Isn’t it funny how the Conservatives have been put on the run by the Lib Dems, of all people…
The Lib Dems, their most hated enemy. And yet, there was Cameron all those years ago calling himself a liberal Conservative. Oh no, that was the other day. And then there was the guff of libdems4cameron.com which soon got forgotten and turned into a link to their normal website.
All it took was just one little debate.
But the Tories aren’t stupid. They hastily rewrote and re-shot last week’s Party Election Broadcast. Then there was the second debate, in which all of his fire was largely directed at the Lib Dems (not Nick in particular though, and why would you attack someone with a net +50% approval rating?). And now a whole day of coverage about how the choice is between a Tory majority and a hung parliament.
Cameron’s argument that we should choose a majority for him because “the pound will fall” is hardly going to set the world alight. Apart from it being economically illiterate (the pound has already fallen, providing a huge boost to UK exports) it is utterly tedious and seems to imply that our votes should only be motivated by utterly dry numbers that are meaningless to the everyday lives of the electorate.
He’s also, if the polls are to be believed, fighting a losing battle. Not that people can actually vote for a hung parliament, but there is mounting evidence to suggest that people like the idea. Whether it’s Lib Dems who have dreamed of nothing other than it, or Labour voters sensing their only chance of rescuing this one out of the fire, or other and nonpartisan voters who just want to see something different, there is a genuine desire to see a new political culture after the 2010 election.
And again, that’s why Cameron senses the danger. If the unthinkable happens, and the Lib Dems do manage to exact major political reform (electoral and other constitutional changes) it will permanently change British politics. Never again will a party enjoy untrammelled power, courtesy of landslide results on small proportions of voters.
The Tories would miss that dearly. Cameron and Osborne want that all to themselves. They would dearly love a 40% vote that gives them 100% of the power. That’s what Thatcher and Blair got. Why not them?
The irony of all this is that in the meantime, there is actually still a sitting Prime Minister and a Labour party that still could do serious damage if it’s ignored. You’d be forgiven for thinking that they don’t exist, but they still do…
Can Cameron battle effectively on two fronts? Clegg/Cable on one, Mandelson on the other…
I’ll bet that was never part of their electoral strategy.