Tories' negative election campaign is shambolic and embarrassing 

Written by Peter Bingle on 18 February 2015 in Opinion
Peter Bingle writes that Cameron and co have not learned the message of their disastrous 2010 campaign

In recent days I have become increasingly bemused by the Tory election campaign. It is time to vent my frustration.

I have never regarded Grant Shapps as a heavyweight politico. Likewise I am yet to be persuaded about Lynton Crosby. I preferred the days when Cecil Parkinson and Norman Tebbit were being advised by Tim Bell. As it stands today the Tory election campaign is shambolic and embarrassing.

I now know very clearly what the Tory Party is against. The entire campaign is negative and to be frank nasty. I have yet to hear any coherent and/or positive reasons to vote Conservative on 7th May.

In recent days I have become increasingly bemused by the Tory election campaign. It is time to vent my frustration.How do Tory canvassers respond on the doorstep to the simple question: "Why should I vote Tory?"

There is a certain sense of Deja Vu. In 2010 the Tories ran a terrible campaign on the premise that Gordon Brown was the devil incarnate. The result was that the Labour Party won 258 seats and the Tories failed to win an overall majority.

Like the Bourbons they have not learned the message of that disastrous campaign. Why is it when I think of Steve Hilton do I always think of Peter Sellers playing Chauncey Gardiner in Being There?

The economic backdrop to this election campaign is quite astonishing. Inflation is at 0.3%. Interest rates are at 0.5%. Unemployment is falling and we have the highest economic growth in the western world.

Surely this is the perfect platform for a positive election campaign? You would think so but in the Grant Shapps/Lynton Crosby world in which ministers are given stars for doing stupid things it counts for nothing. Everything has to be nasty and negative. It beggars belief!

If Maggie had had this economic backdrop in 1983 and 1987 she would have had majorities of over 200. Yet in 2015 the polls are still suggesting an election which is too close to call. Shapps has to go ...

I have some helpful and free advice for the PM. Firstly, sack the hapless Grant Shapps and replace him with a serious politician. Secondly, stop the negative campaigning and start setting out the positive reasons for voting Conservative on 7th May. Lastly, he should ring Tim Bell and get some serious advice.

We all know that Ed Miliband is unelectable. Why therefore waste time attacking the poor man? The focus should rather be on setting out a clear, positive and optimistic message which is relevant to every section of society. Aspiration. Rewards. Responsibility. Low Taxation. Personal freedom. It is such a strong message.

The negativity of this campaign is horrible. It will alienate many first time voters and confirm the widely held view that politics is no longer a noble profession. Labour has no choice other than to fight a negative campaign. This is not so for the Tories and fortunately there is still time for them to do something about it.

If the PM has the courage to stop being negative and instead starts being positive I believe that the public will respond and give him a thumping majority on 7th May. Conversely, if he continues to be negative and nasty the election will probably remain too close to call! I know what my advice to the PM would be ...


Tags: Conservaties, Election

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