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While statistically these were good results for us there remain "tory deserts" places in Britain where we simply don't count electorally.

There was a sensible comment made on an early thread about how we have never traditionally represented urban parts of Liverpool, Manchester etc however I think we need to look sensibly at these results and act with caution.

All fair enough for the party's broader strategy Tim - but possibly only an option now that DC has made it OK for the middle class in the South to vote for us again?

In other words, has DC decided that he had to be seen to do penance for past Tory right-wingery with trendy types before he started to go after White Van Man?

And is that the emotional core of the problem - that the Cameron-sceptic Right resents that they believe DC has sought to repudiate the tone of their efforts in driving the philosophical direction of the post-97 Conservative Party (particularly in the darkest days of Opposition when no one else was around to provide an opposition to Blair) and that it hurts the Cameron-sceptics that he saw this approach as necessary before the Party could be electorally competitive again?

If so, wasn't it worth it if it earned the Party's best result since Black Wednesday? Was it really that hard to suck it up for a couple of months?

"Other observers think this was about the government losing popularity, rather than David Cameron winning it."

If this is the case, why didn't the LibDems gain as well?

I agree with Jon, most of the seats moved from Labour to Conservative. The Cameron leadership has been vindicated.

The quote from Matthew Parris is interesting, I could have written the post that answered William's post on 'Labour used to be good at news management', on this thread.

One thing that has occurred to me is that if Conservatives are to make a real impact in northern areas like Yorkshire or Manchester etc:, at the next election, perhaps greater emphasis should be put on the 'image' of the prospective MP. That sounds very superficial, but quite often northern people are quite parochial and regard southern accents with the greatest of suspicion; whereas we in the south have endless northern or Scottish accents thrust upon us whether we like it not, or can actually understand them readily!

However, back to the theme, I think it matters more that a local person can in some way feel reassured or familiar with their member of parliament rather than, that the MP qualifies as a female member or a member of an ethnic minority? Does this aspect get taken into consideration by conservative central office?

Indeed. New Labour votes are soft and were brought at the price of appearing a softer kind of quasi-tory party. These developments show how these voters are coming back.

In Bradford, we bucked the trend, with Labour deposing the Conservatives as the main party, gaining six seats. The BNP put in a strong presence in 16 wards, taking 27 percent of the vote, putting them overall in second place in the party rankings. See here.

I think what this election shows is that the biggest catch the tories have is that they can trusted in positions of power, tory councils are well run.

They lost that on a national level after Black Wednesday, they won't be able to prove they've got it back until they get back in power, but all the labour disasters give them a whle range of subjects they can advocate better management of.

I don't think this means though they have to suddenly revert back to anti-immigration, lock 'em up throw away the key crime policies and the like, what they need to show is that they've got ideas on how to run theses areas of government well.

I'm told in Bradford we were adversely affected by the personal behaviour of a number of Conservative councillors and activists who are the subject of various police investigations...?

There are 2 elements to any campaign: aims and policies. We spent too much time talking about policies while our opponents lied about our intentions. As a result, voters thought we weren't interested in helping people - we became characterised as the party of self-interest and greed.

Only when the electorate believe that our intentions are good will they listen to our policies and judge them for their effectiveness.

The campaign that Cameron started as Leader is now only a few months old but the progress is startling. We are talking about our aims and vision rather than about how to achieve them, and people are listening.

We have been greatly assisted by Labour's spin machine; its steady outpouring of lies has led most people to regard the truth as the opposite of whatever Labour says, and that helps them believe that we are actually interested in doing the right thing for the disadvantaged.

I think the result shows that the moment is fast approaching when we have to say 'how' as well as what'; at 40% of the vote, we now look like the government-in-waiting, much as Labour was seen in 1995. That image needs to be carefully nurtured. However, with 3 years to go we need to time the release of our policies carefully.

I think the focus on Environmental issues is inspired - we can beat Labour hands down on this topic while waiting for the right time to unveil our plans for governance, taxation, education, etc.. It gives us control of our own agenda while we watch the Blair government's death-throes and we can maximise the impact of our policies by releasing them when Labour's own policies implode.

As I noted before the elections, I expected the CamCons to do well inside the M25 but not so well outside showing strengthening support in a narrower base.

I wasn't exactly right, as Cameron didn't do well in London but he did really well showing that the Conservatives are indeed strongly back in favour inside the M25.

If the result in London were representative of the country as a whole then the Tories would be in power for years to come but it isn't.

Britain is made up of Wales, Scotland, northern England as well as the southern England. Any party that seeks to govern the nation needs firm representation across all these areas and countries to have any legitimate mandate.

It may be unfair, but as an overall group, the working classes (and underclass) are not going to trust an old Etonian to represent their interests particularly as the Tory party will always carry the baggage of the last time it was in power.

Just look at the issue of grammar schools as an example of this. They have proven to be an effective mobiliser of the poor, but Cameron, speaking from his privileged background no longer likes them and thinks that it is wrong for poor but bright working class children to benefit in this way.

It is hypocritical in the extreme to oppose grammar schools but not private schools (I support both btw). Why is privileged education based on intelligence bad but privileged education based on wealth OK to Cameron?

London loves Cameron, I completely agree, it was a very good result; unfortunately he is seeking to become prime minister, not replace Ken as Mayor of London.

There's a tactical difference between us, Alexander. I fear that talking about environment and then lower tax or about compassion and then immigration reinforces the idea that these things are somehow in serious tension. They're not. From the beginning - in order to avoid accusations of u-turns - we should have been talking about these issues together.

I have a bigger concern, however, as I know that there are some people around David Cameron who think that, even after having re-established 'social acceptability', the Tories shouldn't speak about tax and immigration. There's more openness to speaking about crime but not much.


On the LibDims, Jon Gale, I think there are lots of answers to your question of 13:47. Here are four:

(1) In most places - particularly London - Tories are the main opposition to Labour and benefit from Labour's woes.
(2) The potency of the Iraq factor - which has so boosted the LibDems against Labour over the last 24 months - is unwinding a bit.
(3) The LibDems' troubles of January have left a little hangover.
(4) David Cameron has eroded the LibDems' position as the socially acceptable alternative to Labour for much of Britain's middle classes (a key DC achievement). 39 net gains are welcome and may - if Ming's uncertain leadership continues - be the start of further LibDem decline but they follow many years when LibDems won year-after-year against the Tories. We need much bigger swings to start displacing enough LibDem MPs to get back into a majority government.

Cambridge now (and Oxford already was) a Tory Free Zone-how do we address this? I don't think we need a single seat in Manchester or Newcastle or Liverpool to win an election now (a pity though), but surely we need Oxford.

Hey Chad, no preference no prejudice right? I don't think it would be acceptable to criticise someone like Alan Johnson who didn't go to uni for being uneducated, so why is it ok to constantly refer to DC's school background?

Are the local elections over yet? Yes, and we won. I agree with the post, a policy vacum doesn't help. I just hope we have some sensible, well tested policies. Still, I think we should recognise that at the moment, Labour should be allowed the stage to self destruct.

Having grown up just outside Cambridge i'm disappointed. You're right Cambridge was a very interesting result


don't think we need a single seat in Manchester or Newcastle or Liverpool to win an election now

I assume you mean general election. You do. You cannot extrapolate these local results onto a general election as people are now happily drifting between parties depending on the type of election.

In euro elections, as we have seen, conservatives are happy to switch to UKIP as the best representative of their eu-scepticism.

In local elections, ukip offer nothing but the tories are clearly the most effective at keeping council tax down etc, so (now the brand has started to recover) so people are happy to vote Tory again.

Just as UKIP can't expect to replicate their euro success at local elections, the tories can't expect to replicate their local success in the national elections.

Voters are not blindly loyal any more and are prepared to change their loyalities between euro, local and national elections.

so why is it ok to constantly refer to DC's school background?

Hi Henry,
You missed my point. I wasn't critcising Cameron for his background, but the way he is supporting privilege based on wealth (his background) but against privilege based on intelligence that helps bright but porr kids.

And just for the clarity, No Preference, No Prejudice applies to sex, age, sexuality, race and religion, not wealth as clearly a government needs to offer extra help to the most poor and vulnerable.

Britain is made up of Wales, Scotland, northern England as well as the southern England. Any party that seeks to govern the nation needs firm representation across all these areas and countries to have any legitimate mandate.

Chad, I fully agree with you about the need to build a stronger Tory voice in Scotland. David Mundell is a good guy but we probably need at least half a dozen Scottish Tory MPs before we're going to govern again in Westminster. That, of course, is a conundrum that's been covered on this site before...

If there is a genuine Tory revival in Scotland, then I think it could be helped if we used South Ayrshire as a "Scottish Wandsworth" to demonstrate Conservative bona fides.

Hi Alexander,

That, of course, is a conundrum that's been covered on this site before...
I'm not sure the rest of the country is ready for a Tory revival and that is a shame as conservatism is clearly the most balanced form of government.

Despite all the flack I get here for forming an "opposition" party, I can't help but think that Imagine could grow and challenge Labour in working class areas that are going to be very resistant to the Tory Party or any of the c-r parties.

I see Imagine as a moderately c-l, firmly working class, small government branch of conservatism, so perhaps it might (I hope) grow to widen conservatism and challenge Labour and the LibDems in those no-go areas for Tories.

Imagine would be a much closer natural ally of the Tory Party than the LibDems, having a small c conservative foundation.

In Scotland's case Chad, I think voters are ready for either a non-ideological Unionist party, or a centre-right party that treats Unionism as a conscience issue.

I'm not sure Scotland is ready yet for a centre-right party that is avowedly Unionist.

"If there is (to be) a genuine Tory revival in Scotland..."

...the Boy King is going to have to sort out fishing. That plays very big up there, and the Scots Nats are just waiting to pounce, the moment the "English" party backtracks on its commitment to return the CFP to national control.

See the Booker column in the Sunday Telegraph tomorrow.

People writing here clearly do not believe the Fraser Nelson report in the Spectator last week that Cameron's strategy is exclusively to build a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

There is, according to this report, no intention to win a General Election on the part of Cameron, only to achieve a hung Parliament and form a coalition with the LD's.

It was April when the FN article was published, but it was the 29th April not the 1st!

Cameron is unlikely with this strategic plan to begin addressing the needs of 'white van man', or do what is recommended by Matthew Parris.

The BNP will, if Cameron leaves his right flank unprotected in this way, have an open target all to themselves.

I am getting a little bit tired hearing that the BNP is nothing but a racist bunch in all Press reports. They do have racist policies which they would do well to move on from, but they also have a strong line on law and order which appeals to voters where crime affects their lives badly.

The media are misrepresenting the BNP by only mentioning the race issue(as does Cameron), which to my mind, is a mistake. In any contest the phrases 'know your opponent' and 'don't underestimate your opponents' are good advice.

As soon as an ordinary voter sees the breadth of BNP policies, which the Party communicates well in leaflets etc, they are easy to convince that the media and the main parties are a conspiracy trying to hide the truth from them...because there is no doubt that they are.

Tory policies must be seen to benefit those in our society who get a raw deal from life: they must have a roof over their heads, they must be able to walk about the streets in safety and, if they are earning, the threshold below which they pay no tax should be raised to at least subsistence level.
Get those policies right - and manage the NHS properly - to win at the next general election.

the race issue is the only interesting thing about the bnp, their policies are laughably poor.

Patsy 13:52 makes, I think, a very valid point, and I am copying to here a section of a post that I made elsewhere on this Forum.

"As a general thought, as a losing candidate on Thursday in Warrington, although increasing the share of the vote from 23% to 28%, it seems to me, and I might well be wrong, that there is a North -South divide in the definition of conservatism. Much more traditional in the North with an emphasis on core issues ( law & order, immigration, Europe etc) and economic and social conservatism, whilst in the South it seems conservatism is generally more liberal. That being the case it is always going to be difficult for our Leader to reconcile the two".

I don't think voters are more liberal in the South than the North. Note that the sort of areas where we did well on May 4th were the sort of areas in which we were achieving above-average results at the General Election (much of London, the South East, affluent parts of the Midlands etc.) I would suggest that our relatively good performance in such areas is driven more by concern over rising taxation (esp. council tax and inheritance tax), immigration and (particularly in London) frustration over the standard of public services. The urban North, and poorer parts of the Midlands may share some of these concerns, but they also benefit from the amount of public money that Labour is lavishing on them.

The places where people really do care passionately about glaciers and liberal left causes are the sorts of places where the Lib Dems polled very well on May 4th.

We need to work much, much harder at reconnecting with voters in northern cities.

Joint fifth place in Liverpool is a damning indictment of the failure of the whole party to gain the trust of people there that we can address their needs and concerns, as well as the concerns of people in the shires and London.

I think it is fair to say that the election result will have had just as much to do with Labour un-popularity than the public beginning to embrace David Cameron and the new Tory party. However,when a party is in opposition it is all about making sure the dis-illusioned voters come to your party instead of protest parties. Labour was massively unpopular during its second term but this is the first time that their unpopularity has benefited us. Politics is all about momentum and the critical factor about the elections on Thursday is that despite scandal after scandal, the Lib Dems had a net gain of just two councillors and we made very big gains. We have genuine momentum for the first time in years and that for me is the real message.

We have genuine momentum for the first time in years and that for me is the real message.

I agree Martin, but that momentum is rising in a narrower base.

Could someone with all the stats excluding all results within the M25?

Perhaps I am being unfair, it would be good to see the real figures excluding the M25 figures.

We didn't win all of London and in Hackney and in Waltham Forest we lost seats to Labour and the Lib-Dems.

Andrew Boff got taken out by the machine in Hackney with, it is reported, 50+ activists working the ward for the final week to guarantee Labour took back the seat they lost in the Queensbridge by-election last year.

In Waltham Forest the Lib-Dems took a ward in ID-S's constituency, after 12 years of trying. Blame for that lies with other bits of the Chingford area working hard in their own patch and turning in 1,000+ majorities while we lost the marginal by 28.

Mind you, we doubled our vote in the target ward and are now within 300 of Labour rather than 1,000 as it was in 2002.

But Sean is right. We need to do more work, deliver more leaflets, knock on more doors AND we need to make sure that petty parochialism is no longer allowed deliver the bizarre result we saw in Chingford.

I'm not sure about Andrew, but the three candidates for the Chingford ward lost because they didn't get the help from others early enough or often enough and the golden shower had it sewn up probably before we even started! If I'm honest, we should have abandoned the target ward and gone to save the marginal, but it looked like we were getting our vote out. Sadly, our little old ladies stopped voting at 7.00pm and Labour's young trendies kept going right up to the end.

I guess the lesson is that we are half way towards winning big again. We still need to change or get rid of the "I'm only working in my ward" mob and we need to be better at the GOTV, with somebody in charge with the authority to tell people to go where they are needed when they are needed, no questions asked.

"Cambridge now (and Oxford already was) a Tory Free Zone-how do we address this? I don't think we need a single seat in Manchester or Newcastle or Liverpool to win an election now (a pity though), but surely we need Oxford."

Well - intelligence will out ...

In Hammersmith and Fulham the key issues are soaring council tax and waste of our money together with Ken Livingstone issues in particular congestion charging. The huge Conservative success here with 33 seats out of 46 was largely if not totally due to these factors. Cameron did not feature, nor did going green. Elsewhere as has been pointed out the hated West London Tram certainly caused a huge swing to the Conservatives.

We need massively more clear and simple policy on health and education reform to show people that we can lower taxes and guarantee health and education services of at least the standard we currently "enjoy."

"with somebody in charge with the authority to tell people to go where they are needed when they are needed, no questions asked"

can you actually do that with volunteers? Isn't there the danger they just won't go anywhere. I think more carrot and less stick might be a better idea.

I think Matthew Parris is spot on. The party needs to look North. And it needs to look no further than places like Bassetlaw. When I talked to former helpers who leafleted for my General Election campaign who had suddenly become councillors on Thursday I couldnt have been more pleased. Not so long ago there were only 6 Tory councillors in Bassetlaw - now there are 28 with only 14 Labour.

When the BBC says the party didnt win in the North they are wrong. With Doncaster literally a few miles away I think Bassetlaw is certainly in the North - and teh party could learn alot about what happened there.

And I would like to pay tributed to David Cameron. He visited Bassetlaw in the run up to the election and told supporters if they won he would come back - and do you know what - the day after the election he did.

The party needs to learn that not all seats, authorities, constituencies are the same - and that good local campaigns really work!

Tory split hands seat to Labour

See here.

May 5 2006
By Liam Murphy Daily Post Staff

WIRRAL looked like keeping its hung council last night with some surprising good news for Labour. Out of a total of 66 seats on the council, 22 seats were up for election in yesterday's poll.

But despite the national problems, the local Labour Party gained Bebington Ward, probably benefiting from former Conservative Mayor Hilary Jones standing for UKIP and splitting the Conservative vote.

But it was looking like being a night of celebrations for Conservatives in parts of the borough, where some seats were being hotly contested.

New Brighton, which was held by just 15 votes in 2004's postal ballot, was held by Cllr Bill Duffy for the Conservatives, with a massively increased majority of 386.

"We need massively more clear and simple policy on health and education reform to show people that we can lower taxes and guarantee health and education services"

I agree. For me the problem is that the general public do not have much of an understanding of economics. I am no expert by any means but so many people that I speak to have the impression in their minds that more tax always means more money for the government to spend, and that cutting taxes means lots of cuts and reductions in quality in the public service. When faced with the prospect of a Conservative government cutting tax, the left always retorts with the simplistic "how are you going to pay for this," line. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of the general public do not consider the negative effects of high taxation on incentives to work, on the levels of investment and job creation by businesses in the British economy, and the incentive for people to avoid paying tax when it is at a higher rate. Communicating these ideas to ordinary people should be at the heart of convincing people that lower taxes do not necessarily mean lower quality public services. Nu Labour may well be a different party than they were before but some things never change. Tax and spend is still central to Labour policy and convincing people that we can improve delivery of public services and still cut taxes is critical to slaying Labour at the polls.

>>>>They are unlikely to vote Conservative because they want to pay higher taxes.<<<<
Surely they rather don't believe that the Conservative Party will carry out their promise to cut taxes, the sacking of Howard Flight before the last election rather suggested that the Conservative Party was prepared to accept waste if they thought that arguing against it might be politically unpopular - surely Floating Voters are mainly split into those who want better services for themselves and less taxation for themselves regardless of what happens to anyone else and those who are not in accordance with the positions of any one party so they might hold any other views including a mixture of views held by other parties.

I think we have to be very careful to understand why we are doing better and why in some cases we could do much better. Firstly it has been said by some above that we only did well in the South. This is not actually right, we did do well in a number of areas of the North and it was always going to be hard to breakthrough in Manchester and Liverpool. Thats not an excuse at all but a recognition of how voters now vote tactically and that you need a local power base. Some posts also make references to Wales and I note in a DT article today comment that Wales is Tory free. This is completely wrong. We have made real advances in parts of Wales in local Govt and started to win back parliamentary seats. In North Wales we jointly run 2 major local authorities and are gaining strength in 1 other. We have 2 AMs and 1 MP in North Wales. This may not sound like much but these are the building blocks and they are centred on 3 neighbouring constituencies. It is also vital to note that though initially disliked, the Assembly has enabled us to get local Tory politicians into power and prove we can do things. Ironically the Assembly has helped us more than others. In the English elections on thursday we did suprisingly well in such areas where we had those local buiding blocks. In central Manchester there were very few such building blocks as I can see it.

Next the issue of DCs strategy. I think what is important is that his change message and talking about softer issues has allowed the younger middle classes, professionals and women to consider voting for us again. However most importantly we had to get minds open before they will listen to the core messages on health, crime, education and pensions. Remember the research that showed people liked our policies until they were told they were Tory policies? DC is tackling that problem and his approach is showing results. Blair's dieing regime is also helping of course! It will be some time before it will be right to release policies and in the meantime we have to get people listening and ready to accept those policies. It is also important that we stop thinking that criticising/changing leaders is the answer. We have to put the Conservative ship in order and we all have responsibility for that. It is too easy to blame the leader if something is not quite right. Finally we are also demonstrating good old fashioned campaigning skills. I helped out in Chester and was very impressed with the polling day teams and how well organised they were. GOTV is vital for us. We won the seats against Lab and Dim libs,


A lot of those who have switched from Labour to Liberal Democrat or to Respect in recent years are not really floating voters rather than a group that decided that Labour had moved positions to take many positions contrary to past Labour positions.

"...we have never traditionally represented urban parts of Liverpool, Manchester"

In the 1959-1964 parliament, I think we controlled the majority of Liverpool's seats, something like 6 out of 11 seats. I know it's a long time ago, but it did happen.

I completely agree with you Matt @12.23am. Spot on. That's why I think having a Tory council in Scotland again is such a valuable tool for us to regain cred there.

Andy, were those Liverpool seats reliant on an Orange vote? I don't think that approach will fly for us anymore...

Professor Rawlings of Plymouth University has analysed two dozen recent by-elections for BBC2's Newsnight and has predicted that the Conservatives may lose 75 seats at next month's local elections.

I wonder what Professor Rawlings *analysed* the data with? Probably the same part of his body he was talking out of.

I guess Patricia Hewitt would say it was "his best prediction ever!"

Interesting about the North/South Tory divide. Is this caused by the fact that the South are more media-driven than the North? In the South, you have to be accepted by th media before anyone will vote for you. In the North, life is les about image, and more about who you are.

The South is being won by effective imagery. This could even be counter-productive to the North. Think of a Yorkshireman, and you have the idea!

Maybe William, but whatever the reason, there is currently simply not the penetration for the Tories to really hope for a general election victory.

Would Cameron have received a higher share of the vote than Howard without Labour suffering its worst week ever? I doubt it. He may well have matched it, but it is time to review the strategy as it may well be pushing all of London's buttons but London is not a proxy for the UK.

I think the Tories overall simply appeal to the more well-off as few will at the lower end of the income scale are likely to believe that the Tories will look after them better than Labour.

I also think Parris is spot on - but I think the Notting Hill created Cameron is genetically unable to follow the advice. In fact, I think it's a strange article from someone who was an early supporter of Cameron and must know what he's about at his irreducible core (if there is one).

In my opinion, Cameron is irreversibly tied into London PC views and the shame of this result is that he will use it as a justification not to change (remember Hague and the Euro elections)or even to change in the wrong direction faster. I for one think Howard would have done as well if not better and if we go above 35% in the polls on a regular basis at any point of this parliament I will eat my hat (and I don't just a petrol dispute style blip).

I think Chad is largely correct in his assessment but perhaps a bit too cautious. Certainly it is true to say that governments lose elections rather than oppositions win them but DC has done immensely well in a very short time by sheer leadership and very little statement of policy. The latter must be ready to emerge soon because there could well be a snap election to try and catch us before we are really ready.
I agree wholeheartedly with the last bit of Chad's last remark ("few at the lower end of the scale etc")and I suggested above that we should concentrate on improving the lot of those that genuinely get a raw deal at the moment.
One concrete suggestion is to work towards nearly doubling the personal tax allowance; it is absurd to tax people on wages that scarcely allow them to afford to live. At a stroke that would take possibly millions out of both tax and the tax credit system.
The well off are always going to do well out of a Tory government and that provision would benefit them as well.

"Some posts also make references to Wales and I note in a DT article today comment that Wales is Tory free. This is completely wrong. We have made real advances in parts of Wales in local Govt and started to win back parliamentary seats. In North Wales we jointly run 2 major local authorities and are gaining strength in 1 other. We have 2 AMs and 1 MP in North Wales. This may not sound like much but these are the building blocks and they are centred on 3 neighbouring constituencies. It is also vital to note that though initially disliked, the Assembly has enabled us to get local Tory politicians into power and prove we can do things. Ironically the Assembly has helped us more than others."

Some excellent points. It's also worth noting that, in terms of overall popular support, the Conservatives are the second biggest party in Wales. Indeed, Peter Hain recently raised the prospect of Nick Bourne as a viable alternative First Minister to the ghastly Rhodri Morgan, so I think any talk of the Conservatives being dead in Wales is more than a little wide of the mark.

Down here in Lambeth there was a 30% swing from Lib Dems to Labour, who swept the board and gave Labour its only Council victory of the night. Worthy of much analysis, but a few snapshots:
1. Labour did not put forward a single policy proposal
2. Their campaign was a vicious and often personal attack on the Lib Dems
3. They got out the traditional Labour vote on the council estates
4. National events played no part
5. The Lib Dems screwed up locally on Housing (eventually the Conservatives took it over, but too late) and that probably did for them on the estates

We thought we had a good chance to gain two seats, but instead lost one - in Cameron territory (Clapham Town) simply because even there more people live on council estates than in yuppie areas.
Interesting sidelight on the good news that race plays no part any more down here: Labour ran a vindictive personal attack on a very presentable, black single mother Lib Dem candidate - and slaughtered her in the votes on her own substantially black ward.

As for us, we often doubled our vote, but twice a very few is still only a few. Here also our Conservatives had doen a tremendous job on environmental policies (we had the environmental portfolio) long before Cameron had been heard of. We majored on 'vote blue. go green' and there is no sign it made a ha'porth of difference (to my intense regret).

I voted for Cameron and I am a strong supporter of the Social Justice agenda. But Matthew Parris says it all. I went to the CSJ presentation earlier this year: several told me afterwards (as I felt) how impressive IDS and Frank Field (on video) had been, and how very disappointing Cameron - he just read out an apparatchak-written set piece and clearly had no personal feeling for the subject.
We can connect with the striving classes on the estates - not that we'll ever win in Lambeth, but the lesson is nation-wide, and we have to do it through the Social Justice theme, addressing Parris's issues, plus family stability and community, radical reduction in teenage motherhood etc (down here PSHE classes in our schools tell 14 year old girls that having sex is their right). Social Justice to the striving classes on the estates means fairness and equity (especially in housing and benefits) not preference for the perceived undeserving (the liberal intelligentsia simply don't want to know this).

In much of the north, I suspect our problem is intractable: the payroll vote where well over 50% of the voters depend on the Labour Government for much and maybe all of their income through benefits or employment.

An open goal for Cameron, he couldnt fail to score, but it wont happen again. Do not make the mistake of underestimating Labour.

The people will vote for Brown over Cameron, mainly because they think one believes in something and the other only believes in himself. Cosmetic politics is finished, and as usual we are too late to realise.

When will the A list letter arrive BTW?

Hmmm A list letters apparently arriving tomorrow....

Thanks JS. Some happy bunnies tomorrow then, but by thursday - once the royal mail obviously isnt going to deliver the goods - some very unhappy, very active, very white men on the warpath I suspect.

"but by thursday - once the royal mail obviously isnt going to deliver the goods - some very unhappy, very active, very white men on the warpath I suspect."

I'd imagine they'll find a positive way to keep fighting for small c conservative values.. ;-)

Would that be a hint there Chad? :)

I have already quit the Party so I cant re-quit, but from the looks of the ThanetLife weblog, Im not the only one thinking that the Tories are losing their identity and their principles.

"Hmmm A list letters apparently arriving tomorrow...."

Interesting that should happen the day after Peter Hain 'apologised' (on behalf of Labour) for the imposition of an all-woman shortlist in Blaenau Gwent against the wishes of the local party and the local people.

Make of that what you will.

We have to prove we care because sadly labour suceeded in portraying us as uncaring. Where we have councillors people rapidly learn that we do care. That is what I am saying about having the building blocks in place. It also confirms aspects of the DC strategy in that we cannot sell policies until people actually positively listen to us. In addition to the talk about the environment I would like to see more talk about helping low income working class eg tackling loan sharks and helping credit unions,


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