Cameron’s LIsbon U Turn underlies his downturn in the polls…

Another reason for the DUP to be cheerful? The Cameron effect is weakening. Or rather his U turn over the Lisbon referendum is cooling the ardour of some of his supporters. How will that affect the typically Eurosceptic hearts and minds of the unionist voter (if at all)?

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  • slug

    I don’t think unionists are really very eurosceptic.

  • Drumlins Rock

    “its the economy stupid”, to mr. joe public at the moment it looks as if things wern’t as bad as many predicted and things are even looking up in many areas, and guys dont come back at me with loads of facts that is peoples perceptions atm I believe.
    Thats whats behind the polling changes, I believe, people see things as improving and more are deciding its a bad time to rock the boat, better the devil you know etc. I dont think the referendum is a major issue, sure Lisbon came into effect today how do you go back on that?
    Gordon still has 6 months and 2 days to go before he has to go to the polls, remember it is alot more likely for the wheels to come of a government party than of an opposition one.
    As for its effect on NI polling..
    hold on we dont have any!!!!
    As for Lisbon, the few that were interested here got their fill of it with the two votes down south, even unionists like myself, think most have put it behind them and dont see it as a major vote winner anyways.

  • Harry

    It seems as though the Tories are losing out simply on their u-turn of their policy on Europe (and on the slight resurgence in the economy). Europe is not really an issue here in Northern Ireland – the 2009 Euro elections showed that – and a u-turn by the Tories on Lisbon is hardly going to turn many unionists off UCUNF and to the DUP. UCUNF is less about trying to win back DUPers, more about trying to win those pro-union Alliance voters and more importantly the thousands of pro-union sections of the electorate who do not vote because of their disillusionment of the sectarian headcount that is N Ireland politics. Besides most of those that have drifted from UUP to DUP have already done so, the UUP is down to its core base now. As a UCUNF supporter, I am not concerned about a slight drop in Conservative support in Britain having any effect on the Northern Irish pro-union electorate.

  • Europe may be a cause. The effect may be hung parliament. Depending on numbers there may well be reasons for Peter to be cheerful

  • Seen from Norf Lunnun, the EU thing is as chameleon-like as Dave himself.

    In a way, it may be a pity that the referendum did not happen: it would have focused minds wonderfully. The “pro-Lisbon”/”stay with it” lot would surely have been very well-financed from the multi-nationals and the City. Out of love, the SE of England would have voted for hope, for Eurostar week-ends, for booze-cruises and for stability. What’s left of industrial Britain would have voted out of fear (particularly as the BoE is maintaining a devalued 90p/€). As for the rest: quite frankly, who around here cares? You are the periphery and we can continue to ignore you. If the self-basting Salmond’s vote was held in SE England, he’d get his independence by a landslide. However, I doubt that the EU-indifference of Joe ‘n’ Jo Public differs greatly between the two sides of the North Channel.

    Meanwhile not having a referendum was the greatest benefit the Brown government could confer on the Tories. Saying that Euroscepticism crosses party lines is a no-brainer — what exists in the wilder fringes of the Tories is something different: rabid Europhobia. There may not be a lot of them, but they make one heck of a racket.

    Nor is it merely the U-turn on Lisbon which is damaging Cameron & Co. Or even just the up-turn in economic expectations. There is a confluence of other factors. One is the way Joe ‘n’ Jo are beginning to assimilate the doubts of media commentators:

    that the Tories are self-interested (Brown’s thrust on inheritance tax was particularly effective — believed to be a Mandelson prompt);
    that Cameron, as with the A-Qaeda nursery schools, is fallible;
    that Boy George Osborne, in particular, isn’t up to his over-inflated reputation;
    that the Tory Party (thanks to likes of the “Turnip Taliban”, non-dom Zac Goldsmith and “Nancy Mogg” sideshows) are not really nice people;

    but, above all,

    the Tory economic medicine is too vague, too unpalatable, and definitely unpleasant.

  • Mick, the UK polling report blog has an interesting discussion about possible links between Cameron’s forced u-turn and the polls, but – I think plausibly – they don’t put too much weight on the theory. Evidence is mixed and Europe consistently ranks as being of very marginal interest for most voters.

    It’s more likely that Labour are performing better (read: they haven’t ballsed anything major up in a while) and economic sentiment has turned slightly. So Europe is probably not affecting the minds of many voters anywhere.

  • fair_deal

    It wasn’t the rights or wrongs of the decision it was how the decision made Cameron look. People are looking for change but his crumbling on the issue made him look like just another politician.

  • Dev

    ‘his crumbling on the issue made him look like just another politician’ – agreed, I think people are very wary about being duped again by Tony Blair-esque politicians (not that that will do Gordon Brown much good).

    I think the stuff IHT, the turnip Taliban will hurt him as well, not to mention the climate change stuff in today’s Indy & the various attacks the Mirror has been launching for the past week – it all deomstrates that the Tories haven’t really changed since ’97 but also that Cameron holds some of the same beliefs as the nuttier wings of his party but is just better at hiding it.

    Nevertheless, even if Brown personally discovered a cure for cancer on the same day he single-handedly captured bin Laden I doubt it would improve his standing much.

  • Ciarán @ 09:32 AM:

    Agreed: Anthony Wells, for the UK Polling Report, is saying the obvious:

    Trivialities [his specific exemplar is Goldsmith, who seems to have done it again by denying the Sun] do not change the polls, they may have a cumulative effect upon how the parties and politicians are perceived, but taken alone they are not significant factors.

    His other arguments are equally valid:

    If Cameron’s U-turn caused defections to UKIP, where’s the up-tick in UKIP support?
    There may be a feel-a-bit-better factor about the economy, but what happens in the New Year?
    As Ciarán @ 09:32 AM says, Labour hasn’t ballsed-up to the same extent of late, but arguably the Tories have hit a rough patch.
    The Tories have lost their glitz; but the anti-Labour feeling is still there.

    Fair summary?

    Then take a look at Dave Smithson’s partisan When Smithson gets it wrong, he does so spectacularly (e.g. Glasgow). At the moment he is still ploughing the (Wells-discredited) UKIP thing, the fall-out from Copenhagen (as in Oz) and — to me, most interesting — ComRes on the marginals. Now, I have to say that when a Party start to say the marginals are behaving better for them than the generality, it’s a short further step to denying the main polls by asserting “our private polling (which is never revealed) disagrees”. At that point, raise a distress signal.