Populus Shows Most People Not Interested in Politics

Some odd findings come out of the Populus pre-conference polling of voter perceptions. Guido is working on the assumption that the poll methodology is good – poll pundits like Mike Smithson or Anthony Wells might beg to differ. Some of the findings were:
  • Voters think Brown is more left-wing than he was this time last year.
  • Voters think Cameron is slightly more right-wing than he was this time last year.
  • Nick Clegg is seen as to the left of Ming.
  • Clegg and Brown are seen as slightly more left-wing than their parties.
Most people inside politics and informed enough to read political blogs would disagree with those findings and believe that Brown is to the right of his party and Clegg is more right-of-centre liberal than Ming. So how do you explain the perception disparity?

We live in a tele-democracy, most people are not interested in political detail. Which is why when Dave went off to hug a husky, polls showed that the Tories were seen as more green than the LibDems. McCain is sweeping up woman voters because he has a woman on the ticket, never mind her policy stance. What the likes of Karl Rove, James Carville, Rupert Murdoch, Peter Mandelson and Steve Hilton understand is that perception and image matter more than policy substance in a tele-democracy. People who are not interested in politics have votes. George Dubya Bush was on to something when he said “you can fool some of the people all of the time, and they’re the ones to focus on”…


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