Desperate times…desperate measures…
It’s reassuring to see the Conservative Party responding to its current crisis by doing completely the wrong thing. Tim Montgomerie writes on Conservative Home that ‘CCHQ has approved a strong immigration message’ in key marginal seats’. No doubt they are a little rattled by the latest polling which shows the gap narrowing not just nationally but also in key marginal seats.
Paul Waugh at the Evening Standard thinks this will cause Labour some panic. However, I disagree. Maybe it is true that the Conservatives enjoy a poll advantage over Labour on this issue. However, the Conservatives have made the issue a center-piece of previous General Election campaigns which they have lost.
Put simply, rather oddly, the Conservative Party is now pursuing a ‘core vote’ strategy. Much play was made at the Spring Conference of the prospect of tax cuts and now this. If this message is not sounding familiar then people have short memories. An anti-immigration message may play well with the Conservative Home gallery but it’s simply not something people feel strongly enough about to switch their vote over and if they do they have two rabidly anti-immigration parties in UKIP and the BNP to choose from.
This is yet yet another badly thought through piece of propagandism from the Conservatives who seem to think they can run a ‘cut the deficit’ message at the same time as proposing a crackdown on immigration which would cost a fortune. Given that this is something that was removed from being a headline issue to demonstrate how the Party has allegedly changed it also illustrates how little that is true. This latest move should, in fact,be a cause for delight in Labour circles; not panic because it illustrates how bereft the Conservatives are of ideas and how deep their current crisis actually is.