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Cameron has reasons to be cheerful

By Tim Montgomerie

I wouldn't go as far as Matthew d'Ancona. In today's Sunday Telegraph he writes that Ed Miliband's victory has delivered David Cameron the next election. That's just silly. British politics is currently too fast-moving to make any such bold predictions but Ed Miliband's election certainly was good news for the Coalition. The talk of Downing Street not wanting David Miliband was true. Again and again Tory aides wanted Red Ed:

  1. They seem him as a prisoner of the unions...
  2. The leader of a party that is moving Leftwards...
  3. At odds with the New Labour establishment who will undermine him...
  4. In denial about the need for an apology for Labour's record...
  5. In denial about the deficit...
  6. So committed to egalitarianism that he will never win over Middle England...
  7. A man who can be portrayed as yesterday's man, opposed to the Coalition's reforming instincts on welfare and education...
  8. Signed up to Ken Clarke's prisons policy so there's no chance of the Coalition being outflanked on the Daily Mail/ Sun-side of the crime debate...
  9. Too confrontational to woo the Liberal Democrats and so left-wing that he'll help unite the Conservatives...
  10. A man too steeped in politics to cut through to voters*.

Clegg Cameron Aides to David Cameron were also delighted at the Liberal Democrat conference. Many journalists went to Liverpool hoping for lots of discontent. They found some but, as Andrew Sparrow reported in the best review of the conference, "there have been grumbles, but (this week) they have been inconsequential. In so far as you can say what the [Liberal Democrat] party as a whole thinks, it's broadly happy with the coalition, and expects it to last."

The third important development this week were signs that the Tory machine is coming back to life. Sayeeda Warsi hit the right notes yesterday evening in pointing to Ed Miliband's union links. Matt Hancock MP has emerged as George Osborne's frontman in attacking Ed Miliband's deficit denial. And Michael Fallon MP became the Conservative Party's media attack dog. Fallon's appointment is another sign that the Coalition is ready for combat and rebuilding relations with the neglected Right of the party.

All in all a very good week for the Tory leader.

* I'll be expanding on these ten points tomorrow.

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