Friday, October 02, 2015

Lord Ashcroft on the Conservative opportunity

I was not very happy about a certain book, but it would be childish to respond by ignoring everything Lord Ashcroft says because whatever your view of him, he remains an exceptionally shrewd political observer and a lot of what he says is both backed up by hard polling evidence and makes sense.

(Given what a mess the pollsters made of the general election, I am currently taking polling results with a much larger degree of scepticism than before, but where polling evidence is both strong, makes logical sense, and fits what people are saying to me, then there is a good chance it is right.)

Anyway, Lord Ashcroft has an extremely well-argued piece on Conservative Home today,

"Corbyn's disinterest in winning back voters is an opportunity the conservatives must not squander."

It is worth reading in it's entirety, but here is an extract:

"It becomes clearer as time goes on that for Corbyn and his followers – no doubt to the despair and bewilderment of most of his party in parliament – building the coalition of voters they would need to win a general election is simply not on the agenda. Watching Corbyn’s speech you would never know his party had just lost a general election (though you might well suspect it was about to do so).

"Instead of trying to answer the question “why should Britain trust Labour to govern again?”, he just changed the subject.

"All of which will add to the Tories’ high spirits as they gather in Manchester and prepare to give David Cameron the rapturous welcome his victory warrants. But however pleased with themselves they may all deservedly feel, they must take care not to show it. The tone should be one of business as usual: getting on with the job, delivering on the policies on which they were elected.

"They should take the lead from Cameron’s promise, made in Downing Street on the morning after his triumph, that the Conservatives would govern “as a party of one nation, one UK”, and to ensure that the recovery “reaches all parts of our country, from north to south, east to west”.

"What could distract from that message? A long, noisy, self-indulgent row about Europe, a subject that Tories have always found more engrossing than anyone else. Any evidence that the Tories think no serious opposition means no need to be accountable. Anything, above all, to suggest that the party takes the next election, and therefore the voters, for granted.

"Despite the clear contrast people saw between the parties in May, many voted Tory only reluctantly. The doubts about the party’s motivations and priorities that had put them off before have not gone away completely. Over the next five years, then, those reluctant Conservatives could become reconciled, or resentful."

You can read the full article here.


Jim said...

What is there to argue about Europe?
its as nonsensical as having a huge argument about Africa or about Mars.

Chris Whiteside said...

Indeed, but there is the little matter of a referendum coming up on Britain's membership of the EU.

The party is going to have a big argument about that, and it cannot be avoided. Nor should it - our relationship with the EU is a huge issue and people don't all agree, and the whole point of the referendum was to lay the issues out so the people of this country can decide which path we should take.

What the Conservative party can and should avoid is conducting that argument in an unconstructive way, accusing those who take a different view of being liars, traitors, fools etc.

Jim said...

Yes there is a massive debate about the European Union, and the UK's membership of that. I agree 100%.
Currently we dont have a Relationship with the EU, we are a part of the EU. so its like you having a "relationship with your right foot", its pretty nonsensical.
we either want to be a part of the political EU or we do Not, its as simple as that, the single market never comes into it, no one is suggesting we should abandon that