Conservative Diary

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Cameron recruits leading Obama advisers to rejuvenate final weeks of campaign

Team Cameron has hired key advisers to the Obama campaign to advise on preparations for the vital TV debates. The appointment is revealed by Iain Martin in this morning's Wall Street Journal. The advisers also work for the Mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg and it was him, a few months ago and before the recent opinion poll slippage, that recommended them to David Cameron. They are expected to offer advice on other aspects of the Conservative campaign.

YouGovSunAnother YouGov poll for The Sun puts the Conservative lead at 6% this morning. A Harris poll meanwhile, in today's Metro gives the Tories a 9% lead. Yesterday, an Angus Reid survey gave the party a 12% lead. Angus Reid also confirmed what most of us believe; the Tories are doing better where it counts most, in the marginals.

Screen shot 2010-02-25 at 07.40.28 Over at The Spectator, however, Political Editor James Forsyth is worried. "Current polls," he suggests, "suggest it is touch and go whether the Tories get a majority." He continues: "When you consider that they’re fighting against a party whose agenda has bankrupted the country, led by a Prime Minister who is loathed even by his own aides, this seems incomprehensible."

He notes that - after being far from open for most of recent years - Team Cameron is now adopting a more consensual approach: "The shadow Cabinet — which has been bypassed for most of Cameron’s tenure — is now being consulted. It met for more than two hours on Tuesday — after the Cameroon powwow in Notting Hill — and had, unusually, a proper discussion of the political situation. One member tells me that almost everyone spoke at the meeting. That this is considered news says a lot about how the shadow Cabinet is normally conducted."

James Forsyth recommends clearer messages, more use of William Hague and more focus on Labour failures.

I'll be setting out my own recommendations at 9am tomorrow.

Tim Montgomerie


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