By Lord Ashcroft
After a week like last week, it is all too easy to panic. This rarely helps. I decided to conduct a poll over the weekend to put things into perspective, and in particular to shed light on one of the issues – party funding – that has added to the Tories’ woes. We asked voters how much they had heard about three stories: “people who have donated large sums of money to the Conservative Party having dinner with the Prime Minister at Number 10”, “changes in the Budget that will mean some pensioners paying more in income tax – which some have called the ‘granny tax’”, and “putting new taxes on hot food bought in shops, including pies and pasties”. Three quarters said they had heard a great deal or quite a lot about the “granny tax”, two thirds said the same about the pasty tax, and just over half said the same about “cash for Cameron”.