The Tory lead is down very slightly in today’s YouGov survey for The Daily Telegraph but the underlying numbers are much more worrying for the Government:
- 52% believe that Labour’s handling of the impending economic downturn has been "poor" or "awful".
- 61% give the same verdict on Labour’s handling of Northern Rock.
The Tories are also building tortoise-like leads over Labour on two of the three elements of the iron triangle of political success: Cameron leads Brown by 31% to 27% on the best leader for Britain and the Conservatives lead Labour by 34% to 30% on economic management.
Earlier this week this website highlighted the tortoise-versus-hares-debate amongst Tory strategists. The erosion of Labour’s economic standing may encourage the tortoises’ wait-for-Labour-to-collapse tactics. The Telegraph, however, makes it clear this morning that it wants more hare-like boldness from the Conservatives:
"In those areas where he has enunciated bold policies – inheritance tax, immigration, welfare reform – the public has responded warmly. But when it comes to education, for example, the Tories’ sensible principle of expanding consumer choice has yet to produce proposals striking enough to (say) spark off a conversation in the pub."
In her column for the New Statesman Tara Hamilton-Miller seems to side with the tortoises when it comes to boldness on economic policy:
"The prediction is that interest rates will fall, so the Tories will be cautious. If interest rates are cut to below 4 per cent months before an election, the Tories would have to be prepared for the favourable reaction that would bring."
ON CONSERVATIVEHOME ON MONDAY: A PORTFOLIO-BY-PORTFOLIO GUIDE TO WHERE THE BOLDEST AND MOST TORTOISE-LIKE POLICY MAKING IS TAKING PLACE.