‘What’s the mood of Conservative MPs?’ I asked a frontbencher last week. ‘Is it still tracking the opinion polls?’ ‘Oh no,’ he replied quickly, ‘It’s worst than that. It’s not all opinion polls; just the very latest one.’
I hope I’m wrong but it’s perfectly possible that there’ll be an opinion poll this time next week which will show the Labour Party narrowly ahead. Labour are pursuing two main themes at the moment (I paraphrase):
- We’ll do whatever it takes to mitigate the downturn (unlike the Tories); and
- We’ll force the horrible banks to lend to the real economy.
CCHQ are hitting back in the next 24 hours with the launch of an advertising campaign. It will be posted on conservatives.com early tomorrow morning. But we should be prepared for some bumpy times so – like last year – I’m inviting you to fasten your seat belts and while the polls fluctuate remember ten reasons why the next election is still likely to produce a Conservative victory…
Andrew Lilico and Warwick Lightfoot both back a fiscal stimulus today but the message of Matthew Parris, writing in The Times, is that the stimulus may not work and that prospect should probably be Gordon Brown’s number one worry:
"If summer comes and still the recession bites, Mr Brown’s sorcerer’s reputation may dim. With the stimulus spent and still not stimulating; the seed corn eaten, not sprouting; the grind of the pistons as the engine refuses to spark, a Prime Minister hunched over the ignition, still bragging that he knows how to start this thing, could annoy mightily."