Some people have wondered whether there really is an appetite for more conservative policies amongst the British people. I’d say the fact that Boris Johnson’s government got a poll boost when they started talking tougher about prison sentences shows that there is.
Sure there are smaller parties that talk like that that get nowhere. But they’re too small to be players. The sad fact is that it’s very hard for a small party without a lot of money behind it to get anywhere, so I don’t think that that tells us much. It’s when a big party talks like that that allows us to get a better idea of the demand. So the fact that the Conservative Party’s talk was received well by potential Conservative voters tells us that there’s a demand.
Of course, it remains to be seen whether this is just all talk by the Tories. The Tories have a long history now of talking tough and then not delivering. And any hopes that people like me might have had that they would start talking about further conservative policies have been disappointed. If they really wanted to get ahead in the polls then there are a raft of further proposals they could talk about, but it’s like they’re frightened to move off the doorstep to where they can’t hear the voice of Mama BBC and Father — or should that be ‘other Mother’? — Guardian telling them what to do. Not that they always do what she says, but she’s unquestionably the boss.
But it’s nice that the Conservatives have done some opinion polling for any potential new conservative party that wants to start up and has some serious money behind it. That money won’t be wasted.