Lord Ashcroft’s polling suggests that the next election will depend on how many voters choose “nice”, and how many prioritise “necessary”. An unshifting majority believe the Tories only care about the already well off, while Labour care more about ordinary folk. Nothing that Tories have done over the last six years has made a dent in this perception, so it is probably a waste of effort trying promote the “nice Tory” concept. An equal static statistic is the belief that it is the Conservatives who will face up to hard economic choices, while Labour don’t have any plans to deal with the aftermath of the Credit Crunch. 48% say Conservatives are willing to take tough decisions, while only 28% think this is true of Labour.
The Conservatives’ task is to frame the choice at the next election as being about necessity. You may not like us, but we are good for you, and the current state we are in means there is less room for indulgent choices.
As observed on Monday, Cameron is using set-piece speeches to create this environment, but revealingly telling a story in three parts.
1) Globalisation is ending Western domination
2) Selling Britain to the world is a top priority
3) Vote with your head, not with your heart
Pie is nice, but we are in this situation because we had too much pie. And our problems won’t be solved by eating more pie. Vote broccoli.