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I have to disagree with the analysis - the strategy that Blair followed to the letter was to always win the centre-ground, and in a FPTP electoral model its a winning strategy. Thatcher did this by selling the nation a narrative (and a solution) that proved persuasive. Blair did this by heaping on the charisma and rhetoric, and avoiding the nasty pitfalls of partisan left-right issues (in his memoir he states that one of his biggest regrets was the fox-hunting bill). Camerons problem is that he never had a centre-ground strategy that really caught light. Perhaps the electorate is just too skeptical for "big fix" ideas now, or perhaps their big society / cuts agenda wasn't sold well enough. I'm not convinced that their lack of conservatism failed, rather their failure to successfully sell Conservatism. I'd also add that simply deeming centric/leftwing policy as "PC" is a bit laughable as a critique.
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Apr 11, 2012