“Conservative Cameron” versus “Cameron’s Conservatives”

Mike Smithson over at politicalbetting.com has some insightful advice for Labour on Cameron. Basically they should attack Cameron for being a Conservative, not Cameron’s Conservatives. “Brand Cameron” is actually quite popular with the public, generating by association a 1% to 5% uplift in polls for the Tories. The bike riding, cuddly blue/green chameleon reinforces his image, emphasising how different he is from the past – a poll published in the Mail on Sunday suggested the video made 1 in 7 people more likely to vote for him and only 1 in 20 less likely to vote for him – disastrous for those who conceived the plan.

“Dave the Chameleon” is Gordon Brown’s idea, and it looks like a dud. It is widely accepted that the negative campaign is reminiscent of Demon Eyes, clever, but resonating only with activists. In retrospect the attempt to demonise Blair reinforced the perception that the Tories were out of touch, particularly as the public perception was that Blair was in fact young, optimistic and idealistic, family man – not some socialist devil.

Labour need to tarnish Cameron with the Tory’s baggage and history. Before they succeed in that Cameron needs to rebrand his party as Cameron’s Conservatives, changed, shiny and new. Labour’s chameleon campaign to some extent (the latest polling reinforces this) plays to that agenda. The Tories on the other hand need to blame Brown for everything that has gone wrong in Britain since 1997 – particularly higher taxes and unreformed public services.

Incidentally, Guido has reversed his bet on Blair going in September (Betfair’s Blair Switch Project). Euan Blair telling George Osborne at the Washington Embassy that his father was going to stay until the end, is as close to the horse’s mouth as it gets. Guido reckons Gordon hasn’t got the balls to take Blair head on.




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Via the FT’s Jim Pickard: Seumas Milne’s idea for Labour election catchphrase:

“The Tories are the real extremists.”

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