Conservative Diary

Campaign materials

16 Feb 2011 08:33:28

CCHQ's anti-AV leaflets pull their punches

Tim Montgomerie

Just above this post Paul Goodman speculates at the consequences for David Cameron if First Past The Post is defeated in the AV referendum. Conservative HQ has, this morning, given ConHome a preview of the postcards that it is issuing to Tory Associations to ensure that that doesn't happen:

AVWorld AVWheelOfFortune AVRun AVScales The postcards feature the following messages on the reverse:

  • It isn't used in many places: AV is a discredited voting system. It’s only used in three countries around the world – Fiji, Australia and Papua New Guinea – and both Fiji and Australia want to get rid of it. By contrast, First Past the Post, our current system, is the most widely used in the world.
  • Supporters of extreme parties get many votes: "AV is an unfair voting system. With First Past the Post (our current system), everybody has one vote. But under AV, supporters of extreme parties like the BNP would get their vote counted many times, while people who vote for one of the mainstream candidates would only get their vote counted once."
  • The winner doesn't win: "The Labour leadership election showed that AV doesn’t work. David Miliband won the support of most Labour MPs and Party Members, and was ahead in the first three rounds of voting – and yet Ed Miliband became the shock new Labour leader after sneaking the fourth round by just 1%.

Continue reading "CCHQ's anti-AV leaflets pull their punches" »

14 May 2010 08:17:48

Please help ConHome publish its General Election Review

Screen shot 2010-05-14 at 08.16.14 I hope you have had a chance to read ConservativeHome's Review of the Conservative Party's General Election campaign. It's online here.

It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the Tory campaign and concludes that the party should have achieved an outright victory. It makes a series of recommendations for the future including the need for a full-time campaigns co-ordinator, a full time pollster and independent status for the Scottish party.

You can read the executive summary here and the recommendations here.

The party leadership is publicly and privately insisting the result was the best that could have been achieved. I disagree and want maximum pressure on the party to improve the effort for the next time and learn all necessary lessons. My aim is to publish the analysis as a booklet next week. I have a lot more material to add and want all MPs, journalists and others to see the paper in an easily readable format. I would be very grateful if you would consider making a donation to pay for this. I think I'll need about £2,000. If you can help please make a donation.

Later today I hope to announce an event to be held next Thursday evening in London to discuss the campaign.

Tim Montgomerie

3 May 2010 18:49:10

George Osborne nails Labour's latest lie on child tax credits as he previews David Cameron's "unprecedented political marathon"

George Osborne on Politics Show In an email to party members tonight, Gorge Osborne has emphasised that the party is "taking absolutely nothing for granted" in advance of polling day.

He promotes the latest election broadcast and attack ad, reveals that the party's contract with voters has now been delivered to 4 million homes and previews the "unprecedented political marathon" David Cameron is about to undertake:

"David Cameron will continue to lead from the front in this election. He will be campaigning right through the night, travelling across the whole country in the last twenty four hours before the eve of poll. It is a first for British politics, an unprecedented political marathon. It will be exhausting and exhilarating in equal measure, and it shows that David and our party are prepared quite literally to go the extra mile to change Britain for the better."  

Sky News reporter Dharshini David said on air a little while ago that the tour would take in all four corners of the UK - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (ash cloud permitting).

Meanwhile, George Osborne also took the opportunity in his email to nail Labour's latest lie about Conservative policy:

"We are seeing a desperate campaign from a desperate Gordon Brown, that will shame the Labour Party for years to come. We have already exposed the lies on pensioner benefits and Sure Start - and our Contract makes clear commitments to protect them.

"Labour's latest lie of this campaign is on the child tax credit. Gordon Brown said we would cut it for the "very poorest". That is completely dishonest. We would keep child tax credits, and protect them for those families on modest incomes. Only families on incomes above about £50,000 would stop receiving tax credits.

"When we announced this the Labour Party attacked it on the grounds that it wouldn't save very much money because few families would be affected; now they are attacking the same policy with the ludicrously untrue claim that many millions of people would be affected. It just shows what dishonest nonsense they are spreading, and we are rebutting it directly."

Jonathan Isaby

2 May 2010 17:39:16

CCHQ distribute 'key messages newspaper' to one million homes in target seats

I was in CCHQ earlier to look at the literature being distributed in target seats. Not only do I now have my own copy of The Contract but also a copy of a newspaper being distributed to a million homes this weekend. The Contract is central to it. The top three issues it focuses on are the economy, the NHS and immigration (the three issues I've long thought most important). The back page is dedicated to the five dangers of a hung parliament:

  • Gordon Brown may stay in power;
  • Power will pass to politicians and their back room deals;
  • There will be a lack of clear leadership;
  • There will be a delay to the big economic decisions;
  • There may be a second election later this year.

I summarise the newspaper in the graphic below.


Very good.

Tim Montgomerie

Monday morning: Download a PDF of the full newspaper

30 Apr 2010 07:51:23

Tories will use final week of campaign to set out clear policy guarantees for every voter

After last night's victory in the BBC debate the Tories are starting the final week of the campaign in good heart. I'm encouraged to report the launch of 'A contract between the Conservative Party and you' that will define the party's campaigning in the final week.  Here's a PDF of the leaflet.

Screen shot 2010-04-30 at 07.34.36Two million copies of the contract will be distributed to households in battleground seats - three-and-a-half million people in total. Another one million will be distributed at railway stations and on the campaign trail. Key components of the contract will be highlighted on each day of what's left of the campaign.

I'm a big admirer of the Big Society as a governing philosophy but it lacks bite on the campaign trail. With the contract the Tories are finally setting out their key policies in a way that will resonate with voters.

The contract highlights Tory plans to cut immigration from the hundreds of thousands to the ten of thousands; to cut ministers' pay; to defend key benefits for pensions; to get cancer drugs to patients; to stop Labour's increase in National Insurance. It's good stuff.

Tim Montgomerie

MAY-THERESA PS I understand the Contract was the idea of Theresa May. It was something she championed in the Norwich North by-election when Chloe Smith was successfully elected. Theresa has had a very good campaign all round. CCHQ now regard her as one of the party's best media assets and use her regularly. She's calm under fire, always on message, never dropping the ball.

24 Apr 2010 21:00:00

Exclusive preview of the latest phase of the Conservative poster camapign

Monday will see the launch of the latest phase of the Conservatives' national poster campaign.

Earlier in the week saw the launch of this poster stating that the Conservatives would cut benefits for those who refuse to work and another highlighting Labour's jobs tax.

The latest four posters all project positive messages about what a Conservative Government under David Cameron has to offer and will appear on 2,200 billboard up and down the country from Monday morning:

Picture 4
Picture 5
Picture 6
Picture 7

Jonathan Isaby

20 Apr 2010 17:10:00

Electoral Commission ordered by courts to stop independent use of old Tory torch

Occasionally you read stories that take your breath away.

Screen shot 2010-04-20 at 16.30.26 The Electoral Commission thought it acceptable for an independent conservative candidate to use the old Tory torch logo (the one Michael Howard used rather than the Thatcher era ice cream cornet).

CCHQ complained but the Electoral Commission wouldn't budge.

CCHQ had to go to court as a result in order to stop this use of a torch that would clearly confuse voters. The court has now ordered the Electoral Commission to reverse its decision. That really should not have been necessary.

Tim Montgomerie

20 Apr 2010 15:29:35

What other positive messages would you like to see on Tory posters?

This poster is going up on 500 poster sites across Britain:

CutbftwwIt's good to see the party getting specific about what "change" means.

Other similar positive policy messages will be appearing on other posters.

Of existing Tory policies, which would you most like to see highlighted?

I'd like to see "Let's put an annual limit on immigration."

Tim Montgomerie

13 Apr 2010 06:33:31

'Fire up the Quattro' is your favourite poster

I asked yesterday for you to vote for your favourite of seven Tory posters...


Six of them were, I think, designed by expensive agencies and one emerged from within the CCHQ staff team and the 'home-made' one won your support. 56% of 1,546 Conservative members voted for the 'Fire up the Quattro' design. You can buy the poster on a T-shirt here.

The 'Vote for Me' series of posters was next most popular with 18% of votes. ConHome readers must really love the 80s!

The first mention of the 'Fire up the Quattro' idea comes from the Twitter feed of Mesh Chhabra. Mesh is George Osborne's press officer:

Screen shot 2010-04-12 at 23.45.21 The Quattro theme inspired this spoof of Labour's manifesto cover. I wonder what Audi make of it all!

The full ConHome survey results will appear tomorrow. Voting closes at 5pm today.

Tim Montgomerie

11 Apr 2010 11:43:03

Scottish Conservatives launch 'Don't listen to Labour' poster

Over on LeftWatch I highlighted Labour's latest scare campaign - frightening people at risk from cancer. In the same LeftWatch post I note a number of other examples of Labour's dirty tricks campaigning.

The Scottish Conservatives have this morning launched a poster to rebut Labour's scare stories:

Don't-Listen-to-Labour What do people think?

Annabel Goldie MSP, Scottish Conservative Leader commented:

“I am stunned by the level to which the Labour party has stooped in this election. The leaflets Labour are handing out are deliberately designed to mislead and scare the most vulnerable people in society including the elderly, the low paid and families. Labour candidates are simply being dishonest and are not telling the truth about Conservative policies."

Click on the poster to enlarge and the scan below which is an example of the negative propaganda that Labour candidates are using.


Tim Montgomerie