The latest ConservativeHome.com survey of Tory members was conducted in association with The Independent newspaper and is prominently featured in that newspaper today.
All of the findings are listed in this pdf and are summarised below:
Satisfaction with David Cameron steady at 73%: David Cameron continues to enjoy the full confidence of 73% of Tory members. 27% are either quite or very dissatisfied.
Right-wingers are most popular members of shadow cabinet: The members of the shadow cabinet who would traditionally be seen as right-wingers – David Davis (72%), William Hague (56%) and Liam Fox (44%) – generally produce much higher levels of ‘net satisfaction’ from members than those who could be categorised as ‘modernisers’ – Francis Maude (2%), Theresa May (3%) and Oliver Letwin (10%).
John Reid is most feared Labour leader: Home Secretary John Reid is the potential Blair successor most feared by Tory activists. Just 20% most feared Gordon Brown. A little more fearsome was Alan Johnson (21%) but at 36% came John Reid.
Members reject A-list: A paltry 6% of Tory members believe that the A-list includes "the most talented candidates in the party". 32% conceded that the A-list did not include the most talented individuals but conceded that it was "a necessary mechanism to increase the number of women and ethnic minority candidates." More than half of members (54%) thought it "a politically correct list that has excluded many of the party’s most experienced male and local candidates and it is a backward step."
Half fear traditional voters are demotivated by imbalance of Project Cameron: 46% of those surveyed agreed that "David Cameron’s decision to downplay issues like tax, crime, Europe and immigration is demotivating some of the Conservative Party’s traditional voters and he needs to change quite soon." 35% were content with the downplaying of these core issues but hoped that they would be part of a Conservative government. 15% hoped that Mr Cameron would continue to downplay these issues even when in government.
91% of members want personal tax cuts: Only 5% of Tory activists believe that we should not cut personal taxes at all. 30% want a promise of a substantial tax cut before the General Election and 33% want a promise of a small tax cut. Another 28% don’t want promises of tax cuts but they do want to see personal taxation reduced once the Conservatives are in office.
Most members disappointed with modest Tory opinion lead: 65% of respondents thought that the 4.8% lead in ConservativeHome’s poll of polls (as the lead was last week) should be larger given Labour’s difficulties. 34% thought the lead was "encouraging and proof that the party is making solid progress."
Tim Montgomerie, Editor of ConservativeHome.com discusses these findings and the broader Tory strategy in a comment article for this morning’s Independent. Click here to debate.