The Conservatives are two points ahead of Labour in the latest poll for the first time since 14th December 2010. Charlie Edwards blames the European veto, weak opposition and Christmas spirit for Cameron’s early Christmas present.
As the “biggest strike since 1926” went largely unnoticed, no Government Minister has said anything outrageous for weeks and the Christmas adverts haven’t been too annoying this year, it is no wonder the Government is enjoying its first advantage in the polls in twelve months. Yes, the “I am a Toys R Us Kid” advert drives us mad, but not enough to want to switch to UKIP.
In a poll released yesterday by Yougov: CON 41% LAB 39% LIB 10%.
There have been periods of 2011 where Ed Miliband has had an uncomprimising lead in the polls, despite relatively poor showings in the House of Commons. On the key battle lines, phone hacking, the Eurozone crisis and the riots, Miliband’s 80s-retro opposition for opposition’s sake tactics have been undermined by a statesmanlike aura that Cameron saves for the big occasions.
The spin that Cameron “hasn’t come back with the right deal for Britain” was a desperate attempt to undermine the clear victory Cameron managed in vetoing another EU treaty that would further centralise power toward the Continent. Two weeks ago, 26% in a Yougov poll ranked Europe as one of the Government’s top priorities. Yesterday’s poll showed an increase to 38%. Opposition spin has backfired on this issue, providing Cameron with an early Christmas present.
The NHS reforms remain a large cloud looming for Cameron. He has not presented them well enough and the left have managed to hijack the reforms with political posturing of the highest order. No-one likes the sound of “privatisation by the back door”, especially when it is not even true in the case of the proposals. In an attempt to cleanse heir apparent George Osborne’s electability, Cameron has bore the brunt of the criticism for the spending cuts and lack of recovery. As a result, the deficit reduction strategy has seemed a vague concept administered by faceless and crucially, voiceless technocrats. Osborne needs to be thrust into the limelight. As Francis Maude’s ‘quango bonfire’, Michael Gove’s ‘free schools’ and Eric Pickles ‘localism’ start to take effect in the coming year, the year could look a lot brighter for Cameron’s Government. Despite its enormous horsepower, this Government and its wealth of ideas for this country to accelerate into the new decade has barely gotten out of first gear.
The Government has posted poll leads in two Decembers in a row. What will the political picture look like in next Christmas? With welfare reforms, the reshaping of the NHS and the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe on the cards, next year is certainly going to be a cracker.