Michael Howard is kicking himself that he backed away from a big push on immigration in the final days of the election campaign - a decision which Tories believe may have cost them at least 10 extra seats in parliament.
As the Conservatives embark on a fresh round of soul searching, Mr Howard believes he could have finished off Tony Blair because a further 10 Tory MPs would have cut Labour's majority to below 50, dealing a fatal blow to the prime minister.
Mr Howard, who focused strongly on immigration in the early part of his campaign, abandoned plans to return to the charged issue in the final days because he wanted to present an upbeat message of what he would do as prime minister.
Michael Howard is now the lame duck leader of the Conservatives, having signalled he will step down once a replacement is chosen.
John Curtice of the University of Strathclyde, in Scotland, agreed that the Tories had failed to emerge from their electoral ‘black hole’, but said that immigration had been the ‘one and only popular tune’ which seemed to appeal to voters.
“They lost despite their immigration policy, not because of it,” he said.
If the Republican Presidential candidate loses in 2008 it won't be because he strongly supports border control and expulsion of illegal immigrants.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2005 May 08 09:49 PM Immigration Politics|