07 September 2009

Proof that the fight is worth it

The Telegraph has a timely poll this morning with more hard evidence that Cameron is far from ‘sealing the deal’ with the voters:

Nearly two thirds of those questioned were unconvinced about whether there was substance behind Mr Cameron’s words. More than half agreed that it was hard to know what the Tories stood for at the moment.

To win a majority the Tories need to hold every seat they won in 2005 and then find a further 117. Not since 1931 have they made that many gains.

The swing from Labour also needs to be 6.9 per cent. The previous best was 5.4 per cent in Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 triumph. Mr Cameron must instead look for inspiration to Tony Blair, whose swing of 10.2 per cent in 1997 was a record.

Ironically, it the legacy of Thatcher’s industrial policy that has left Cameron with his biggest headache:

A geographical divide also showed that Labour still polled better in the North, with only 33 per cent of voters backing the Tories compared with 35 per cent backing Labour. With few Tory gains expected in Scotland and only marginally more in Wales, Mr Cameron needs to improve his standing outside the South to secure a majority that would enable the Conservatives to govern comfortably.

John Rentoul neatly deals with the Hopi Sen silliness as we wait for answers to the questions posed.  Whatever, the message from this poll to Labour MPs is clear.  The fight is worth the candle, as Jon Cruddas will say tomorrow

How long before the penny finally drops?

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  1. Haven't we been saying for months that Cameron needs to radically up his game? They don't seem to be listening do they.

  2. He does and he will. My point is that there is not the wave of enthusiasm for Cameron that there was for Blair in 1997. That is why Labour should fight.

  3. It will certainly change the game if Labour have a new dynamic leader, with a fresh team.

    Cameron is going along believing he will win because his is not Gordon Brown. It is just not good enough.

    He has surrounded himself with his clique made up, in the main, of public school chums. Now that in itself is not a crime, but to ignore the abilities of the likes of John Redwood, Raffkind, Howard, and not to put Ken Clarke in as shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, beggars belief.

    His shadow cabinet is mainly staffed by people who should have been sacked over the expenses scandal. They are also totally unknown outside westminster.

    If Brown goes I believe that Cameron will lose the election. I do not think he has the strength of character to sack people close to him, and he has not shown me any semblence of knowledge of 'leadership'. A pretty smile, a bending over to whichever way the wind is blowing on all matters and a marriage with political correctness.

    The Country needs a leader, one who will make tough decisions. Sorry, I do not believe Cameron has got it.

  4. Cameron may navigate his way into Westminster, but once there he will regret his lack of vision once he starts taking hits from backbenchers.

    Oh, and I don't blame those in the north for never cnsidering Tory after Thatcher.

  5. I wrote you a long comment on Saturday night but , it got eated - oh well.

    Anyway, here is a precis of that response. My main problem with your aproach, tactically, is that it makes little or no sense in terms of what is needed to achieve it's objectives.

    You act as if what is required is merely suffiecient external force on Gordon Brown, and so end up with increasingly unlikely scenarios in which this force os brought to bear - a majority of the PLP, the entirity of the cabinet, an emergency conference, whtever is the latest outlandish strategem du jour, while all the time the obvious is ignored. So while in June it was 70 MPs to start a leadership contest, now it's 175 to vote through a PLP motion, or a cabinet that has publicly backed the leader making themselves look like fools by publicly reversing on that in order to annoint... someone who's said he wou'dn't do any better and risking splitting the Labour party asunder in the process. As the mechanics of removing a sitting labour leader get ever harder, the scenarios dreamt up get ever more extreme and unlikely.

    Here's my response - If you want Gordon Brown to no longer lead the Labour party, you need to find a way to make that option acceptable to him, to make handing over power to a new leader not a defeat but simply a recognition of political reality made by a man with a great love of the Labour party who has had to struggle with incredible political burdens.

    Reading your posts, it sometimes strikes me that you seek to bludgeon, when only diplomacy stands a chance of getting what you want.

    Anyway my answer to your 4 questions.
    1 I'm never certain about anything in politics
    2. It certainly makes it harder, a good reason not to aid and abet.
    3. "In whatever shape and form"? That phrasing makes the question meaningless. Are you actually talking about the entire cabinet or some members thereof? What d you mean by "revolt" - publicly or privately?
    4. I don't think so - but there's no doubt morale is low at the moment. Though I do note the irony of today's Jackie Asley's article railing against defeatism which concludes "Labour cant stop defeat". Needs a better editor, imo.

  6. I not going back and revisiting the mechanics. I have been over that many times. Obviously a formula has to acceptable to Brown.

    I am still not clear by reading your blog and the above, whether you think Brown can win? You dance around the subject too much, which is the Labour party's problem as well.