Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tax and spend: the weather starts to change

This blog by Iain Martin on Three Line Whip is very interesting in the conclusion it reaches that the public's apparent "views on tax and spending are undergoing a transformation and new attitudes are being forged in the furnace of financial crisis". This follows the latest ComRes's poll where they asked those polled how they would vote if the Tories advocated at an election a lower level of public spending than Labour and said "they would try not to raise taxes". Up rockets the Tory lead to 17 points (49-32-11).

I wrote something similar following an Ipsos MORI poll result back in September when the Conservatives breached the 50% barrier for the first time since Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. "The key point.... is that by adopting a tax cutting agenda, coupled with talk of reducing public spending, he (Nick Clegg, Leader of the LibDems) has opened the door for the Conservatives to speak more openly about their economic programme without being accused of wanting to "slash and burn" the public sector."

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, when taken at the flood, leads on to greater things", to probably misquote the Bard (and split the infinitive)!

Can the Conservatives float the boat of public opinion and take advantage of this rising tide in their favour? Yes they can!