Can Cameron hold onto the centre-ground while talking about immigration?

Has Cameron done enough to ditch the Tory's 'nasty party' image that he can talk about core-vote issues without it scaring away the centrist voters?

The Tory strategy has always been to 'detoxify' the Conservative brand. Focus groups around the time of the last election showed that people who heard Conservative policies on were often enthusiastic until they heard they were Tory policies. Cameron's agenda was always to get rid of the fact that any policy they came up with, no matter how popular, was immediately dismissed by a large section of the public on account of it being a Tory policy.

Without doubt, when Michael Howard talked about immigration, people assumed that he was being terribly right-wing and were turned off. However, has Cameron removed the Tory's 'nasty party' image enough that he can talk about immigration (and crime over the last few days) without people dismissing it as the 'usual right-wing rubbish'?

Cameron is down in the polls, but I believe this is because of his being seen as weak rather than nasty. It remains to be seen whether he has got rid of the bad image and, if he has, his crime and immigration speeches might help him (by portraying him as strong) as opposed to hinder him (by portraying as nasty).

Has Cameron done enough to ditch the Tory's 'nasty party' image that he can talk about core-vote issues without it scaring away the centrist voters? We'll know in the next month or so. 

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Re: Can Cameron hold onto the centre-ground? (#1)

Good issue to raise here JM.

Whilst wanting more restrictions on immigration and wanting a crackdown on illegal immigration are not necessarily bad things to talk about, it's unwise for Cameron to talk about it.

If Brown said the same thing, the tabloids and most broadsheets would probably sing his praises for years and years.

But the Tory party are still considered as the nasty party I think - there hasn't been enough time since Cameron took over to change that. And he's messed up big time because now it's very clear he's made a lurch to the right as Labour predicted.

In the Newsnight interview he did last night, it was obvious that he's flip-flopped on so many issues. Whilst at the start he was all for 'hug-a-hoodie' and environmental issues - he's now gone back to typical Tory core issues - Europe, crime and immigration.

He may get some support from the Daily Mail and the Telegraph for this, but it's going to lose him the centre ground which he started to gain in the first few months of his leadership.

If he'd have held his nerve after the Brown bounce, he might have recovered a bit, but he's hit the panic button and now it's back to same old inward-looking Tories banging on about Brussels, marriage, criminals and immigrants. It's like Michael Howard all over again.

Re: Can Cameron hold onto the centre-ground? (#2)

In response to the question in the header, "No!"

Re: Can Cameron hold onto the centre-ground? (#3)

I think if he actually picked up the hot potato issue about FAMILY LAW for fathers and equal parenting where both parents have residence of children upon parental separation he might be strongly backed by thousands of dads in this country 
Gordron Brown ststed in the papers the most important thing in his life was being a dad???
Does he think we are any different ? I would love labour to take the bull by the horns with this issue ? it also affects thousands of grandparents who because of a split and mum doesnt want grannie and grandad to see their grandchild 
Is this fair or legalised family law cruelty?