By Tim Montgomerie
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Over the last few days we've been publishing your rating of 23 ideas to win the next election. 1,419 Tory members were asked to rate the ideas listed below on a scale of minus five (least helpful to winning a majority) to plus five (most helpful to winning a majority).
I've already blogged my encouragement that so many Tory members think that blue collar conservatism is so central to Tory election hopes. Some of the other ideas rated highly by Tory members are less resonant with the kind of conservatism I'd hope we might advance in coming years. Idea ten in the list, for example, is cutting foreign aid and spending the savings on British pensioners. Item 16 is about leaving Afghanistan. For a lot of Tory members it is clear that charity begins at home. There is also a belief (misplaced in my view) that dropping David Cameron's support for a policy like gay marriage (ranked seventh) will be more potent than, for example, recommitting to the NHS (ranked eighth). That overstates the potency of the gay marriage issue and understates the importance of the NHS. I'd have re-establishment of our NHS credentials near the top of my list of election-winning ideas.
In contrast there is more agreement between ConHome and its readers on the need for Conservative HQ to make sustained attacks on Ed Miliband and Ed Balls (item 14) and the need for more candidates with northern and working class roots (item 11).
There is also some notable support for rebalancing the relationship between England and Scotland. Number nine in the list is ending the Barnett formula and number 17 is some sort of devolution to England.
TORY MEMBERS RATE 23 IDEAS TO WIN THE NEXT ELECTION
1,419 members rated the 23 ideas on a scale of minus 5 (least helpful) to plus 5 (most helpful).
- 4.16 / Signs of reasonable economic recovery
- 3.59 / A successful debt reduction policy
- 3.52 / A plan to cut taxes and energy bills for ordinary families
- 3.35 / Stronger policies on crime and immigration
- 3.33 / Replacement of the Human Rights Act
- 3.11 / A bankable promise to deliver an EU referendum
- 2.95 / Dropping controversial policies like House of Lords reform and gay marriage
- 2.64 / A strong commitment to protect the NHS
- 2.49 / End of the Barnett formula that favours Scotland in distribution of public funding
- 2.40 / Cut foreign aid and spend the savings on Britain's poorest pensioners
- 2.22 / More northern and working class candidates with experience of life beyond politics
- 2.12 / A new consumer agenda that reduces the power of big banks, energy companies and supermarkets
- 1.96 / A housebuilding policy for young people
- 1.79 / Sustained attacks on Ed Miliband and Ed Balls
- 1.69 / Greater party unity and loyalty to David Cameron
- 1.68 / Withdraw all troops from Afghanistan
- 1.28 / Some devolution to England
- 1.23 / A pact with UKIP that avoids the two parties standing against each other in marginal seats
- 1.03 / Replacing George Osborne with a potentially more popular Chancellor
- 0.53 / A new party leader like Boris Johnson
- 0.51 / A new party leader like William Hague
- -0.91 / A change of Labour leader from Ed Miliband to someone like Yvette Cooper
- -1.05 / A pact with the Liberal Democrats that avoids the two parties standing against each other in marginal seats
Previous entries in this series:
- 60% of Tory members think pact with UKIP will help Tories win next election
- It's the economy stupid: Tory members see recovery as the key to majority
- Tory grassroots see blue collar message as more important to Tory fortunes than Europe, crime or immigration
- Installing Boris as Tory leader comes 20th in list of 23 ways to win next election