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By Tim Montgomerie
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Screen shot 2011-09-24 at 19.33.08 There have been some terrible opinion poll results for Ed Miliband in recent times but there's a survey in tomorrow's Observer that should encourage Labour and remind Conservatives that the process of decontamination is far from complete.

YouGov found that the Conservative Party is fishing in a significantly smaller pool than the other parties. 58% say they are open to voting Conservative but that compares with 70% who are open to voting Labour. In order to win an election we need to convert a good three quarters of our potential voters while Labour only need to realise just over half of their potential voters*.

Depressingly the CSJ found similar results in 2004 when I was working for Iain Duncan Smith. There is a low glass ceiling for the Conservatives and it's persistent.

Over time we need to convert more people to the idea that voting Conservative is a morally good thing. We need to counter the shallow thinking that Ian Collins blogged about yesterday – "People call themselves left wing because they think it makes them sound a nicer person". Compassionate conservatism doesn't mean apeing the policies of the Left but it does mean a more balanced conservatism. For the traditional Right it means worrying as much about marginal tax rates facing the poor as facing the wealthy. It means worrying about sink schools as much as red tape. And for the über-modernisers it means worrying a little more about energy prices, immigration and crime and a little bit less about the concerns of the metropolitan classes.

* Because of vagaries of the electoral system Labour need a smaller percentage of the total vote to secure a majority.

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