By Tim Montgomerie
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Lots of interesting results from the latest ConHome survey and I start with your answers to the "what do you think is the most likely outcome of the next election?" question.
Your overall assessment is pretty similar to last time. None of you think there'll be a Liberal Democrat-led government which suggests you are all sane. Slightly more of you think some kind of Labour-led government is more likely than a Tory government. 47% think the Tories will be in power after polling day and 53% think Labour will be back in power. Only 20% think there will be a Tory majority.
These are your expectations:
- A Labour majority – 20%
- A minority Labour government – 11%
- A Labour-Lib Dem coalition – 22%
- A second Tory-Lib Dem coalition – 8%
- A minority Tory government – 19%
- A Conservative majority – 20%
- A Liberal Democrat majority or minority government – 0%
I'm particularly interested in the fact that respondents think a Lib/Lab coalition is now nearly three times as likely as another Lib/Tory pact. Both Paul (here) and I (here) have written about the likelihood of the Liberal Democrats choosing Labour as a governing partner if the electoral arithmetic allows. That likelihood grows to a near certainty if Clegg is replaced by Cable before the next election. We must aim for a Tory majority at the next election or risk losing office. The most important feature of Cameron's resuffle is the appointment of a party chairman who has the authority to rethink Tory the three key features of our electoral strategy – message, manifesto and machine. This is not personal about Sayeeda Warsi. I think the Baroness should remain in the Cabinet. She's an asset to the party but she's not the right person to oversee the necessary rethink.