such matters. Instead, they are busy assuring themselves that somewhere at the heart of the bad news there is some very good news. Jonathan Isaby helpfully produces lots of figures and swings to show that the Tories are going to do a lot better than the overall country-wide opinion polls indicate. There is no arguing with the proposition that swings are not uniform and certain parts of the country are likely to go more in the Conservative direction than others.
Even these figures are not what one might call absolutely reassuring, especially as the trend does not seem to be in that direction. So, time to call into action the reserve troops, a.k.a. Conservative supporting journalists who will tell us that secretly the party is everything we want it to be.
Step forward Damian Thompson in the Daily Telegraph, who tells us solemnly that Three quarters of Tory candidates want to renegotiate UK's relationship with EU. The only thing that shows is that three quarters of those candidates have no idea still that we do not have a relationship with the EU; we are part of the EU and we are legally bound to obey all its directives and regulations as well as the decisions of the ECJ. Why would anybody want to vote for a bunch of ignoramuses?