The issue of global warming and rising energy bills provide the biggest policy gap between David Cameron and his grassroots. It will be economic policy that makes or breaks Cameron.
Conservative Party members were asked to name David Cameron’s three biggest mistakes. Here are the results of the survey.
The common view is that David Cameron has suffered his worst fortnight since becoming Prime Minister, but a survey of Tory members finds that Cameron’s close relationship with News International doesn’t even make the top 10 of what they think are his biggest errors.
In a ConservativeHome poll, more than 1,500 party members were asked to identify what they saw as Cameron’s three biggest mistakes since he became Tory leader in 2005. These are the results.
1. Making a commitment to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and then abandoning the pledge: 48 per cent
The number one mistake according to Tory members is the decision not to hold any kind of referendum on Europe. This reflects more than Euroscepticism.
Members remember that the binning of this pledge raised big questions about the Conservative leader’s trustworthiness. Newspapers attacked Cameron for being as cynical as Tony Blair in breaking faith with voters.
If you look back at the pre-election opinion polls you can trace the slide in the Tory ratings to this “trust moment” and not, as is commonly suggested, after George Osborne had begun to set out controversial austerity measures.
2. Supporting climate change policies that will increase energy bills: 40 per cent
The issue of global warming provides the biggest policy gap between David Cameron and his grassroots. The husky-hugging Tory leader put climate change at the heart of his new Conservatism but common-sense Conservatives see little point in increasing the fuel bills of already hard-pressed British families if China, India and other big polluters don’t control their carbon emissions.