Has the tide turned for good?
It’s kind of ironic that as David Cameron rose to give his Spring Conference speech the sense of crisis surrounding the Conservatives sliding poll lead deepened. A poll for the Sunday Times showed the Conservatives lead at just 2% which is the lowest it has been for over two years. Despite the fact that the Conservatives remain ahead crisis is indeed the right word to describe the parties predicament. Significantly, the media narrative has shifted against the Party and Cameron himself. The same Sunday Times thunders ‘You cant airbrush this Dave’. Earlier in the week the Telegraph attacked Cameron and the Mail is a persistent nuisance as is Conservative Home whose prescription that Cameron isnt Conservative enough defies the other figures in todays poll:
The survey disclosed growing concerns about Cameron’s elite background and lack of empathy with ordinary families. Just 25% think that Cameron understands problems faced by “people like me”, compared with 35% for Brown.
Furthermore, only 28% think the Conservative leader wants to do the best for “all groups in Britain”, against 39% for the prime minister.
Furthermore, it revealed ‘BullyGate’ as having spectacularly backfired with only 28% believing Brown a bully. Not that the Conservatives have learnt their lesson as they reveal a new poster trying to show Brown and Darling as being divided – something that the New Statesman rightly says only ‘concerned the Westminster Village’. The more the Conservatives persist with these kind of attacks the more disconnected from reality they look.
It would be tempting from a Labour Party perspective to sit back and enjoy the show as the Conservatives commit blunder after blunder and their right-wing becomes increasingly vocal in its opposition to Cameron’s leadership. However, that would be the wrong approach – the voters still want their government to show it has a reinvigorated sense of purpose and that it is equal to the challenges presented by the economic climate. Now is the time to be radical and take the offensive against the faltering Conservatives; not to rest on our laurels.