Sunday, February 28, 2010
Tory lead collapsing? posted by Richard Seymour
Another thing to bear in mind is that Yougov has consistently given Labour a better rating than other polls such as Angus Reid and ICM in the recent period. On the other hand, Yougov also has a reputation for accuracy as a result of more closely predicting election results than other agencies, so my suspicion is that the Tory leads have been exaggerated in other polls. Also of interest is the fact that on several important indicators, particularly the economy, the Tories have lost a hard-won advantage. The attacks on Tories as spending slashers, upper class scum, millionaires out to reduce taxes on the rich, etc., is working. 'Class war', though denounced by the Tories, some Blairites, and every respectable newspaper columnist and leader-writer in the land, is an effective electoral strategy.
Interestingly, the Tories may have been following the advice of MigrationWatch in pushing some dog-whistling about immigration, despite strenuous denials that the issue is a central theme of theirs. Essentially, they want to allow the grass-roots to use the issue as much as possible, without tarnishing the national campaign with racism in the way that the disastrous 2005 campaign was. Previous polling shows that this is the one issue on which a plurality trusts the Tories to do what the majority want. They don't trust them to fix schools, look after the NHS or represent all groups in society equitably (whatever that would mean). But they trust them to smack black people around. All these years, all those Cameronite cries of 'change', all the soft focus touchy-feely hug-a-hoody compassionate conservatism sales pitches, and the Tories are still the nasty party. That's not just their Unique Selling Point, it's their only selling point, and they just can't seem to shake it off.