The turn in the polls has been sudden – but Phil Syrpis does not think it is a surprise to see Tory fortunes plunge under new PM Truss.
I’ll offer four reasons why they are on the slide; each alone would have an impact, together they are devastating.
The only place to start is with the mis-steps of the Truss government. It has been in office for less than a month (which included the Queen’s funeral). In that time, an impression has been created; and it is not a good impression.
The government is inexperienced and incompetent, making ‘rookie mistakes’.
It is ideological, uninterested in redistribution and equality – once again, the ‘nasty party’.
The Party is obviously divided. Its political antennae (if they exist) are not functioning.
Second, the Truss government has failed to distance itself from the problems caused by PM Johnson. There was an opportunity to show that lessons had been learned from the string of scandals… but that opportunity was not taken.
The consequence is that the corruption, the lobbying, and the interest-group capture have continued.
The government still appears dishonest and untrustworthy, out-of-touch and entitled.
And, policy-making is still ‘cakeist’ with disregard for evidence and expertise.
Third, the Labour Party appears to have got its act together, and to have persuaded people at least not to fear it. (There’s a lot to say about the position of Labour, and its ability to craft a stronger narrative, but not here.)
And fourth (and one can debate the extent to which the Tory government now 12 years in power is responsible) there are going to be difficult economic times ahead.
Brexit, COVID and the war in Ukraine are big shocks, which risk blowing the economy off course.
People are not optimistic about the (near) future; we are instead fearful about what the weeks and months may bring.
In that context, people want stability and certainly, not more, dizzying, ‘constant churn’ (as called for yesterday by Lord Frost).
Put all that together, and it becomes clear that the government faces a huge political and economic challenge, which it is manifestly incapable of meeting.
This weeks’ polls may well become the new normal.