Despite what you read in the Sunday newspapers, Cameron's leadership is not in danger
By Tim Montgomerie
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Some spectacularly ill-timed press speculation this morning about David Cameron's future as Tory leader. Both the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Times (for the second week in a row) are puffing up the idea that David Cameron's leadership is in danger. They do so on the morning when Labour's lead has fallen below 10% in four Sunday newspaper opinion polls. You could say five if you count the ICM poll for last week's Guardian. If any leadership should be in trouble it should be Ed Miliband's. For reasons I won't repeat this morning, Labour has significant structural advantages but (i) Ed Miliband's personal unpopularity and (ii) his failure to detoxify his party's spendthrift image mean his party is failing to capitalise on the Coalition's not insignificant weaknesses.
The Mail on Sunday and Sunday Times (£) are suggesting that backbench Tory MP Adam Afriyie is lining up a campaign to challenge for the Tory leadership - most likely after the next election but possibly beforehand. Mr Afriyie - inevitably dubbed the "Tory Obama" - is said to have an eight strong parliamentary campaign team, which includes Cities of London and Westminster MP Mark Field. One hundred Tory MPs are reported to have been contacted to elicit whether they would back an Afriyie candidacy.
Being competitive in the polls is not, of course, enough to win a general election. The EU speech has begun to reunite the centre right, Eurosceptic vote. We need other more radical changes to become a majority party. Starting tomorrow on ConHome we'll be looking at what might be called "Conservatism for the Little Guy". Each day we'll be looking at ideas from Laura Sandys, Robert Halfon, Lord Baker, Nick Boles, Harriett Baldwin and Liz Truss which can build a conservatism that reaches deeply into Labour territory.