Friday, May 08, 2015

UK ELECTION: THE WINNING TORY STRATEGY

The Man who smote Miliband
Who says strategy is not paramount? Cameron’s Conservatives had their course set for them by strategist Crosby, and it carried them to a victory that has surprised pollsters, decapitated three opposition parties, and divided the UK into Tory England and Scottish nationalists’ Scotland:
While strategists had been privately confident of doing better than the election polls predicted they were none-the-less taken aback by the size of the swing away from Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

A senior Tory source said private polling carried out by the party’s election supremo Lynton Crosby had them on just over 300 seats “for several weeks” before polling day.

“What we couldn’t understand was the discrepancy. But Lynton was always confident that our polling was correct,” they said.
Lynton Crosby had long predicted the Tories taking 300 seats (AFP)
 

Another Tory aide added: “The impressive thing about Lynton was that he set the strategy and stuck rigidly to it even when we were in the firing line. He basically said I’m in charge and if this doesn’t work out I’ll shoulder the blame.”

Under the plan set out by Crosby the Conservatives would attempt to squeeze Ukip and Lib Dem votes by playing on fears of the SNP while highlighting David Cameron’s leadership and fears of economic “chaos” under Labour. All the messages had been extensively tested on focus groups in key marginals. But even he was surprised by the extent of the Labour collapse.

Now the stage is set for two monumental conflicts: the battle to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom, and the battle to take the United Kingdom (or part of it, anyways) out of the European Union.

Cameron has his majority, albeit a slim one, and the Labour Party has been taken behind the outhouse and soundly spanked by the majority of British voters, who did not like its drift away from the mainstream charted by Tony Blair.

So far Cameron has shown less than sterling ability in dealing with the demands of Scottish nationalists, nor has be displayed much finesse in negotiating the transfer of powers back from the EU to the UK.

The tactics in these two monumental battles for Britain’s soul will be strikingly similar, although used by two different groups. Cameron’s Tories will use the threat of Brexit (Britain’s exist from the EU) to try to negotiate better terms for the UK to stay in the EU.

At the same time, Cameron’s Tories will be facing exactly the same blackmail demands from the SNP, demanding major powers to be devolved to Scotland as a price for not holding another independence referendum.

Right now, the SNP has decided that Cameron was duplicitous when he agreed to The Vow taken by the LibDems, Tories and Labourites just prior to the first independence referendum to grant substantial powers to Scotland if the vote was No to independence.

Cameron will have to take giant strides to hand power to Scotland if he wants to avoid going down in history as the Man who Lost the Kingdom.


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