Monday, 1 March 2010

Conservative Lead Still Falling..A Stream of Consciousness

The opinion polls this weekend were deeply worrying. The Conservatives were down to a 2% lead - miles away from a decent majority. They will probably lift a bit with positive coverage of the Spring Forum but they are still going to be a long way from where they should be to secure a decent working majority.

So what is going wrong?

Here's my analysis:

1) Posh Trouble - There is a very pervasive feeling that the Conservatives still represent a potential government that would act for the benefit of the privileged - there is an impression of elitism. The Labour 'A Future Fair For All' slogan is a recognition of this FACT. It is being used because it implies unfairness in the competition and plays to the concerns of the majority of the electorate.

2) Too Much Detail and No Vision - The Conservatives have made lots of policy announcements but there is little vision - i.e. What Britain under a Conservative government look like, sound like, feel like. In the absence of this, it is easy for the concerns outlined in point 1 to resonate. They need to sell the sizzle not the sausage. Too much Feature not enough Advantage and Benefit (FAB).

3) Media Problems - The media seems hostile. ITV news tonight led on the Ashcroft story. Frankly this is not worthy of top billing even on a slow news day. There is a big 'relationship with the media' problem here. I suspect the ridiculous blue smoke stung the eyes of too many in the media.

What should they do?

Well. Manage the media a lot better, outline a real, substantial, positive vision and demonstrate a real commitment to fairness and equality of opportunity.

Frankly I think it is unlikely that the UK electorate will vote for a Cameron government if the Conservative leadership fail to deal with the 'privilege' issue head on. Some 'objections' can be ignored. But the privelege thing cannot. It has to be attacked head-on, confronted, confounded and overturned.

Cameron's speech at the weekend was good but not good enough. It was too contrived, not blunt enough - not straightforward. He admitted to being a 'salesman' and he sounded like a not particularly good one. He needs to be more real, more down-to-earth, more gritty, more genuinely angry, more honest, more determined, more inspirational, more steely, more compassionate, more will-full..

Otherwise project Cameron will probably fail and very possibly, so will this nation.


Stuart MacLeod CC said...

'Sell the sizzle and not the steak'.
That's it exactly luv.
You'd imagine they'd have someone with some marketing experience at Central Office. But I sense it's more like 'Tough on marketing, tough on the causes of marketing' at present.
Nobody - activists and voters alike - knows what the bloody message is!

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