Has Cameron finally reverted to a core votes strategy?

Has Cameron finally reverted to a core votes strategy?

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    Are “hard-edged” Tory policies what centre ground voters want?

These are the front pages of the Telegraph and Mail this morning and show support for the Tory leadership that hasn’t come from these papers in a long long time.

The Mail reports the moves in glowing terms and notes that “the focus on crime will delight Tory MPs who have been desperate for their leader to unveil concrete policy proposals on what they see as the leading concern for many voters.” Its main leader appears under the headline – “At last, Mr. Cameron is talking like a Tory”.

It’s the same tone in the Daily Telegraph which reports the moves in these terms: “Answering calls from many in his party for more “hard-edged” Conservative policies, he disclosed a sweeping law and order offensive to address the problems of gun crime, alcohol abuse, lack of discipline in schools and family breakdown.”

    But isn’t Cameron simply following in the footsteps of his predecessors – when the going gets tough you swing to the right? How’s this going to go down with the centre ground voters who have moved in his direction since he took over?

Won’t the emphasis on “traditional Tory issues” make it easy when the election finally comes for Brown to argue that the Conservatives are like they have always been. Isn’t this precisely how Labour wants the main opposition party to be perceived?

For the anti-crime programme that is being outlined looks very similar to that which came from his predecessor, Michael Howard, and looks like a major change of direction – which of itself provides ammunition for Labour.

This is going to be a fascinating conference season.

Mike Smithson

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