02 May 2010

Cameron's biggest challenge

One of the more astute comments made during the campaign came from Peter Hyman, a former strategist for Tony Blair, on Newsnight last week:
At the moment the Tories are polling the same as [the former leader] Michael Howard. They've had all this modernisation but they are at roughly the same level as they were five years ago – that's the story of this campaign.
Indeed so, but the momentum does appear to be finally moving the Tory party's way.  All the little problems with selling the "Big Society" message have been quietly forgotten.

Unless the voters haven't declared their true intentions to the pollsters, Cameron will get over the line, either alone or with the help of Nick Clegg.  The Lib Dem leader has all ready given the green light to the Tories by saying the party who gets the the most seats or votes will have the "moral right" to govern.

The fact remains, however, that Cameron will be not carried on the nation's shoulders into Downing Street.  There is no real enthusiasm for the Tories.  Whatever the result, Cameron will become Prime Minister without a convincing mandate.  He may well have to govern with a small majority and return to the hustings within a year to eighteen months.

Cameron said this morning on Marr that "the style of government I aspire to is one of quiet effectiveness".  He will need more than that.  He has got to show persuasive leadership as he takes the country through the savage cuts in public expenditure, not to mention the tax rises.

His biggest challenge will be to keep the patient content as he prescribes the bitter pills that have to be swallowed.  If he fails in that, the authority of his government could fall away very quickly.


  1. I love the way that Labour spin doctors say that the story is the Tories only polling the same as 2005, not the fact that Labour are going to have their worst result for 80 years.

    Probably explains why even the LibDems can out poll them.

  2. In response to NonnyMouse, it really is remarkable that the Tories have not pulled further away, given that time for a change would inevitably have a big pull after thirteen years, Cameron is a cuddlier type of Tory and that's not mentioning the financial situation.

    Who knows yet whether Labour will do as badly as you say. Labour and the Lib Dems are both currently on the same(ish) poll figure. Both combined would sweep away the Tories.

    Are we in 1983/7, where the Tories sail through the middle or will the Lib Dems beat the Tories where it matters and Labour do likewise. The anti-Tory vote has been pretty efficiently sorted out since 1997.

    Answer - as of now, who knows. The two polls tonight show the Tories on 33% - not good from their point of view.

  3. No one knows for sure what is going on, but I would discount any polls over a bank holiday weekend. I was rather surprised there were two night. The pollsters should know better. Wait until Tuesday night.