We Are Doing Well
In the run-up to last May's elections (after Labour's "worst week"), a yougov poll gave the Tories just a 3% lead over Labour. The actual results turned out as follows - CON 40%, LIB DEM 27%, LAB 26%, indicating that polls continue to understate Conservative votes. The latest Yougov polls give the Tories a 7% lead over Labour. At least as importantly, there is strong evidence that the general public are starting to trust the Tories on the economy again (I always have). In sum, available evidence suggests that the Tories will do even better in May 2007 local elections than in May 2006.
Tory Campaigning Efforts
Conservative Future has adopted a "marginal seats" campaign which is far too conservative (with a little c). Three of the seats targetted (Solihull, Wirral West and Portsmouth North) are notionally Tory under new boundaries anyway! Finchley and Golders Green (Con target no 1!)and Harlow (6) need a fractional swing to be won and even winning the least marginal target seats of Pendle (45) and Worcester (59) would only leave the Tories in hung Parliament territory.
CF Should Aim Higher
Here are the May 2006 local election results in a seat that is Conservative target 185.
Conservative 9421 34%
Labour 7962 29%
Liberal 5103 18%
BNP 3025 11%
Green 2082 8%
Other 104 0%
Considering the momentum is only swinging one way (against the government) who can tell me that we can't win a seat such as this? Actually, lots of people do, but I don't agree with them at all.
I have a nasty feeling that the Tories are aiming far too low at the next election and as a result we will miss out on a majority due to aiming too low. When we win Solihull by 7,500 and Worcester by 5,000, but just miss out in places like Dudley North (103), Reading West (107) and Barrow-in-Furness (115) - thus ending up with a hung Parliament - it will make our campaign decision-making look pretty poor. Let's move the focus to seats that we need for an overall majority. Politics is about taking risks.