Have the Conservatives already forgotten Eastleigh?

It would appear they have, judging by the reaction of many in their ranks to last week’s local elections.

The calls since last Thursday from many Tories have been to tack to the right, to say nasty things about Europe and only slightly politer things about immigrants in the belief that’s a winning combination to send UKIP support dropping and Conservative support soaring.

Now remind me, how did that approach work out for the party in the Eastleigh by-election?



2 responses to “Have the Conservatives already forgotten Eastleigh?”

  1. I’m not sure what policy lessons for the Conservatives you can draw from Eastleigh. The UKIP ‘plague on all your houses surge’ handed the LD’s a win despite losing more support than the Conservatives and failing to get out as much of their 2010 vote as the ‘unpopular’ Ms. Hutchings.
    Lord Ashcroft has provided the only hard analysis of ‘why did they vote’. To which he concludes
    “My study at the end of last year, They’re Thinking What We’re Thinking, shows the attraction is not mainly about policy. It reflects a frustration with the political class and with the way they think things are going in Britain. Our task is not to become more like UKIP, the party of easy answers, but to be the party of government that people want to vote for. Let’s hope there’s still time.”
    So in one sense agreement with you that for the Tories, UKIP’s agenda and populist approach is not the manifesto they’ve been waiting for.
    But in another unclear advice on social conservative / right-wing issues. Potential Conservative switch voters might well believe that ‘a party of government’ is one that plays hardball in the EU and clamps down in immigration. Labour certainly seem to agree with that with today’s musings from BNE about limiting access to benefits to EU migrants.
    For the LD’s it raises difficult questions about green policies. Does ‘a party of government’ unilaterally raise the cost of living through the price of energy regardless of what the rest of the world does, or does it transition cautiously, showing pragmatic non-ideological leadership.
    Do all parties need to wise up about ethical conduct, and the erosion of trust caused by failing to deal with cheats, creeps and lemons?
    Does any of this matter if the economy picks up and good times return?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments and data you submit with them will be handled in line with the privacy and moderation policies.