Sunday, January 17, 2016
Conservatives coming out of the woodwork
I've just finished another 2 days of campaigning in Gateshead. Yesterday (Friday) I spent the afternoon in Ryton during which time I helped deliver nearly 600 calendars. Today I was in Dunston, helping to do a survey. Generally we had a good response and we got plenty of replies to our survey. What I found interesting is that those who are Conservative supporters seemed more likely to say so than previously. This is more helpful for us as, though it does not mean there are more Conservative voters, it makes our data more accurate and that is useful when it comes to targeting. But it is also interesting that Conservatives are more willing to admit to their allegiance. For decades, these people tended to be more non-committal on the doorsteps. Hidden Conservatives were probably the cause of the inaccurate opinion polls in last year's general election. The growing acknowledgement of their party loyalty also suggests the greater confidence of the Conservatives generally across the country, even though in my home patch of Gateshead the Conservative organisation barely exists.
It is yet to be seen whether Conservative confidence survives the almost inevitable splits that will be on public view in the forthcoming Europe referendum but the Conservatives themselves have increased levels of confidence that are understandable: we have been knocked well back into 4th place across the country, Labour have brought about a self-imposed meltdown and UKIP are wilting. There is a great deal of water still to pass under the political bridge but as things stand, the Conservatives can hope to be in power for so time to come.