Conservative Diary

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Rolling blog on the #Victory2015 Conference

5.45pm Ten winning policies:


5.25pm Tim Montgomerie tweets:

May says Conservatism can be an unstoppable force if we fight for the little guy against vested interests #Victory2015

For the record --- I asked Theresa May to give wide-ranging speech when I invited her to #Victory2015 *last November*.

Theresa May has touched on profit-making schools and state-led industrial policy plus Euroscepticism. A big speech for #Victory2015

5.20pm Paul Goodman tweets:

May: big stress on tackling vested interests - undeserved bonuses, high and unfair pay. This is Underdog Conservatism.

Iain McGill tweets:

Theresa May goes after the legal loan sharks - payday loan companies preying on the vulnerable - will use power of state #Victory2015

Marcus Roberts  tweets:

May reaches for @TimMontgomerie's "full orchestra Conservatism" with speech on traditional Tory strengths & weaknesses alike #Victory2015

5.10pm Daniel Hannan tweets:

Theresa May is plainly serious about a manifesto commitment to leave the ECHR. #Victory2015 #Sound

Paul Goodman tweets:

May implies that she backs Gove's sympathy for the idea that state schools should be able to make a profit. #victory2015

5.05pm Theresa May opens by saying that Britain faces a leadership choice - David Cameron's or Ed Miliband's. She says Conservatives must tackle vested interests. Conservatism's three pillars are security, freedom and opportunity.

"Today has been a day fizzing with ideas. We are the party standing up for people who want to work hard and get on."


5pm Paul Goodman tweets:

Theresa May is opening her speech - complete, yes, with those leopardskin shoes. #Victory2015

4.55pm Daniel Hannan tweets:

We should do for all families what Margaret Thatcher did for mine when we bought our council house, says @NadineDorriesMP. #Victory2015

Daniel Hannan tweets:

Tories should appeal to working people with cheaper energy and alcohol, says @PhilipDaviesMP. #Victory2015

4.45pm Robert Halfon's ten laws of blue collar Conservatism (via Tim Montgomerie):

1. Don't use term blue collar conservatism.

2. Must be Ronseal conservatism, don't over-intellectualise.

3. Not about inverted snobbery but being for people who want to be better off.

4. Policies for poor should be golden thread for Tory policies

5. Test every policy for impact on CDEs before launch, like minimum alcohol pricing.

6. Pick some defining issues like council house sales.

7. Don't be gentleman politicians - find an Ed Balls to take fight to Labour.

8. Must be counter-intuitive - eg hug, not bash trade union members.

9. Language and manner must be generous.

10. Aspiration is key theme of blue collar conservatism.

Nadine Dorries says the definition of C2 voter is someone who knows price of everything because they have to budget so carefully.

4pm Dan Hannan MEP has arrived and bought a copy of the Conservative History Group's magazine:


3.30pm Tim Montgomerie tweets:

The @fawcettsociety says female turnout rises by 4% if there's a female candidate, notes @andrealeadsom #victory2015


3.25pm Tim Montgomerie tweets:

Since women entered parliament eg defence select cttee talks about soldiers' families as well as size of guns says @AmberRuddMP #victory2015

Mario Creatura tweets:

In '10 Lab got 29% of the skilled working class vote - Blair > 50%. Lab are gentrifying: the working classes are up for grabs #Victory2015

3pm Nick Denys tweets:

Politics cliquey. @trussliz points out that Labour brothers & sisters are often actual brothers, cousins, daughters & partners #victory2015

Mario Creatura tweets:

If you're posh Labour then you're judged as having done well. If you're a posh Tory you get sneered at - says @AnneMcElvoy #Victory2015

2.40pm Tim Montgomerie tweets:

I'm a 7%er says @TrussLiz - I believe Tories can win - We will make history at the next election and break records #Victory2015

2.35pm Quoting Janet Jackson, Fraser Nelson says to most people, politics is about   "What Have You Done For Me Lately?"


2.30pm Paul Goodman tweets:

.@frasernelson says Lord Ashcroft, with his polls, is a ghost of Christmas Future issuing a warning to Scooge Cameron. #victory2015

2.25pm Nicholas Watt tweets:

Martin Callanan: ministers should stop briefing about distancing from ECHR + do something about it #victory2015

Nicholas Watt  tweets:

Tory leader in EP Martin Callanan: we need to recapture Margaret Thatcher's clear + aspirational message #victory2015


2.15pm Iain Dale tweets:

I see the ConHome #victory2015 conference is being held in the same room the David Davis leadership campaign was launched in. [Gets coat]

Marcus Roberts tweets:

The thing is, Shapps isn't wrong on value of doorknocking but dismissing data and mocking "silly numbers stuff" isn't serious #Victory2015

2pm Grant Shapps announces Volunteer 2015 effort to recruit campaigners online. He adds that the  Blue Blog now updated more often.

Conservattive Student claims to have been charged £10 to campaign in Eastleigh byelection!

1.50pm Tim Montgomerie tweets:

Tory Chairman @grantshapps talking to #victory2015 conference says polls change. Two years ago he jokes, Clegg could walk on water! Not now.

1.45pm Check this rival rolling blog here.

Grant Shapps calls for action not strategising:

"How did I win? It wasn't voter segmentation or algorithms I got out there and knocked on doors."

1.40pm Now it's the Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps:

12.50pm More conference banners:

12.40pm Nick Denys tweets:

Latest poll: 70% of delegates are wearing suite jackets. But 40% of these folk are accompanying jackets with jeans #victory2015 #smartcasual

Paul Goodman tweets:

.@StephanShaxper Romney WON on Shares My Values...(but lost on more important indicator: "cares for people like me"). #Victory2015

Sarah Windrum tweets:

In Obama's campaign 400 of his 800 full time campaigners were involved in social media Stat from @matthew_elliott #Victory2015

12.25pm Jesse Norman MP offers four big themes for the next manifesto:


12.20pm Stephan Shakespeare answers the questions...

....after he set out the key divides in politics:

12.15pm Jen Salisbury Jones tweets:

.@matthew_Elliot criticising Tory websites and picks on the poor quality of CF's site. #cfelects #Victory2015

Sarah Windrum tweets:

Great point from @StephanShaxper People don't care about left, right,
or centre We want someone on our side #Victory2015

Warwick University Conservatives tweets:

77% of quango jobs went to Labour supporters last year. #victory2015

Noon Ruth Porter tweets

. @matthew_elliott argues gov funding of 3rd party groups like think tanks & unions should be stopped.

Ruth Porter  tweets:

. @matthew_elliott - declining membership of political parties means using 3rd party groups, like campaign groups, charities etc important.

Marcus Roberts tweets:

. @YouGov Shakespeare: Winning words for voters:Aspiration ownership Community health education security tradition reform fairness #Victory2015

Marcus Roberts tweets:

.@YouGov Shakespeare on LabVsCon word associations:supporting increasing helping investing advancingVS cutting privatising limiting charging

Tim Montgomerie tweets:

To be seen as authentic, @StephanShaxper tells #Victory2015, a politician must take risks. Words not enough.

11.45am Read Tim Montgomerie's analysis on ToryDiary: Tories could gain 17 seats from the Liberal Democrats but risk losing many, many more marginal seats to Labour

What a General Election result now would be  according to uniform poll and marginals poll:


Nicholas Watt tweets:

Lord Ashcroft: until Con party puts resources into attracting BME votes, party will continue to suffer low vote #victory2015

11.30am Paul Goodman tweets:

Ashcroft: At present, planning to win election like planning final assault on Berlin while evacuating the bridges at Dunkirk. #Victory2015

Andy Morris tweets:

Lord Ashcroft talking at Cons #victory2015 Lord Ashdown talking at #ldconf My twitter timeline is getting very confused

11.15am Lord Ashcroft slide on where the Tory defectors have been going:

11.10am Paul Goodman tweets:

Lord Ashcroft says he wants the Conservatives to win in 2015 and isn't donating only because the party doesn't need the money. #Victory2015

11.05am Lord Ashcroft polling data slide on how voters view Ed Milband:


11.00am Tim Montgomerie says we must explain our positive vision for the future, based on ideas as well as policy. Strength and compassion must be the Party's watchwords in 2015.

Work, family and education are the routes out of poverty and key Conservative themes.

Nadhim Zahawi  MP calls for a budget call for help for business.

10.40am It's all filled up now. Standing room only.

The banner proclaims:

A nation in charge of its destiny. Low taxes for the low paid. Home ownership for the many. Full employment. Decent pensions for all. World class schools and hospitals.


This blog will be updated throughout the day, especially after the Conference gets underway at 10.30am. The Conference agenda can be read here. We have already published a ConHome poll which discovered huge pessimism about the Tories' electoral prospects.


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