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Has Cameron Blow The Election?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Yes, a serious question. Do you think that Cameron has blown this election?

Back in Aug 2008 the polls showed that the Tories had over 20 point lead. Indeed, even as soon as Feb 09 he was polling nearly at nearly 50 whilst Labour were still in the mid 30% range. This lead has steadily declined ever since.

BBC Poll Tracker

All this at a time when the country faces it's worst economic crisis for over a generation, we're fighting an unpopular war, the incumbent Govt took us into a [possibly] illegal war and they have one of the most unpopular leaders many can remember.

We've also, for the first time, had three live TV debates, a forum which is supposed to be Cameron's strong point and a system which is reported to benefit challengers which is why most PMs in the past have declined to take part. Including Tony Blair.

Then compare this with 1997, where we had a good economic position and no wars. Look at the lead Blair had and the majority he was returned with - an unprecedented swing.

Surely Cameron should be walking it by now and why do you think he isn't?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not sure if hes blow it, but hes certainly should be doing better.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd hazard a guess the main reason he isn't is the rise of the Lib Dems.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bit early to say unless you know something we don't.;)

    However assuming they don't win it was the expenses scandal - it's led to anti-politician mood and pushed both Labour and Tory down to their core vote and allowed parties which the electorate see (wrongly) as non-politician to get to the forefront.

    Interestingly you name 1997 and Blair, when people felt that he was going to be this fresh idea and we'd head to the sunny uplands, hand in hand singing Jersusalem. In the end he was the same as any other PM, does some things right, some wrong, makes compromises and deal and is buffeted about by events which come from nowhere. Obama's turning out to be the same. Cameron is probably right in not overpromising, it might not help him, but another PM who overpromises and doesn't (can't) deliver would lead to greater cyncism of the political system, which benefits fringe parties like Respect and the BNP.

    The war is not an issue. Labour lost all the votes it was going to loose on that in 2005.

    The economy is double-edge - Brown may have helped get us into it, but he does seem to have played a (political) blinder with a weak hand (even if he dealt it himself). The third debate was interesting for the economic illeteracy displayed by all three candidates. I kept watching and each time Clegg opened his mouth he seemed to only have a recipe for wrecking the private sector, but Cameron seemed totally ineffective on taking him to task. he did a little better on Brown not understanding the difference between the UK economy and Government, but lacked a killer blow and failed to deal well with the inheritance tax question (personally I think they should take the one intelligent proposal from the Lib Dems on no income tax under £10k and drop the inheritance tax - at least until the economy has improved).

    On the TV debate the fact he was supposed to do well probably played against him in that he didn't perform as well as expected and Clegg's shameless attempt to present himself as anti-politician played well with the electorate
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah I think I agree with that. The Tories haven't covered themselves with glory over the economic crisis. They've either come across as making the wrong call, or being sat quietly on the sidelines without much to say. George Osbourne has been a massive weak link imo, and I think he comes across as being far too similar to Cameron. Meanwhile, Gordon Brown has come across as fairly competent in dealing with it, and Vince Cable seems to have been given this sort of sage status (well until the newspapers realised that they might be in with a shot, and now the Lib Dems will destroy the economy).

    But equally, a lot of this was always going to happen. People were angry with Labour, and the polls reflected that, but when it comes down to the crunch, a lot of them will still pick Labour over the Tories.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bit early to say unless you know something we don't.;)

    I used my time machine. I'd lend it to you but I broke it next week.
    However assuming they don't win it was the expenses scandal - it's led to anti-politician mood and pushed both Labour and Tory down to their core vote and allowed parties which the electorate see (wrongly) as non-politician to get to the forefront.

    I'd agree, but Labour have maintained their level throughout, it's only the Tories that lost support. Surely the Lib Dems have also been tarred with the same brush and therefore the swing towards them shouldn't have happened either.
    Interestingly you name 1997 and Blair, when people felt that he was going to be this fresh idea and we'd head to the sunny uplands, hand in hand singing Jersusalem. In the end he was the same as any other PM, does some things right, some wrong, makes compromises and deal and is buffeted about by events which come from nowhere. Obama's turning out to be the same. Cameron is probably right in not overpromising, it might not help him, but another PM who overpromises and doesn't (can't) deliver would lead to greater cyncism of the political system, which benefits fringe parties like Respect and the BNP.

    Change, change, change. Not really much different to Blair's campaign, just weaker. I think that's the real difference. If the election had been called 2 years ago, when Brown is supposed to have "bottled it" then Cameron would have had a significant lead. I suspect that they had geared themselves up for that and have lost momentum pretty much ever since...

    But yeah, all PMs end up the same. Good decisions, bad decisions etc
    Cameron seemed totally ineffective on taking him to task

    That's, kind of, my point. Totally ineefectual. Style, yes. Good PR, yes. No eal message and no challenge on the record of Labour.
    I think they should take the one intelligent proposal from the Lib Dems on no income tax under £10k and drop the inheritance tax

    Again, supports my point. What a terrible policy to have. Awful. So easy to target as being "elitist". Weakened him.
    On the TV debate the fact he was supposed to do well probably played against him in that he didn't perform as well as expected and Clegg's shameless attempt to present himself as anti-politician played well with the electorate

    Clegg did well in the first one because it was the first time people had a chance to actually hear him, alongside the other two. I think anyone following politics could have guess that would happen.

    So why did Cameron tank in the second and barely break ground in the economics of the third. He was once a Treasury minister too and you'd expect him to break ground there.

    Personally I think he's struggled to get his message and policies across. How many times was the big idea of "Big Society" mentioned after the launch, today it was "contracts". What Blair did so well was have a core message and he kept hammering it, right from the start.

    For once, I actually admire Alaistair Campbell for what he achieved in that regard.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    I'd agree, but Labour have maintained their level throughout, it's only the Tories that lost support. Surely the Lib Dems have also been tarred with the same brush and therefore the swing towards them shouldn't have happened either.

    I think the Lib Dems came out of the scandal far better than the other parties, to be fair. If only because they've got fewer MPs. But I think the Tories definitely had the headline grabbers. Not only that, but they were certainly the sort of scandals that damaged the new image that the Tories were trying to put across, like the moat cleaning, and probably contributed a lot to confirming people's prejudices about the Tory party.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    I'd agree, but Labour have maintained their level throughout, it's only the Tories that lost support. Surely the Lib Dems have also been tarred with the same brush and therefore the swing towards them shouldn't have happened either..

    If there was any justice I'd agree. But Labour weren't that far above their core support when the scandal hit (and are probably now down to 'I'd vote for a monkey as long as it has a red rosette' voters) and the Lib Dems have always been very skilful at painting themselves as anti-politicians (which is ironic as they're the most politician as opposed to policy led of the three parties)


    Change, change, change. Not really much different to Blair's campaign, just weaker. I think that's the real difference. If the election had been called 2 years ago, when Brown is supposed to have "bottled it" then Cameron would have had a significant lead. I suspect that they had geared themselves up for that and have lost momentum pretty much ever since...

    But yeah, all PMs end up the same. Good decisions, bad decisions etc

    But without the evangelaism of Blair. The message seems to be evolution, Blair's seemed to be a revolution

    That's, kind of, my point. Totally ineefectual. Style, yes. Good PR, yes. No eal message and no challenge on the record of Labour.


    I'd argue the other way round. Good message, lacklustre presentation. Unfortunately I've read all the manifestos (for work, rather than pleasure) Labour's message seems to be keep the Tories out or they'll do worse than we will, Lib Dems seems to be its buggins turn and now we want a try cos we couldn't do worse. The Tories actually have a clear message about rolling back the frontiers of the state, involving people in local decision making and pushing decision levels down. They are the only ones with a clear consistent story

    I think it was you that said we hadn't heard anything about Cameron's Big Society. I'd agree, piss poor PR that you don't play your key message which you've built your manifesto around.

    Again, supports my point. What a terrible policy to have. Awful. So easy to target as being "elitist". Weakened him.

    Absolutely agree. It made sense whenthey originall made inheritiance tax an issue and forced Labour to respond. The Tories should then have left well alone - they made a definite miscalculation thinking it would have Labour on the back foot again. It didn't.

    Clegg did well in the first one because it was the first time people had a chance to actually hear him, alongside the other two. I think anyone following politics could have guess that would happen.

    So why did Cameron tank in the second and barely break ground in the economics of the third. He was once a Treasury minister too and you'd expect him to break ground there.

    I think Clegg did well in the first because Cameron and Brown attacked each other, leaving him to appear the new 'challenger'. He didn't do so well in the second and third, forced to dance to the other's tune. And he was extremely poor on the immigration statistics and the way he massivley backtracked on Europe. He's being seen as a wonderkid - he isn't ; he's a populist who's good at playing the gallery.
    Personally I think he's struggled to get his message and policies across. How many times was the big idea of "Big Society" mentioned after the launch, today it was "contracts". What Blair did so well was have a core message and he kept hammering it, right from the start.

    I agree. Good message, shit presentation of it.
    For once, I actually admire Alaistair Campbell for what he achieved in that regard

    I totally admire Alastair Campbell. I may not like what he did, but he was a totally skilled professional
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    For me the big difference between 1997 and this election is that it seemed back then that people were voting for Labour, and now they are voting against by voting Tory.

    This is why I think the Lib Dems saw such a rise in popularity, people realised they didn't have to vote Tory if they wanted something different. Having said that there was a poll a while ago which suggested that about 45% of people would vote Lib Dem if they thought they would form the government so perhaps its just the third party bias which has kept them down.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    For me the big difference between 1997 and this election is that it seemed back then that people were voting for Labour, and now they are voting against by voting Tory.

    Exactly. Blair gave them something which they felt worth voting for, Cameron is playing on fear instead and it's not enough.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Exactly. Blair gave them something which they felt worth voting for, Cameron is playing on fear instead and it's not enough.

    Not sure that's totally true.

    In very simplistic terms left-wing thought believes in man's perfection and we can build a paradise on earth. Right wing thought believes in man's imperfection and the best we can do is produce institutions which bind us together and stop societal collapse (which is why Labour sing Jerusalem and the Tories, I vow to thee my country).

    Cameron could never go fully the Blair route because he probably doesn't believe it himself and his supporters certainly don't. He's not offering fear, but he's not offering nirvana.

    Blair got and stayed in because he appealled to the British people's idealism, Thatcher because she appealled to their pragmatism. Labour were loved under Blair, the Tories were respected under Thatcher and that's there normal position. Despite this being a right-wing country we never love the Tories, but they do well when we respect them. They weren't respected during the 90's and the question is whether they are respected enough now to get in.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    A youtube video on the tories:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKFTtYx2OHc

    I feel kind of bad just posting a link in here when there's lots of in depth debate going on, but I just had to share this video.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sera wrote: »
    A youtube video on the tories:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKFTtYx2OHc

    I feel kind of bad just posting a link in here when there's lots of in depth debate going on, but I just had to share this video.

    Amk i wrong in thinking you're a SNP MP / councillor? :confused:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    its not cameron that's losing it for the tories btw.

    it's the memory of thatcher.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    its not cameron that's losing it for the tories btw.

    it's the memory of thatcher.

    Memory of Major more like (or more accurately the memory the total hash his Government made of things)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Memory of Major more like (or more accurately the memory the total hash his Government made of things)

    Well, both of them are out of personal memory for me, so its rather the memories other people have.

    But there is a feeling of doom surrounding the tories. Sure, cameron looks nice, and talks the talk, but there is that looming dark cloud behind him - the question that; if we let the tories in - would they do it again? It's a scary but unnerving prospect which leads me to adapt the 'better the devil you know' mantra towards voting.

    Then again, I'm going to throw my vote at lib dem in this hopeless seat, as a vote for PR /and/ a protest vote. Win-win.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Well, both of them are out of personal memory for me, so its rather the memories other people have.

    But there is a feeling of doom surrounding the tories. Sure, cameron looks nice, and talks the talk, but there is that looming dark cloud behind him - the question that; if we let the tories in - would they do it again? It's a scary but unnerving prospect which leads me to adapt the 'better the devil you know' mantra towards voting.

    Then again, I'm going to throw my vote at lib dem in this hopeless seat, as a vote for PR /and/ a protest vote. Win-win.

    You mean save the country from economic ruin? I'm sure they would
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You mean save the country from economic ruin? I'm sure they would

    Even apologists for Thatcher can acknowledge she did a lot of harm as well, and there were certainly more 'tactful' ways to deal with the economy because the social fallout caused lasted for years and years in exchange for a quick turnaround for the economy. It's about a measured approach.

    Regardless as this may be making the thread tangental, you must admit that some people do 'fear' the tories and the memory of the tories and how it affected them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Even apologists for Thatcher can acknowledge she did a lot of harm as well, and there were certainly more 'tactful' ways to deal with the economy because the social fallout caused lasted for years and years in exchange for a quick turnaround for the economy. It's about a measured approach.

    Regardless as this may be making the thread tangental, you must admit that some people do 'fear' the tories and the memory of the tories and how it affected them.

    Actually I don't think that's true (I also like the word 'apologists'). The economy was in a mess and it was repaired (admittedly North Sea Oil and what it did to the pound didn't help exports suddenly became much more expensive). However, the real problem was that certain areas didn't want to reform, the councils liked having their old industry and hordes of Labour voters, so why bother with economic renewal which might result in a Tory vote.

    But yes I agree some people fear the Tories, but the other thing is that many others are hoping for them back. There does seem to be this myth growing up that Mrs Thatcher was hated by the entire population, which fails to explain why she won three elections and that the Tories then won the next one after she'd gone (though in retrospect it would probably have been best for them if they didn't, though it was lucky for Labour if not Kinnock)
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