Coffee House

Shapps’ campaign skirmish

16 December 2012

There’s long been a sense on the Tory side that the party’s campaigning isn’t as sharp as it should be, that CCHQ isn’t up to the job. The Ashcroft target seats campaign was so valued not just because of the money but because of the organisational and management muscle behind it.

The new Tory Chairman Grant Shapps was sent to CCHQ in the reshuffle with instructions to address the place’s institutionalised incompetence. The early signs are encouraging. When Labour announced that it was launching a campaign in the 60 seats where the number of people on working tax credits, which are only going up by 1%, was larger than the Tory majority, Shapps had a Tory response in place in each of those seats by the time Labour’s campaign actually launched. Tellingly, the Tories are trying to emphasise that anyone in work is better off overall because of the increase in the personal allowance. The Tories know that while the public is keen for a tougher approach to those on on out of work benefits, its attitude to those on in work benefits is very different.

Significantly for the next election campaign, both the Labour and Tory campaigns are running only in these 60 seats. Internet advertising enables the parties to precisely target ads to particular seats. Expect to see a lot more of this in the 2015 campaign.

Give the perfect gift this Christmas. Buy a subscription for a friend for just £75 and you’ll receive a free gift too. Buy now.

Show comments
  • MirthaTidville

    There is only so much you can do when you have to cheerlead for 2 bozos like Cameron and Osborne………..The Statler and Waldorf of politics

  • Hexhamgeezer

    So, Cameron thinks Shapps is the one to inspire the party to election victory?

    Is he some kind of $#!t Whisperer who can turn your programme into electoral gold?

    • telemachus


  • Daniel Maris

    Grant Shapps – cookhouse washer up promoted to Field Marshal.

    Don’t expect any miracles on the battlefield from him.

    • telemachus

      You agree with me that we should return to Warsi

      • Colin

        Who’s we ?

        • Daniel Maris

          Telemachus seems to be having one of his fits of the “vapours” where he imagines everyone including himself is a member of the Conservative Party.

          • Coffeehousewall

            Telemachus has already outed himself as a member of the Labour Party on several other web forums, and if I remember he also described how he enjoyed visiting his local mosque. But of course he is a collective, a mind possessed by various demons, and the ‘personal’ facts revealed at any one time only reflect the person who is on duty at the time.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    Campaigning provides a bit of a conundrum when the better you explain your policies, the less popular they are. Usually at that point you fall back on your record in office…

  • Heartless etc.,

    Sorry James, – only one message worth reporting now: that the H2B has graciously quit the Westminster scene – or been booted out – and taken up his post with the EUSSR. Anything else is like yesterday’s cold and discarded leftovers.

  • telemachus

    And remember the Mitchell debacle

    Shapps said that the police federation, which is running a campaign against government police cuts, was behaving like a trade union?
    He implied the police were telling lies and nice friend thrasher was being sorely used
    Why then did Andrew resign?

    • John_Page

      Ooh 3 boilerplate postings about Shapps’s past? Someone’s masters are windy.

      • Colonel Mustard

        More like a dirty plastic bag drifting across an empty windswept car park in some dump of a town than boilerplate.

  • telemachus

    And is he on message

    “Former housing minister Grant Shapps demanded that people be rehoused in their local areas following the news that east London’s Newham council wanted to move 500 families to Stoke last year.”

  • telemachus

    Lets get his identity straight before he starts on the Party

    We are unsure exactly where he was born. When Shapps stood for parliament in London, his leaflets said he was “a Londoner by birth”.

    But now he is MP for Welwyn Hatfield, they tell a different story. “Born in Hertfordshire in 1968” his profile now reads.

    • Thomas Paine

      Perhaps one of these was Michael Green?

      Actually the stupidest thing he did as housing minister was to can the outgoing government’s planned register of landlords.

      Given that an estimated of 20% of small landlords are fiddling tax in rental income that could have been a nice little earner for a Government strapped for cash.

      • Charles

        Why should the government know who are landlords or not? Ownership is registered already with the Land Registry. I don’t trust them to look after my data correctly.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      He’s still got fewer identities than you.


      • Colonel Mustard

        Ha ha! Me likes that!

Can't find your Web ID? Click here