After pleading with the Daily Mail yesterday to support the Tory cause, Tim Montgomerie has an additional problem on his plate this morning.
The Telegraph, once such a loyal supporter of the ‘blue corner’, leaks remarks Michael Heseltine made at a private function:
If I was a betting man, my money would be on the election resulting in a hung parliament with David Cameron as Prime Minister.
Just why these comments are the lead story is rather a mystery. The Tory party, after their performance of recent weeks, don't need to be warned about complacency . In any case, Heseltine has said it all before.
Such is life.
Rather more significant is the latest YouGov poll:
CON 39%(nc), LAB 33%(+1), LDEM 17%(-1)
The point here is that Labour's share of the vote is creeping up.
Mike Smithson makes this point:
The 33% share means that Labour has only lost one voter in twelve since the 2005 general election.
More worrying for Team Cameron are the various noises off from within his own party:
One senior MP said last night: “The inner circle can crow all they like about how well they are doing, but the elephant in the room is the polls. Cameron spent last week talking about sexualisation of children and nine-year-old girls in suspenders, when there are much more important issues he should be talking about.”
Another backbencher said: “Cameron and his team are panicking. We are not over the line yet. They are trying to mumble their way to the general election, playing it safe, when what people want is real passion.”
Iain Martin makes the point that part of the Tories problem is their lack of experience in fighting elections. Up to point, Lord Copper. There is a wider issue.
The reason why Cameron, unlike Blair in 1997, doesn't have the election won before the campaign starts, is that the public’s perceives that the Tory party hasn't changed. The recent foolish remarks by Nicholas Winterton’s demonstrate this.
Cameron has had four years to sort his party and supporters out. He has failed to do this. They should be united at this time and not having pointless debates about cuts.
The other day we discussed the historical parallel with the 1970 general election that Gordon Brown needs to avoid.
Perhaps, though, the 2010 election will mirror 1964, when the Labour party had to overturn a large Tory majority. Labour narrowly won, in the main due to the political skills of Harold Wilson, leading a disunited party against the worn-out Tories, who had been in power for 13 years.
It would appear that Cameron will have to attempt to repeat Harold Wilson remarkable single-handed achievement of all those years ago.