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Tory voters - Has the current government put you off voting Tory again?

(96 Posts)
Unami Sat 27-Apr-13 21:22:53

This question isn't aimed at those who have historically voted Labour, obviously.

I'm genuinely interested in whether the current government's policies have disillusioned any Tory voters. I have a relatively wide mix of political perspectives amongst my friends and colleagues, and I'd really like to ask some of the people I know who voted Tory in the last election whether or not the current governments' policies have put them right off the Tory party. I'm thinking especially of voters I know who are younger than me, too young to remember the previous Tory government, and have more or less inherited their affiliation with Conservative politics from their family. I get the feeling that some of these younger voters might think that current policies, like the bedroom tax, the benefit cuts to disabled people, the withdrawing of EMA, are a bit much, quite frankly. However, I don't want to ask them directly as most of the Tory voters I know don't really like to 'talk about politics' or would be defensive/evasive about it. Anyway, I'm sure there's a much wider range of perspectives here!

So, have any current Tory policies - the welfare cuts, the marketisation of the NHS, increased student tuition fees, the bedroom tax - actually surprised you and made you reconsider voting Tory again? Or has their general inability to improve the economy (despite/because of their so called public sector cuts) put you off?

If so, who would you vote for now?

lottieandmia Mon 29-Apr-13 11:32:38

Well, UKIP suddenly seem very noticable where I live - people putting posters up and bloody leaflets through my door! I am assuming this means that people think there is less of a stigma in supporting them. Not as far as I'm concerned...

HumphreyCobbler Mon 29-Apr-13 11:35:52

I agree with CogitoErgoSometimes. She said it more succinctly than I would manage.

finickypinickity Mon 29-Apr-13 11:40:58

The only problem with UKIP is that they dont have any really defined policies to pull apart other than the pulling out of Europe one. Its a question most people have an opinion on even if the dont understand the full implications.

The other parties make promises before an election then do totally the opposite so for those opposed to the EU its a no brainer to vote for UKIP because it seems set in stone that we will be outhmm

UKIP are everywhere in our area which i'm guessing is because its a Tory voting area.

EuroShaggleton Mon 29-Apr-13 11:46:32

They certainly haven't impressed me. I agree with austerity as a concept. The last government essentially tried to buy votes with money it didn't have. This was foolish and unsustainable. But I do not agree with many of the measures introduced as austerity measures. I'm really not sure who I will vote for in the next election. I have voted Tory more than any other, but I do not always vote Tory and next time I think I will struggle to do so. But none of the other parties hold any appeal for me at all at the moment.

Startail Mon 29-Apr-13 12:37:30

I don't think the present government represent, anyone. I don't think they have a clue what their policies are or what they are doing.

I'd like to blame the fact that they are a coalition, but I think they are just dim.

The country needed a steady hand to gently rein back spending and simplify benefits, the tax system, local Government, the health service and education. It needed someone who could control public sector pay and keep industry and commerce on side while ensuring they payed their way too.

Instead we have a bunch of policies that piss off everyone and risk ruining our health service and our schools just as surely as the worst spend thrift, strike ridden labour Governments of my childhood did.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 29-Apr-13 12:46:10

I have voted tory in the past. I didn't in 2010, as didn't trust David Cameron. He never seemed sincere to me, just another Tony Blair. I won't vote for them in 2015 for sure. There are many reasons for this, but my biggest grievance being the unfair way they are removing CB for so called affluent families and yet letting families who are even more affluent keep it. That's done it for me permanently. My tory voting days are over.

lottieandmia Mon 29-Apr-13 12:51:39

Yes the CB thing is so unfair - I don't know how they can justify it.

niceguy2 Mon 29-Apr-13 12:55:40

I'm a traditional Tory voter. Personally I don't rate DC & GO very highly.

I don't think they truly understand the average man/woman on the street. Their stupid idea to axe CB in such a bizarre way is proof of that. Both seem to be career politician's and personally I'd prefer a business leader whom has experience of how to build a successful economy. Right now we need a strong leader who will do the right thing regardless of how unpopular it is. Caving in on stuff like the pasty tax just shows weakness and a lack of resolve.

So does it put me off voting for them in the future? Yes I have to say it does. The only saving grace is that Miliband and Balls are far far worse and I don't think anyone seriously thinks that they are a credible alternative.

I think this is why UKIP are suddenly doing so well. Tories are seeing their leaders as weak and ineffective but Labour are still living in cloud cuckoo land. Lib Dems committed electoral suicide so what's left? UKIP.

So for me if there was an election tomorrow, I'd be facing voting for Tories as the least worst choice or UKIP as a protest.

ihategeorgeosborne Mon 29-Apr-13 13:01:51

I guess they will find out how popular they still are come Thursday. We don't have the elections this week where I live, but I'm looking forward to the results for the rest of the country. Perhaps that will give them something to think about. Although I'm sure they will just make silly excuses for their unpopularity. They are completely useless. Agree with niceguy, I don't rate DC or GO. I'm surprised they haven't had a back bench rebellion yet.

flatpackhamster Mon 29-Apr-13 15:01:03

I was a Tory party member for a few years, and voted for David Davis in the leadership election. Stayed in the party until it became clear that Cameron was a social democrat. Which, for all the swivel-eyed rhetoric from the Guardian and its legions of supporters on MN, he is, and his policies are largely indistinguishable from Blair and Brown.

Xenia Mon 29-Apr-13 15:14:11

Yes, they are all middle ground.
No party really represents free enterprise, low taxes, radical free market policies any more.

Umlauf Mon 29-Apr-13 15:27:18

I voted Tory, it was my second vote. My first I voted LibDem as I was 18 and going to university and they were meant to be good to students (bt selfish at 18 to see beyond my own life!) as 24 I opted Tory because I hated brown/Blair.

I wont vote tory next time, but definitely won't be voting UKIP. In fact I don't have a clue who I'd vote for next time. Labour? Hmmm....

Unami Mon 29-Apr-13 15:36:48

Interesting perspectives, folks. I appreciate all your answers to my question - even if I don't personally agree with your political positions.

So, it looks like the most unpopular polices here so far are i) unfair changes to CB ii) cutting benefits for sick and disabled people
but there is support for austerity (in principle if not in practice) and for some cuts.

Yoni, I agree with you when you say it is bizarre that the government's only plan to tackle the housing crisis is to back mortgages. I mean, I'm of the opinion that the country's current financial problems are due to the Global financial crisis of 2007/8, and that was caused mortgages and risky lending. So the government's current genius plan is subprime mortgages and assume the risk of lending. My head was in my hands.

UKIP as a protest vote of choice is interesting. But do they really have fairer welfare policies than the Tories? Or better economic policies? I'm assuming that doesn't matter because they are just a protest vote?

Cogito, I'm not a journalist, just curious.

Xenia, I am trying my best to bite my tongue. I really am, because I asked for your perspective on the Tory party. But your views are extremely...extreme. The policy scenarios you describe sound like something from Mad Max.

Overall no one seems very impressed by the current government. I guess they're not really pleasing anyone. Like Ihategeorge I'm pretty surprised that the coalition (and the Tory party) has managed to hold it together this long. It really has been a shambles of a couple of years.

Out of interest, is there anyone who voted Tory last time who would vote for Labour next?

I'm not even going to ask about the Lib Dems...

SugarMiceInTheRain Mon 29-Apr-13 15:50:23

I think whoever came into power at the last General Election would have had to make a lot of unpopular decisions. Labour had overspent so much (buying votes, essentially) that winning the G.E. was a poisoned chalice. In theory I am in favour of some of the austerity measures but they have not been well thought out or executed and I really think our current government are a load of smug, self-serving idiots. But I wouldn't trust Labour either, so I really don't know who I will vote for next time. Locally I vote for lib dems because they do a brilliant job.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 29-Apr-13 22:40:45

I would still vote for them, not keen on the CB policy as its unfair and the cuts havent gone far enough but its a start in the right direction.

I too doubt Labour would reverse any of them, they agree in principle with the UC that gets pilotted this week which is a u turn on them giving money away as now they realise more working people is what we need.

ttosca Mon 29-Apr-13 23:00:20

> I too doubt Labour would reverse any of them, they agree in principle with the UC that gets pilotted this week which is a u turn on them giving money away as now they realise more working people is what we need.

Tory policies towards getting people to work is - what? Making work pay by suggesting the min wage be abolished, and when that was greeted with outrage, suggesting that disabled people should be excluded?

How exactly does flatlining the economy for three years and firing thousands of public sector workers help people find work and contribute to the economy?

twofingerstoGideon Mon 29-Apr-13 23:11:51

I would very much like benefits to be increased for the sick and disabled and the long term unemployed to be made to work for their benefit payment.

Unless you are unfit for work you should not be getting money for doing nothing. That should not be a choice

Long term unemployment is not always a matter of 'choice'.

BallerinaZeena Mon 29-Apr-13 23:50:55

Xenia is very rich and can disappear to her island if the going gets tough.

I have never voted Tory and never will. I find Tory voters vote for themselves and the rest of us think about what's good and right for everyone. Just my opinion based on my limited experience

I agree I don't think labour will come in and reverse everything - I think the Tories have done them a favour. They've come in and done all the nasty cuts so labour don't have to.

PariahHairy Tue 30-Apr-13 00:40:28

I don't think I will ever vote again, they are all self serving wank stains. I could vote Labour in the next GE, this is a nimby Tory stronghold, so what would be the point. Also Labour are utterly shite atm, and obviously have a terrible track history with Blair and Brown.

We have local elections and the only signs I see outside houses are for the lib dems, maybe it's a local issue thing. I couldn't care less and will not be voting. We have had ukip leaflets, one of their promises is forcing benefit claimants to learn English hmm pile of shite.

niceguy2 Tue 30-Apr-13 08:39:09

Out of interest, is there anyone who voted Tory last time who would vote for Labour next?

I think the question for any prospective Labour voter is, can they articulate what they are actually voting for?

I mean specifically....what policies? I'll be buggered if I know what they stand for. All I can gather so far is they say they will reduce the deficit but oppose every single cut so far and haven't suggested one area themselves they'd trim.

To me that is not credible.

twofingerstoGideon Tue 30-Apr-13 09:39:29

That's all very well, niceguy, but I don't remember the Tories having a 'policy' to dismantle the NHS and remove benefits from the disabled. I don't remember reading any of that in their manifesto.

I'm tending to agree with Pariah actually.

There was an item on Radio 4 yesterday about 'forcing' young people (under threat of a fine) to vote the first time they become eligible, the intention being to engender a habit of voting. The proposal was to have 'none of the above' on the ballot paper. I just think it's a pity that there's not a box for that on ALL ballot papers. I don't believe there's a single political party that represents my interests but want to exercise my right to vote.

Sorry - slightly off-topic, I know.

Xenia Tue 30-Apr-13 09:39:36

We were asked for views. Many Tories are not happy with the middle ground politics of Cameron and do indeed want things like a £10k benefits cap etc as I mentioned and low flat taxes.

I would not describe myself as very rich. I have no savings and divorce debt. However I am healthy and happy and able to support myself and have good relationships with all my children so that is a richness and I have the richness of political views which are right for Britain.

niceguy2 Tue 30-Apr-13 12:11:32

Oh do get a grip. The Tories have hardly 'dismantled' the NHS. I was there last week and the hospital was still there. I got treated for free and my son will be getting an appointment soon for his consult. Spending hasn't been cut. All that's happened is they've made some internal changes which personally I think has been blown out of proportion.

Benefit cuts were obviously going to be cut after the election and whilst you are correct in saying that this wasn't in their manifesto, cuts themselves were on the cards from all major parties.

gruffalocake Tue 30-Apr-13 12:45:19

I think I'm exactly the person you describe your OP.

I am unhappy with the torts because whilst I agree that we need cuts because unless we do the pensioners disabled etc of the future will did no money left in the pot. I think the ideas can be ok but in practice are ridiculous. The cb thing is not a bad idea to be removed above a certain income bracket but the implementation in crazy. Similarly with the bedroom tax. Ok to apply to new claims maybe but in practice makes no sense.

I think the coalition does mean there is less clarity and strength in decisions made. I am a big fan of the 10k personal allowance though and that was a joint project.

I don't know what I will do at next election Ed Milliband does not inspire me at all. I would like a David Milliband v William Hague election which I think would give some potentially attractive (politically!) options.

happybubblebrain Tue 30-Apr-13 13:00:30

I have never voted Tory and I never will. I'm neither rich nor stupid, so they're not for me. I voted Labour in the last election becuase it was the only possible chance of keeping them out, I'll do the same in the next election.

My guess would be that within 30 years most people will switch to voting for the Green Party. Just a hunch.

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