Two different stories today, unconnected in one way but both – particularly when put together – speaking volumes for the current state of the Conservative Party. Obviously, panic or disagreements are in no way involved. Not at all.
First we have ConservativeHome’s take on the party starting to use YouGov in addition to Populus:
Up until now now the Cameron team has had only Populus telling them what the outside world was thinking. The intelligence from Populus was brought to them by the same team who run operations in the party’s marginal seats. In other words our marginal seats operation wasn’t being independently evaluated.
What a remarkably divide and malfunctioning party where the party leader’s team brings in a second pollster to independently evaluate what their own Deputy Chairman is doing.
Then we have the Channel 4 story:
After yesterday’s Channel 4 News poll showing plummeting Conservative support in key marginal seats, leading Tory lobbyist Peter Bingle emails colleagues to describe his “despair” at his party’s election campaign.
The reaction to this by the Conservative Party’s Head of Press, Henry Macrory? To send a sequence of eleven tweets with various personal jibes about Peter Bingle. The first one I saw made me wonder if perhaps a message had been sent by mistake, or an intended private message broadcast to the world in error. But that doesn’t explain eleven tweets, nor does a momentary piece of bad judgement.
It’s a pretty unappetising picture of how to handle a negative story: send a long series of personal jibes. Perhaps though it’s good that they were sent via Twitter; that way we can all see how the Conservative Party’s press operation conducts itself.