The Corner

Cameron Honeymoon Over?

David Cameron’s honeymoon with the British electorate appears to be over.  After two polls from MORI that gave Tony Blair’s Labour Party a one-point lead, now Communicate Research gives Blair a two point lead over Cameron.  Given that Tony Blair is incredibly unpopular in the UK at the moment, this has to be bad news for the green Conservatives.  I supported Cameron for the leadership because I thought he recognized that Conservatism had to be rebranded and remarketed to appeal to a new segment of voters – those, for example, who want a “fair” world.  Conservatives policies do deliver that – school choice, for example – so it should have been a relatively minor task to focus on that.  Yet Cameron, rather than rebranding and remarketing Conservative principles, appears to a large extent to have junked those principles.  There is precious little left for those of us from the Liberal Unionist tradition in the party – patrician Toryism appears to be back with a vengeance.  Yet it is a patrician Toryism that seems soft to the voters.  You could rely on old fashioned Tory patricians to be tough on criminals and stalwart in the defense of the realm, yet Cameron’s patricians are seen as soft on crime (“hug a hoodie” – for hoodie, read mugger) and weak on national security.  That’s why the working class vote and the male vote has swung decisively against Cameron in this poll.  It will be an uphill struggle to regain it.

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