Monday, December 7, 2009

Situation remains foggy

Both the Times and ConHome headline the latest Populus poll as showing, most importantly, that Labour's class war attack on David Cameron and his background leaves voters cold. Peter Riddell in the Times says: "David Cameron rides out Labour's 'toff' attack", while Jonathan Isaby on ConHome gets garrulous: "Tory lead 8% in new Populus poll which shows voters unenthused by Labour's class warfare". Well, yes. The only problem is that this does not show voters enthusing about the Conservatives either as a number of commenters have pointed out.

At this stage of the game, six months or so away from the election, in the middle of a serious financial crisis, towards the end of the third term of a highly unpopular government, the official opposition cannot muster more than 40 per cent and often, as in this case, less.

It is true that the majority seems remarkably unfazed by the hardly secret fact that Cameron was at Eton. Blair had been at Fettes and the Labour Party has a few public school boys and girls. Harriet Harman, for instance, comes from a very posh background and was educated at St Paul's Girls' School, which is not your average comprehensive. She just does not seem to have done much with the excellent education that school provides.

So it is official: class war resonates with very few people these days. That's the good news. The rest of the news is a little hard to analyze. In fact, it is all befogged. Opinion polls move one per cent here, two per cent there but none of that detail is important. These are all within the error margin. The fact that 12 per cent said that they would vote for some other party ought to cause some concern to the big guys, particularly, as I suspect a majority of that is talking of voting UKIP.

As things stand, Conservatives will probably be the largest party in the House of Commons after the next election. Whether that will mean an overall majority is now questionable, particularly as that gap is likely to narrow even more with the approach of polling day. Will there be a hung Parliament or a minority government? Anything is possible on the basis of recent figures even a surge in Tory support. Possible but not very likely unless the Conservative leadership abandons its self-righteous vacuity and comes up with some reasons why people should vote for them. A referendum on the European Union or, at least, the Constitutional Lisbon Treaty would be a start.


  1. wonderfulforhisageDecember 8, 2009 at 8:38 AM

    Do wake up boy. This is the MODERN Conservative Party. They have been rebranded. No ties, no referendum, no policies and, most important, electable - aren't they?

  2. "Self righteous vacuity" is a very good description of Cameron's leadership. Of course, he ticks most of the chatterati's boxes, which is why he was elected leader in the first place. Problem is the 'old', 'hated', 'nasty' Tories were right all along about crime, society, economics, immigration and some, at least, about the EU and Lisbon.

  3. People in glass houses should not throw stones. I would far rather see an ex public school boy in government than an ex stalinist! See The roots of New Labour. What is wrong with our media, why don't they explain exactly what it meant to be an extreme left winger in the Cold War? These Labour ministers were evil by their own choice when they were younger, not sent there by their parents.

    Of course, I'd rather not see either Brown or Cameron governing the UK.