The man who masterminded the Conservative Party’s surprise win in Britain’s General Election earlier this year has warned Prime Minister David Cameron that he risks losing the next election if he fails to cut immigration.
Australian political campaign chief Lynton Crosby presented the results of a confidential poll to the Cabinet during the summer which showed high immigration was the biggest concern on voters’ minds.
The confidential poll, which asked 2,000 people why they voted for the Conservatives, showed that while voters thought the party was best able to run the economy and deliver “strong and stable government”, nearly 40 per cent said they remained rattled by mass immigration.
The issue topped all other priorities, including increasing health spending, having a referendum on Britain’s EU membership and controlling Britain’s deficit.
The revelation appears in the book Why The Tories Won – The Inside Story Of The 2015 Election, by journalist Tim Ross. Ross says that Crosby told ministers they must fulfil their pledge to reduce immigration if they want to win in 2020.
In 2010, the Conservatives pledged to reduce immigration to the “tens of thousands” but figures released in the run up to the last election showed net migration had actually risen to 330,000, causing huge embarrassment for the government.
The Daily Mail also says that before May’s election, Crosby told Cameron to “show some guts and passion or you are going to lose” and also reportedly told a friend Cameron was not serious about holding on to power.
“How do I know it’s not just some f****** frolic for a rich bloke to do?” he allegedly said.
In January, Cameron admitted he had failed to control immigration, telling listeners on BBC Radio Two: “It was a commitment I made which I want to keep. I believe we would be a better, stronger country if we had net migration in the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands.
“That is what I wanted to achieve. But the figures are very clear I have not achieved that, I want to keep going until we do achieve it because I believe it is the right thing for our country.”