Douglas Carswell

28 DEC 2009

2010 predictions; political pendulum stays broken

Traditionally, when a governing party loses support, the principal opposition party has tended to win popularity by an almost identical margin. This pendulum effect meant that Labour's loss was the Conservative's gain - and vice versa.

Numerous bemused commentators think as if the pendulum ought still to exist. Many politicians act as though its see-saw effect remained with us.

At the 2005 election, most of Labour's lost votes didn't go to the Conservatives at all. In 2010, making certain that Labour unpopularity translates into Conservative support means not just giving people positive reasons to back us. Nor is it enough to say what we'd like to do. We need to give folk some indication as to how we'll actually be doing it.

In this age of anti-politics, the tactics of triangulation increasingly won't work. Too-clever-by-half positioning leaves voters cold. Never assume that just because a voter loathes the other lot, they've no where to go but to you.

So what'll be the magic glue needed to bind together that broad, election winning coalition? Authenticity.

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