Tuesday, 2 April 2013

David Cameron's Achilles Heel - The poor quality of his backbenchers

The latest opinion poll has the UK political parties standing at CON 29%, LAB 42%, LD 11%, UKIP 13%  (YouGov 28th March) .  These numbers make the Parliamentary Conservative Party very nervous about the party’s electoral prospects.  With two years to go before the election in 2015 the back benches are panicking, demanding in no particular order: “changes at the top”, “a lurch to the right” or “a deal with UKIP”. 

The poor polls for David Cameron are also the driving force behind the (ill conceived) plots against him.  Sadly for the Tory cannon fodder our prime minister is not moved by this unrest, David Cameron sees himself in an altruistic light and will keep doing the “right thing”, certain his place in history is secure - The first coalition prime minister since 1940 and he’s adding to his legacy with new legislation to legalize gay marriage and the reform of the welfare state, education and the NHS.   David Cameron may want to win in 2015 but it’s not the end all and be all for him.  
Declining standards in the Tory Pary
Interestingly Peter Oborne writing a day later in the Daily Telegraph has a similar view on the danger his own party present - 

Given the economic legacy and continuing global recession it is unsurprising that the Tory’s performance in the polls is so poor.   Even without these economic problems we would expect a sitting government’s opinion poll rating to slip in a mid-term period, as has happened with every government since democracy was invented.  Adding more woe to these polls is the rise of the UKIP protest vote, but both of these factors should not be unexpected or overly worrying to smart professional politicians.  

And here is the rub, the real problem David Cameron has is the quality of backbenchers in his party, and this is a problem of his own making.  After his election to the Tory leadership in 2005 Cameron, spotting the obvious weakness of his posh background and education.  He therefore decided to broaden the base of parliamentary party.  He instituted the A list and he is now reaping his reward.  Since God was a boy the Tory party has attracted the cream of our public schools and best universities, who understood the importance of calmness and solidarity.  The new intake of 2010 and to some degree 2005 are a pale imitation of their forbearers;  careerist and second rate intellectually they have no idea how to tough things out.  

A smarter bunch of MPs would realise that it’s still very possible that David Cameron can win in 2015 -  if he has some luck with the economy  and he can resolve the impending immigration landslide from Romania and Bulgaria.  Added to this the British electorate will have a further two years to smoke out the opportunistic (but untalented)  Ed Miliband and his very poor shadow cabinet.  So,  probably the biggest risk to re-election is the irrational behaviour of his own party and that’s his own fault!


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