The results also show that the public view the party as divided, and not supportive of either small businessmen, farmers or working womenby Tom Clark / June 15, 2018 / Leave a comment
The perils of Brexit for the Conservatives are thrown into sharp relief by an exclusive Deltapoll survey for Prospect, which finds that it is no longer regarded as “good in a crisis”—and is seen as being more concerned with the interests of bankers and billionaires, rather than anyone else.
The party has often been charged with being heartless, but May faces the thorny dilemmas that Brexit poses without being thought to possess the virtue that the Tories have often enjoyed in the eyes of the voters: hard-headed competence.
Twice as many voters, 54 per cent, believe the party is ineffective as the 26 per cent who believe it “gets things done.”
And by a 16 point margin, they rate it as “bad in a crisis”—which strongly suggests Brexit is taking its toll.
When pollsters ICM asked the same “crisis” question about David Cameron personally, as unemployment was peaking in late 2011, he achieved a net +10.
Vulnerable to populists?
The party may be relieved that the voters as a whole regard it as centre-right (38 per cent), not hard right (28 per cent), but this is not true among Remainers: they are narrowly inclined (by 38 to 36 per cent) to rate the Tories as hard right.
It also looks vulnerable to populist attack: 44 per cent think it is “internationalist, and preoccupied with what other governments think” with a mere 30 per cent believing it is “patriotic, always putting Britain first.”
A divided party
Amid the Brexit bickering, the party has been looking badly divided.
But what’s more disturbing for it is that the voters do not regard this as a passing problem, but a permanent condition: only 28 per cent think it can still “unite when it has to” against a majority of 52 per cent who regard it as “fundamentally divided.”
At the same time, voters believe that the Conservatives have forgotten what they stand for: 51 per cent take that view, as against just 27 per cent who disagree.
Martin Boon, the long-standing pollster who recently co-founded Deltapoll commented: “Just like any commercial brand, a political party needs to explain what it is for, what values it has, what it seeks to do.”