The Tories have a plan to win the next election and the team to deliver it

By Lord Ashcroft

Things may be looking up at last. This year has brought a long string of bad news for the Conservatives, much of it self-inflicted. Yet over the last few weeks I have become  a little more confident about Tory prospects than I have been for some time. There are two main reasons for this surprising burst of optimism.

First, last week’s growth figures. I am aware of the caveats, of course. The figures are notoriously unreliable, and one set of numbers does not change the experience of any actual voters; we are some way from any kind of feelgood factor. And as we can never forget after 1997, economic recovery does not necessarily lead to political recovery. This time, however, I think the chances are that it possibly could.

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Review of George Osborne: The Austerity Chancellor

Austerity Chancellor

By Lord Ashcroft

 

Text of my review of George Osborne: The Austerity Chancellor by Janan Ganesh, which appeared in the Guardian on Saturday.

 

What sort of politician is George Osborne? The fact that you can read Janan Ganesh’s detailed and illuminating book about the chancellor and still be left wondering shows how difficult the question is to answer. Conflicting views are offered as to where Osborne lies on the spectrum between pragmatist and ideologue. Nevertheless, Ganesh skilfully presents the rise of a politician “fixated on the centre ground”, whether that fixation results from principle or electoral calculation.

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Labour take 22-point lead in Corby

Corby constituency

By Lord Ashcroft

The week after Louise Mensch announced her departure from parliament, my first poll in Corby found a 15-point lead for Labour. My second poll, conducted last week, brings rather worse news for the Conservatives. Labour have consolidated their position and Andy Sawford is now 22 points ahead. All parties’ supporters are now surer of how they will vote than they were at the beginning of the campaign, suggesting Labour’s lead is now entrenched.

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“Suspicious Strivers” hold the key to Tory election prospects

By Lord Ashcroft

Most analysis of the electoral battleground is based on people’s voting behaviour. In my latest research I have taken a different approach to building the Conservative voting coalition – breaking down the electorate by their attitudes to opportunity, personal responsibility, and the role of government in their lives. Is there a definable group of people whose outlook on life ought to make them Tories, but who vote for another party?

My research identifies five distinct segments within the voting public.

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The Tories’ juvenile poster of Miliband and Balls is a waste of money

Labour Isn't Learning

By Lord Ashcroft

It is not clear how much the Conservative Party has paid M&C Saatchi to come up with the daft poster, unveiled over the weekend, depicting Ed Miliband and Ed Balls as gormless schoolboys under the slogan ‘Labour Isn’t Learning’. Nor do I know how much it cost to hire the ad van to drive the thing pointlessly around Manchester. What I do know is that if I had recently donated funds to the Tories I would be asking what on earth CCHQ thought it was doing with my money.

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