Sunday, March 16, 2008

Has the personal touch worked?

The Independent today asked whether Cameron will "regret placing tots in the frontline?". The exclusive insight into his family life was aired on ITV's News at ten on Friday and showed him as a dad comfortable with family life and preparing breakfast for his children, defending his decision to let the cameras in Cameron argues "People want to know who you are and what you are like and what makes you tick... That's modern politics. You just have to do what you feel comfortable with." And comfortable is perhaps the key here, his rival Gordon Brown is not comfortable with such intrusions into his life or the lives of his family. Cameron is happy to mix personality with politics and be a political celebrity, this involves letting the media in and embracing the attention earned.

The Independent asks if he will regret it long term, when his son might do a Euan Blair and be found drunk in public, but for Cameron his celebrity status seems to be earning him significant rewards at a time when Labour are struggling. The credibility of Brown and Darling has been seriously compromised by the loss of sensitive data, perceived indecision over Northern Rock and the questions surrounding economic stability and Darling and Brown's ability to meet the challenges. But unless they are seen to be responsible for an economic collapse such things may not lose them the election; experience can be chosen over an untried and untested team despite doubts.

But Cameron is running away with popularity and this could be due to him and his style as much as the weakness in support for Labour. The narrative of Dave the family man, who understands and cares about the ordinary man and woman in the street seems to have surpassed and dispelled any negative connotations that may have come with his privileged background. A poll today puts Cameron's Conservatives on 43% with Labour on 27% and the Liberal Democrats on 16% which could easily give Cameron a small majority if there was an election. Momentum is with him and is this poll reflects his media appearances as well as those of Brown and Darling he is on a roll.

1 comment:

Matt Hurst said...

"Running away with popularity"

Labour were only 4 pts behind just before the budget, but even though the budget effected very few people eithier way he still got pillored by the media.

However we are in middle of a political term no party has ever been returned without hitting the 50 mark and even at the Tory high points they haven't done that.