Can we win?

Michael Portillo has written an interesting article in today's Sunday Times. Portillo thinks Brown will be Prime Minster. This has led to a good debate on ConservativeHome.

Here are my thoughts: Cameron will not win a majority but he could be the Leader of the biggest party in the House. To win a majority of just two, we need to win 112 seats. I can see us gaining 60-90 seats, but not 112.

In many of the 112 seats our organisation has completely collapsed. To win seats, we need a good national swing, but hard work on the ground could notch up an even greater small swing in the seats that will make the difference between winning and losing overall. CCHQ should have trained and funded over a hundred new professionals in target seats - to build up organisations from scratch. This, sadly, has not been the case.

In the likelihood of a hung Parliament, the Liberal Democrats will prop up the Labour Party. They always do! The Lib Dems will lose many seats to the Conservatives, but will gain a couple from Labour. I doubt, though, whether they'll have more than 50 MPs because they will be severely squeezed by the two big parties.

Some Lib Dems will defect to the Conservatives, as they simply won't be able to stomach propping up a Labour government. I will not 'name names' but I have it on good authority that this will indeed happen.

Portillo thinks that the American economy will collapse and Britain's will follow suit. He could weel be right. But if Brown's in charge, he'll get the blame and the following election will see Cameron (for I hope it is he) win by a similar margin to Blair's 1997 victory. The Lib Dems would be wound up and cease to trade.

The good news is that we can expect a good night when polls close. We have consistently been on 40% in the polls - something which has not happened since 1992 -but we simply won't win 112 seats. We will easily out-poll Labour in England and do well in Wales too. Scotland should be written-off (little wonder that Labour is now the "Party of the Union"). And a Conservative win in North Down, Northern Ireland, isn't as silly as it sounds.

Michael argues that we do not have 'big guns' to surround David Cameron as Labour did in 1992. I say it doesn't matter. British general elections are becoming more and more Presidential, thanks, in part, to Blair's three terms in Office and the technological age we're all living in.


David Allen said...

I agree that the 'mood music' _ and hence the polls _ are where we want it/ them to be nationally. But you are right that it is investment in local organisation which delivers the differential turnout in the marginal seats we need to win at the NEXT election, rather than the one thereafter. In grim Haringey, of course, we would not see evidence of this. But is it happening elsewhere, in those target seats?

Norfolk Blogger said...

Justin,m they will not defect. One of my very best friends is one of the MP's always being linked in the papers as "about to join". He is not going to join the Tories ever.

I know people much, much more senior than you in the Lib Dems, and I have it on the highest authority that they will not defect.

Now lets stop all this "I won't name names" business, because we all know it is idle tittle tattle.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Nich, I didn't have Norman Lamb in mind. The people that I'm told *could* defect would surprise you. Think Scotland!

Croydonian said...

But we don't want Charlie Kennedy....

Meanwhile, check the 18DS interview with Oaten and see how he wriggled when Iain asked him about defecting.