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Saturday, October 08, 2005

The tide is not for turning

Martin Kettle in the Guardian this morning writes that the Conservative Conference has started to turn the tide in their favour. However, there is a catch:

But the die is not yet cast. The Tories are massing on the banks of the Rubicon without yet having crossed it. There is still a lot to do. The polls remain very bad - the Tories have flatlined for a decade and more, only rarely hoisting their ratings above 35%. A survey by Populus in the Times this week underlined how much work they have to do to persuade the undecideds. Three out of four non-Tory voters think the Tories would not do a good job of running the country. The same proportion think the Tories are stuck in the past.

Turning those numbers around will be neither easy nor quick. It will take more than a good conference and a few days of media approval even to begin the process, much less complete it. The whole thing could unravel as easily as it has briefly cohered at the conference this week. In particular, the leadership contest could produce a result that could sap much of the energy that has been generated at Blackpool.

Essentially, he argues that the Tories need to elect David Cameron to have any chance of turning things around and yet the way things are going they may well end up with Liam Fox. Even if they get the leadership right it is unlikely that they will win a majority in 2009. The only thing for it is to start to demolish some long-held shibboleths - such as their opposition to electoral reform for example:

And even then they need to be realistic. Some Tories left Blackpool under the impression that it was next stop Downing Street. Even if they make the right call this autumn, the Tories need to understand that their most realistic goal in 2009 is probably to remove Labour's majority. A hung parliament is likely to be as good as it gets for the Tories next time. But to get into government they would need to talk about electoral reform to the Liberal Democrats. That hardly seems the Tory mood of the moment. I counted just 23 people, none of them a sitting MP, at the lunchtime fringe meeting on electoral reform this week. It was a conference to remember. But now it's back to earth.

Thank goodness they have left key decisions like these in the hands of their members. If they continue to act true to form it will be 2019 before the Tories get a sniff of power once more!
personnally i would agree with that article.

clark, and rifkin, although good politicians will be too old for the 2014 election (the one after next) when the conservative party is next likly to gain power.

David Cameron is the option for a long term leader so they dont have to have another leadership contest after the 2009(?) election.

david davies although hes fantastic in parliament, he showedat the conference he was a not so good in other settings and during an election you have to be good everywhere.

liam fox, is it? i dont really know much about him seems quite able though.
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