Voters of all persuasions were downbeat about the state of the country and its immediate prospects: nearly two thirds in my 10,000-sample survey said they thought America was heading in the wrong direction.
We asked voters how likely they thought various outcomes were under a Conservative government, and under a Labour government, Only two things were thought more likely to happen than not in both scenarios: ‘higher taxes for people like me’ and ‘a new financial crisis’.
In the previous five elections, the size of the shift in the polling gap between election day and six months before has been between six per cent and 12 per cent towards the Conservatives.
If they are to stop Labour sweeping to victory, they not only need to bring back in even more “don’t knows” than models suggest they currently will, but also win back a large number of voters who have abandoned the party.
If, in either respect, that is what you do believe then I’d love to see your evidence; but if you don’t, then what possible reason could there be for sticking with Sunak?
Voters believe four of the Government’s five key pledges are more likely to happen under Labour than the Conservatives. Meanwhile, 2019 Tory voters prioritise spending on public services over tax cuts,
They have grown up in a cultural milieu that denigrates Britain’s culture and history to the point that the idea it is even worthy of respect – never mind dying for – is ridiculous.
With both Labour and the Conservatives committed in practice to importing hundreds of thousands of people a year, there is scope for a minor party to harness deep public concern about the status quo.
The former lean towards the idea that American interests are best served by defending freedom and democracy around the world; the latter that US interests are best served by using our resources to improve life for ordinary Americans at home.
The elements that came together to see a Conservative elected Mayor in 2008 – a national mood turning against Labour, a near-celebrity candidate in the as-yet-untarnished form of Boris Johnson, and a radical and increasingly unpopular incumbent – are not currently at hand.
This difference is not just attitudinal – there is a lot more space in the States for one thing. But absent in the British mindset, at least at the moment, is this hunger for more, this urge to grow, that embodies the American psyche.
No other Republican candidate currently looks likely to defeat the President – but his support is transactional, rather than rooted in any deep enthusiasm for his record.
Time will tell, but my impression is the way the announcement was made – and, crucially, reported – means it’ll have a marginally negative impact overall.
While large majorities of voters remain instinctively on side with tackling climate change, once you ask them to reflect on the personal financial costs, they simply become much less supportive and more open to alternative political appeals.
In his Parliament of Whores, PJ O’Rourke gave one section the stirring title “Our Government: What The F*** Do They Do All Day And Why Does It Cost So Goddamned Much Money?” But as my research confirmed in various ways, most voters do not see government primarily as an expensive nuisance.