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I think you have it right Tim.How we fare against the Lib Dems is going to be the big test.
I'm not sure our tactics have been correct ie speaking about the enviroment to the exclusion of almost everything else and failing to attack the Lib Dems for their many foolish ideas.Happy to be proved wrong 'though.

I will be in Bassetlaw where the Conservatives hope to take the Council from NOC and into Tory hands for the first time in (well ages!).

I will be doing a few interviews as the night progresses for a Tory Radio election special.


I've said before and will repeat that you simply can't forecast LD-Con parliamentary marginals on the basis of council elections. At local level the LibDems are a machine, a completely unethical machine. I would now post a bit of LD chicanery in my marginal that happened very recently but fear it would identify me.

LibDems are a force in local government, not in national polls.
It has been ever thus and will remain so, so you are making your main criterion for Cameron one which he is unlikely to win on and one that is invalid. Apples and oranges.

I agree too that performance against the Lib dems is the key test. Please please can we avoid the party leadership being in a position to declare unilaterally a wonderful success if proper objective benchmarks are not met. (In a way it is a shame that Labour is in such a dire position or this would be a more thorough test of DC's project.)

What we must avoid is the leadership insulating intself from any need to reconsider its approach by deliberate misinterpretation of the results - something that happens all too often on both sides of the political spectrum.

Personally, I hope (but doubt) that the results cause a move towards genuine conservatism. Realistically, whatever the outcome they will be proclaimed a great success and we will continue with Dave's plan to get himself and his mates elected to the great offices of state, ditching every principle along the way and leaving millions of right thinking electors unrepresented.

Getting your excuses in early Suggestion? Have a bit more confidence.If however we do not do as well as expected there will have to be an inquest into our tactics.

In general I think the benchmarks you flag up seem about right.

However I say that you probably underestimate Conservative prospects in Manchester.

While the LibDems have pretty much chased the party out of the majority of the city, as the challengers to Labour, the Conservatives retain a strong second place in Brooklands ward (Labour majority of just 95 votes in ’04) and local Tories seem pretty optimistic, so I think a Tory gain there is a credible prospect.

But beyond Brooklands ward there doesn’t seem much scope for gains, beyond beating LibDems into second place in some wards, Moston ward has show strong Tory progress in recent elections but the Labour majority remains over 1000.

In the end I think a gain in Brooklands seems likely, though it could be very close… but beyond that I don’t see how there’ll be more than one Tory councillor, at most, on Manchester city council after Thursday, though one councillor is a good deal better than none :)

As I've said before - what a fantastic position to be in at the price of ditching 90% of your principles. 1 council seat in Manchester versus no right wing party in the UK. Bring it on Dave.

Hi Frank,
The fact that Labour is in such a dire state actually makes this a particularly relevant test, imho because if they don't poll too badly after the week they have had, then the chance of beating them in a general election would appear very slim.

However, if Labour get wiped out 300+ losses (as per the Times article) and the Tories are the net gainers outside as well as inside London then that will be very good news for Cameron.

For me, London is in the bag for the Tories and will not give any sense of advance. I agree with Tim, the key is to see advance in Tory support outside London in terms of winning seats and moving to second place where they were previously third.

I'd just delete the London result, as with house prices too, it masks the true picture.

I see frank's leading the 'if it goes well it's a disaster' brigade's charge to denigrate the work and effort of local tories up and down the country.

I said yesterday that 38%+ vote share would be good for us and <34% would be bad. If we can make close to 300 gains overall that would be an impressive night and less than 200 would be bad. We need to make clear progress outside the M25 and I would be more hopeful than some of gains in Manchester (just a gut feeling)

If we do less well than my prediction I would a) be very disappointed and b) be willing to listen to constructive suggestions on what DC could do to bring more people over from Labour and the LDs without alienating traditional support.

It is very interesting KB, I agree. So many permutations, will people trust the Tories again, or will Cameron's liberal conservative and environmental message actually end up being free advertising for the LibDems and Greens? We'll see.

Whatever happens it is bound to end up with less Labour seats, so we should all be able to smile to some degree.

I'm not denigrating the work of local tories. I'm just hugely depressed at not being represented and I think Cameron's approach is cynical and too influenced by personal ambition. We need to stand for soemthing - and I don't want a mediocre performance to prevent him from being forced to take stock

The Labour vote will collapse in two directions: abstainers and to the LibDems. In those areas with a significant, disaffected Labour vote, the LibDems could do very well.

We would be wrong, however, to draw strategic conclusions from such results which would be consistent with our national poll ratings. The anti-Conservative vote (Labour, LibDem, fringe) is still running at over 50% and it would frankly be extraordinary if we had turned that around in six months.

The real test for Cameron tomorrow will we one of nerve: Steady as she goes, Captain.

Get real Malcolm. Anybody with even a glancing interest at politics and political history knows the disparity between LibDem performance in local elections and in national ones. If you don't believe me, ask Sean Fear who is not best pleased with Cameron's direction.

that should be 'interest in' of course. I'm tired from all that last-minute leafletting.

Frank, what do you think would constitute a good performance from the party?

The tone of your posts seems to be that if we do well then it will just be an excuse to ignore the changes you want in direction and if we don't do as well as you think we should (though I'm not sure what you think the result will be) it just proves we are going down the wrong track. This is a no-lose situation for you as you can complain either way.

At some point we have to accept the party is a coalition, and a very broad one at that, with many of us not feeling represented on certain issues. The party must appeal to millions and millions of different people not just the 300,000 willing to pay for membership.

As Chad points out - come Friday there will be fewer Labour councillors, which means fewer socialists on the unelected regional assemblies which means one or two might be able to vote themselves out of existence and pass power back to local people. That's got to be good news for all conservatives, not just party memebers.

My point is actually somewhat different from yours, Suggestion. I think the fight with the Lib Dems is a bit of a sideshow. I'm sure we'll gain a few seats here and there from them, and lose a few seats here and there to them, but I don't think it makes much difference overall. The key Lib Dem/Conservative battleground, the South West, isn't seeing many contests this year, and indpendents are still a real force in local politics down there, which makes it hard to interpret local election results .

The real fight, as always, is with Labour. I expect us to do pretty well in that contest. Anything over 200 net gains will be a good result for us.

I think, reflecting on it, that all this raises an interesting point. I've always felt uncomfortable about the way leaders of the party ARE the party. The party's success or failure is their success or failure. Also, party members from the highest to the lowest are always mesnt to perform as nodding dogs - everyone who has been to a selection meeting knows how many adoring references to the leader and protestations of loyalty each potential candidate has to make. It is real cult of personality stuff - soemthing Dave has magnified - and this makes me feel that leaders use (and abuse) the efforts of party members to shore up their own positions. Hence, my comments about these election results.

The fact is that the interests of the party and of the leader are not inviolable - and yet our system makes them difficult to distinguish. So yes, my comments can seem negative but they are a response to the way the party seems to have to take on the soul and personality of its leader.

It wouyld be good if our parties could have a more independent life of their leaders like in the US, but then the problem there is that interests of the state and the head of state are sometimes confused.

If the Party doesn't have a life independent of Dave then the torch is in danger of going out or turning pale pink. We need to assert ourselves and give real voice to our view of whether he has contributed to or diminsihed the efforts of thousands of activists - who he should celebrate and thank, not the other way round

35% would be a respectable result. I'd be very pleased with 37% or above.

One day I hope they'll have every single council election (borough, district, county, town etc) all on the same day every 4 years for 100% of the seats on each council.

I'm sorry, Suggestion, I can't agree with you re the LibDems. Building strong local government performances is often (by no means always) the precursor to LibDem gains in parliamentary seats. It doesn't always happen, it's not always linear and it can take them a long time but that is a consistent pattern. If we defeat more LibDem councillors than LibDems take off us we'll be on the road to reducing the LibDem number in parliament. If they are taking seats off us that's bad news.

I think it's pretty obvious that a Party which aspires to Government requires a national profile, and that's always going to be tied in with the leader, particularly in the eyes of the media.

But in the sprit of localism, Associations can play a big role in shaping the identity/image/message of the Party at a very local level.

Those here who are concerned about a lack of focus on one thing or another, can surely use their local associations to place an emphasis and address those issues. Indeed Tim's idea of 'the politics of x and y...' would be addressed in this way. While Cameron focuses on the environemnt nationally, local associations can talk about crime, tax, waste locally etc - and by doing it locally, it is more relevant to voters.

While I think it is important that we gain seats from all parties and Tim's point about Lib Dem local successes being a precursor to success at Parliamentary level, I don't think we should panic or round on David Cameron if we don't perform brilliantly against the Lib Dems.

People are happy to split their votes - Conservative nationally, Lib Dem locally. In some seats by quite a sizeable proportion. People like their Lib Dem councillors, they don't see them as the unprincipled lot that we do. To most non-political people their Lib Dem councillors are friendly, approachable, "nice" people and they are happy to keep voting them in.

The key to beating the Lib Dems is to beat them at their own game - lots of literature throughout the year and focusing on very local issues. This is an area that local associations must improve on and work on throughout the year, not just in the 6 week election campaign. Too many associations still aren't doing this and wondering why the Lib Dems are taking over their councils when there is strong support at Parliamentary level.

A net gain against the Lib Dems is a key benchmark to hope for, but let's not get carried away with recriminations if it doesn't happen. Let's just get on with fighting them throughout the year.

Sorry, should have said I agree with Tim's point about Lib Dem local success being a precursor to Parliamentary success. Brain mushed with campaigning....

Certainly, in Bushey, (Hertsmere) there are very many people who vote Lib Dem locally, and Conservative at Parliamentary level.


But with the greatest respect for this blog and all you do for the party I don't think your analytical/predictive skills are that great. You don't read polls well, ie you don't look at the internals or the weighting, and you said you thought Mrs. Clinton was the favourite to win, as though you hadn't even seen her numbers against almost any Republican opponent, they are just horrible - yet you are a person who says he follows US blogs closely. Redstate, the Corner, even Slate and Kos redported on her horrible numbers against Republicans.

I do ask Sean, because although he and I are greatly opposed within the party as to direction I think his analysis is usually sound.

So Sean, what I am asking is do the LibDems have far more success in local government than in national government, including in LD-Tory marginals, yes or no?

I would suggest that just about every Tory activist knows the answer to be yes.

I am getting real Suggestion.Are you saying that it was sensible to campaign on the basis of the enviroment almost exclusively and not attack the Lib Dems and then expect to lose seats to them as they are better at local campaigns than us?

"So Sean, what I am asking is do the LibDems have far more success in local government than in national government, including in LD-Tory marginals, yes or no?"

I'm afraid it has to be a "Yes, but" answer. The Lib Dems are most unlikely ever to match the 28% or so they win at local level at Parliamentary level, unless the Labour Party were to collapse, leaving them as the main centre-Left party. I've commented on the way people split their votes in Bushey, and it happens elsewhere (Mill Hill ward, Barnet, is another good example of this).

But, there's no doubt that at times of real unpopularity for us, they've been able to convert local success into success at Parliamentary level (eg Harrogate, Sheffield Hallam, Winchester, Colchester, South West London) and they're starting to do it against Labour. It's unusual (if not quite unheard of) for them to be able to win a Parliamentary seat without that local success.

I am saying that our opposition is and always was Labour, that the measure of our succcess will be how far we damage the Labour govt by giving them a hiding - and starting a sense of a givt inevitably on the way out, these things are often self-fulfilling prophecies - and nothing else. Because Tories do far better against Libs in Parliamentary elections than local ones and everybody knows it.

Tim has set up as a benchmark a very difficult, and an irrelevant, criterion.

Kicking Blair. That's what tomorrow is all about.

Thank you Sean, I agree with that. Out of interest, would you concur with my prediction that on current form it looks likely that LDs will lose marginals to us at the GE but take them from NuLab? (Given that polls always understate Tory support by 1-2%).

Off out leafletting now and not back for a while. Sean, I gather from pb.com you are standing. Very best of luck mate!

There's no need to start getting rude, Suggestion. We've discussed the Clinton etc thing before and I stand by my prediction of a Clinton presidency (and I very much hope I'm wrong).

The basic point on the LibDems is this: Britain now has a strong third party. Its persistence makes a Tory parliamentary majority of even one difficult to achieve. Tomorrow night I'm looking for some sign that the greener, gentler Conservatism from David Cameron will start to erode the support for the LibDems. It's not a prediction. It's a test. And it's an important test.

I will hopefully be online as the results come in. I am Telling on the day and will be going to a count.

I'm grateful for your support Sean for my point that LibDem support at local govt level can often translates into parliamentary gains (which we struggle to overturn).

Malcolm seems to be flagging up a very valid point. For years (at least until 2001), the Conservative Party seemed to be kidding itself that the Liberal Democrats did not exist. Since then, the threat they pose has been recognised but there is very little desire to actually challenge them either at local or national level. Oliver Letwin seems keen on some form of merger with the Lib Dems; while the command-and-control approach of CCHQ prevents the Conservative Party campaigning effectively against the Lib Dems at local level on local issues.....which is where the Lib Dems really score.

I guess the worst possible result for Cameron and Ming is that the people do take the vote as a referendum on Blair himself (as Ming has suggested)and decide that they would rather put up with New Labour with all its faults than let support for the other two grow.

Despite all the doom and gloom, will the fear of the rise of the opposition spark the Labour suporters to help the great escape artist to pull off another great escape?

I really hope not.

The results are very hard to predict in the East Midlands where there are only 6 Councils electing thirds. In Daventry we are defending 12 out of 13 seats up and 6 have been returned unopposed because the LDs bogged up their nominations in some wards. But because Labour are not standing in a Conservative v Lib Dem seat we could lose the seat. The same is true in West Lindsey where Labour are only contesting 2 out of 12 seats. In Derby holding 4 and gaining 2 is about our best expectation. So we are confident but not getting carried away. Bassetlaw is a good bet for us taking control - so good luck Jonathan!

I think that at the last election, we groped our way towards having an effective strategy for dealing with the Lib Dems; namely, take them and their policies seriously, and hammer them relentlessly over them. A small number of people did switch to us from the Lib Dems, in the South of England, because at least some of our candidates focussed relentlessly on the Lib Dems' policies on tax and crime.

Overall, in constituencies where either we were first, and the Lib Dems second, or vice versa, there was a swing of c.1% from them to us.


Saying I don't agree with your predictive skills is not rude, and in fact I was careful to preface it with compliments (which I certainly believe) in order to underline that.

You are setting up a false measure of success for this leadership tomorrow. End of story.

Sean has agreed with my point that LibDem local support does not translate to national support, not even close.

It is clear that my opposition to your editorial line is aggravating you Editor, and since you continue to put up wrong benchmarks for Cameron, which will damage the leadership (a reporter on Sky yesterday quoted almost word for word on "Tory discontent" from your Fox piece), I think I had better bow out from CH - not out of pique at all - but because I make it a rule to be a courteous guest. I cannot deny or minimize my differences with you, and it is a plain fact that your poll reading is just dreadful and the way you tipped Hillary is proof of that. Not once have you ever responded to my point about her polling numbers against Republican opponents. That's evidence to support my argument, namely that your analyis is poor, which is key to nixing the false LibDem mark you are setting up here - if I can't adduce it without being called rude I don't quite see how I can enter into debate without annoying you intensely.

So thank you for a wonderful blog, and I will continue to lurk - and I wish good luck to all pro-leadership posters on CH in getting the majority's viewpoint across!

I think the idea that we could form a Conservative government worth the name, in coalition with the Lib Dems, is fantasy politics, Michael. Like you, I think that is what Oliver Letwin does have in mind.

And anyway I must be honest and say that Tim's fantastic figures of 13,500 hits per day as announced yesterday were making me pretty nervous anyway! Time to bow out gracefully I think. David Cameron hardly needs my help :)

Let's have this discussion over the weekend. For now, good luck to every single Conservative candidate fighting to improve their local area tomorrow.

Blimey,some people are so touchy!I thought the whole point of CH was to debate.As long as that can be achieved with a measure of civillity then everyone should be welcome.If you are seriously bowing out then I will miss your posts Suggestion even though I frequently disagree with them.

Thank you Malcolm, it is not done with any animosity. Tim has a fantastic blog, but I do genuinely fear exposure and CH is becoming just a mite too succesful for my blood. Nobody knows I post here, and I'd rather keep it that way, so best wishes to all of you, thanks to Tim and Sam, and fingers crossed for an excllent result tomorrow night. Goodbye!

One thing we can agree on Suggestion is that we want the Tories to do well tomorrow. I will genuinely miss your contributions and hope you may yet reconsider posting. Your thoughts are very welcome here even if they are sometimes disagreeable to me!

Suggestion - you could try adopting my approach when I decided to give up trying to swim against the anti-Cameron tide on CH; refuse to get involved in 'I'm more conservative than you' contests.

These days I post my opinion, respond where I think it might help clarify my view and then leave it at that. CH is representative of no-one but its contributors and most of them are deeply sceptical about DC. It's unfortunate that CH is often cited as representing the views of the Conservative Party membership when the media want a 'trouble in the ranks' story but that's just the way it is.

What's interesting is I don't know of a similar LabourHome site where issues are debated. Tim got CH going so has first-mover advantage and despite my efforts I am back to being a daily viewer; but I don't let the anti-Cameron bias worry me anymore as I think he's on the right track and will be proved correct.

Chad - If there's one thing we don't need to worry about, its Labour voters going out to the polls to rescue Blair. If anything I suspect there are many Labour voters willing to sit on their hands waiting for Gordo.

Re. Oxford, the Greens may suffer for their opposition to the new university Animal Lab. The Lib Dems are certainly hoping so, judging from their leaflets, and in truth Evan Harris (the local Lib Dem MP) has been very supportive.

Well as long as Labour get's it arse kicked, I'll be happy KB.

rogue apostrophe - sorry

The best way to tackle the Lib Dems is to highlight their policies like votes for prisoners and adoption of the Euro. Although whether this will work at local level is a different matter.

"Although whether this will work at local level is a different matter."

The way round that is to expose their record in local government.

"Although whether this will work at local level is a different matter."

It will at least raise question marks.

David Surtees... wow someone with my second name, and in the east midlands, its like being in Sunderland :D

Further to the debate about Liberal Democrats and councillors, I agree with Tim that it is vitally important that we win council seats off the Lib Dems. As others have already alluded to the Lib Dems use a local government base to build on for Parliamentary level, however on a more simplistic level for many local Lib Dem parties their councillors ARE their organisation. Taking council seats off the Lib Dems might not sever the head, but it’s the equivalent of chopping their legs, and thus hindering their efforts to either build a sizeable local government base or even undermine their Parliamentary ambitions.

Although there are obvious examples like Adur and Harrow, take for example my own seat of Torridge and West Devon. The Lib Dems began building up their local government base in the constituency in the late 1980s, and by 1995, albeit helped by the anti-Tory tidal wave of the 90s, they had control of West Devon Borough Council with 15 councillors, and dominated Torridge with 14 councillors. This of course led to the Lib Dems capturing the Parliamentary seat in 1997. Since then however as the Conservatives began to get their act back together the Lib Dems have been in decline. By 2003 they were reduced to 8 councillors on West Devon with the Tories on the verge of taking majority control of the borough and in Torridge, arguable a stronger area for the Lib Dems, their number of councillors since 1995 has halved, and they now hardly have any representation in the rural areas of the district.

The net result of all this though was to see a weakening of the Lib Dems local organisation which undermined their efforts to hold the Parliamentary seat – arguably their campaign in 2005 was far worse than the one they fought in 2001 – with the result being a comfortable Conservative gain. Also of interest, I mentioned the Lib Dems on Torridge district now had hardly any rural representation; in 2005 the rural parishes in Torridge, and West Devon for that matter, swung very strongly to the Tories in comparison to 2001, no doubt helped by the fact the Lib Dems didn’t have the councillors on the ground to cover them.

"I stand by my prediction of a Clinton presidency (and I very much hope I'm wrong).

Quite right too (and I hope you're wrong also). Clearly Clinton is the most likely next President, for the simple reason that there are lots of Republican possibles, but hardly any other Democrats - Gore is still about joint 5th favourite, that's how unlikely the rest of the field is!

Suggestion - please stick round if you can. A number of the vociferous right wingers are UKIP agitators and even BNP sympathisers, some posting under multiple identities.

If the saner voices stop posting the blog will degenerate. I for one, and I'm sure many others, support your reasoned and reasonable views.

I'm now rationing my posts unless something really juicy comes up.

Do we have an estimate of when the council results will start to come in?

Just had the BBC in contact to see if Imagine will be putting up candidates in the locals to take part in an election broadcast tomorrow, but the lady was a little deflated when I told her no.

I guess they want to focus on the rise of small parties. It will be interesting.

Given the likely low turnouts, 11pmish, first ballot boxes will be at the counting centres within 15 minutes. I'm going down to the count at about 9:30 to soak up the atmosphere. It will be exciting times in Warrington where we expect Labour to lose overall control.

I'm hoping for a collapse in both the Lab and the Con vote.

Chad - how could you miss this prime opportunity to promote Imagine.

Before you know it you could have the BBC convinced you were putting up 600 candidates with rumours of taking at least 40 seats from all the main parties - a few Lib Dem bar charts and you'll be the 4th biggest party in local government!


As you know KB, my aim now is to influence the Tories. Even a very tempting outside broadcast with Emily Maitlis will not get me to change direction at the moment.

It is great to be asked though as I have starting to hit the radar.

As I noted to the lady at the beeb, I want to wait until firm state funding is in place or about to be introduced.

I've nothing against Imagine, Chad, (except perhaps your logo) - but I hope you have a long wait!

I always knew you were a Lib-Dem at heart Goldie!


I repeat True Blue's plea - we need you and others to keep Conservative Home more representative of the party and conservatives at large (the surveys and votes reflect that most who read this blog are not currently reflected in the posts)

like kingbongo, true blue and many others its important that we continue to take part so that Tim's initiative doesn't fail because of our failure to fight to represent our points of view. I don't often agree with Tim's editorial line but it does reflect a major thread of conservative opinion and drives discussion.

There are many who don't agree with Cameron's agenda but make sensible and well argued posts about their concerns - don't confuse them with the obvious BNP or UKIP trolls who are trying to disrupt our party.

@Malcolm: well, god bless them tomorrow night. I believe in principle over party, and since I would like there to be an effective and actually conservative Conservative opposition, we desperately need Conservative losses, so that perhaps Cameron Project can be radically reconceived before it's too late.

I've nothing against Imagine, Chad, (except perhaps your logo) - but I hope you have a long wait!

:-) At least I know the media will be interested in running with it if Cameron doesn't drop the state funding plans which is encouraging.

But like you, I would much prefer for Cameron to u-turn on this.

Goldie,if you believe in principle over party it is difficult to bless the Lib Dems under any circumstances.A more unprincipled bunch of people would (excepting Mr T.Blair and his cronies) be hard to imagine.

hmmm, malcolm, I am afraid I can think of a more consciously principleless bunch than the libdems. Examine the twists and turns in view of cameron and his acolytes over the last five years. I remember meeting some of them, now shadow spokesman, who complained long and hard about how Major and his centrism were destroying the party - and now several twists and turns later (strangely simulataneous in most memebers of the group) they're even more centrist than him now.

Are you sure Frank? I'd be interested to know who exactly these spokesmen were and what principles have been abandoned.
I do not necessarily agree with everything Cameron has done but nor do I think he is the devil incarnate either.If he can help get rid of this disgusting government then I would support him totally.

Ted: Suggestion, I repeat True Blue's plea - we need you and others to keep Conservative Home more representative of the party and conservatives at large (the surveys and votes reflect that most who read this blog are not currently reflected in the posts)

Over the months I've come to the view that CH readers, expressed via the survey, are fairly representative of Tory members/wider supporters, but regular message-posters are more representative of activists. Make of that what you will.

@malcolm: I just the Tories to do badly, bc this is the only way DC will change course. Naturally, I also wish the Gov to do badly. I hope people will vote for anybody but the above. I loathe the lib-dems but they will inevitably be the main beneficiary.

I agree that the LibDem test is central. If Labour do badly, that in itself will only be a natural reaction to their dire last few weeks. If those losses go to the Lib Dems, BNP or stay-at-homes, then they haven't been won over to us, clearly. If we are doing well, we must win the higher proportion of ex-Labour voters, plus we need to win some pre-existing LibDem voters.


Without wishing to sound pathetic, I can't put on the record what were then off the record conversations - whatever I think of the Notting Hill set now.

But Cameron et al have all been in politics/journalism for quite a few years now and through their public pronouncements you can see the vicissitudes of their beliefs. For many of them, the meandering course of their principles almost identically followed the path of Michael Portillo's views. While he did undergo somewhat of a pauline conversion (without meaning to imply a positive interpretation of this change) he had particulr personal circumstances which triggered this (ie. the loss of his seat). Given that the Notting Hill set didn't all have this same personal impetus for change, and that the course which their ideology has steered is both identical to the course of his and a surprisingly tortuous one, I think it's just too much of a coincidence to suggest it was sincere. Well, maybe sincere career reasons drove the change but I can't accept it was based on sincere beliefs!

Tomorrow will be very difficult to call in many areas.

In my area(s) I reckon Labour will just about keep control of Bury but the Conservatives should win their first councillor in Manchester.

I think Frank has it absolutely right.

Well I'm afraid it does sound a bit pathetic Frank.Do you include Hague,Willets,David Davis,Fox etc as men who have abandoned their principles or is it just that amorphous group the 'Notting Hill set'?

I quote from the Lib Dem book 'Effective Opposition' of which I have just obtained a copy:

"You will win your council seat by securing more votes than any of your opponents. To do that you will have to build a coalition of interests. These will include:

~ Voters who support you personally either because they know you or they know people who have recommended you.
~ Voters who admire you as the fiercest critic and opponent of the local council.
~ Voters who like the FOCUS leaflets they receive regularly.
~ Voters you have helped through casework
~ Voters who have supported your local campaigns
~ And, yes! possibly a few voters who support Liberal Democrat policies.

Clearly the Lib Dems realise that very few people actually vote for their policies - and in a way, that provides a point against campaigning against the Lib Dems by exposing their policies (what policies I hear you cry?!) Exactly. The Limp ones are an empty shell of a party, collectively dragged along by their eternal hatred of the Conservatives. Exposing their policies is useless because nobody who votes for them cares what they say, so long as they say something that is anti-whoever and that they seem like 'nice' people.

When exposing Lib Dem policies, first the voter can't believe that the Lib Dems believe in whatever it is. Then their belief turns to disbelief of the Conservative telling them that - they think we are lying, and then we are even worse off than before.

"but the Conservatives should win their first councillor in Manchester". 19:30

And as such that person will not only be a Member but the Conservative Group Leader and thus qualify for the additional Special Responsibility Allowance, clearly an extra incentive to get elected!

"~ Voters who like the FOCUS leaflets they receive regularly". 19:44

This is their vote winner in Appleton, Warrington, especially amongst the older voters of whom there are many. In their latest "emergency" issue, as they are feeling the pressure of the concerted Conservative campaign, they highlight the daffodils "they" planted a number of years ago, pity they didn't highlight the potholes that one trips over whilst going to look at them!!!


last one on this. I mean the Notting Hill set. I am not going to go through them by name because it's invidious and the core group have anyway been regularly and consistently identified in the press. You know who they are as well as I do and you'll also know which of them have on the record statements going back ten years - whether articles published in the press or statements on TV or on their manifestos.

Just check out their changing views - there's nothing pathetic about respecting off the record statements from people for whom one has no respect.

Frank,those names I mentioned in my last post have signed up to EXACTLY the same policies at the same time as those in the 'Notting Hill'set and therefore must have abandoned their principles as the Notting Hill set allegedly have done.But as you won't name any I suppose we'll just have to take your word for it.

Shhhhh.............! Don't mention the U***.......

Paul, I don't think a one member party can claim a special responsibility allowance as a leader,


"A number of the vociferous right wingers are UKIP agitators and even BNP sympathisers, some posting under multiple identities."

Not to mention a certain vociferous left-winger!

I agree it is important to have a variety of views on here. Nothing is more dull than a glorified "I agree" session.

Paul, I don't think a one member party can claim a special responsibility allowance as a leader,


Commonsense would suggest you are right Matt, that being the case I hope we get at least 2 seats in Manchester. Good luck to all of our candidates there.

"A number of the vociferous right wingers are UKIP agitators and even BNP sympathisers, some posting under multiple identities."

Not to mention a certain vociferous left-winger!

I sincerely hope you are not referring to me as a left-winger! Vociferous I can live with.

The only person I know of who matches that description is Passing Leftie, with an occasional crude agit prop post.

I think he meant Jack Stone,True Blue.

I thought Mark Fulford had vouched for Jack Stone. Does the memory cheat?

Mark did I think.Richard seems convinced that Jack is a UKIP plant.Personally I think Richard is wrong.I can't see anyway at all that UKIP would benefit from Jacks' posts.
Can't really believe that I'm getting into this discussion but today is deadly dull at the office.Even telling at a local count would be preferable!

"I can't see anyway at all that UKIP would benefit from Jacks' posts."

I don't think he really expects them to benefit, I think he just gets kicks out of cuasing disruption. Maybe he thinks he can drive the Right-wingers who post here over to UKIP by making out that Cameron-supporters hate them.

Anyway, I'm only going on that post made on the UKIP forum someone gave us a link to. True, JS is not named, but the description of being OTT and defending Cameron in an obnoxious way (right-wingers can sod off, Cameron is best leader since Thatcher etc) seems to fit.

Oh, and he also referred to me as "nasty" because I was mocking positive discrimination by asking him whether he thought hermaphrodites were underrepresented. In hindsight it was a lame joke but his reaction was clearly OTT.

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