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Just saw TL interview (live) on Sky , Oh My God, I think he has never been to school.

"Nevertheless I would suggest you give him another 3 months."

If we elect another leader, we won't get to power for atleast another 4-8 years IMO.

Perhaps the dismal Ealing result will nail the myth once and for all that 'ethnic' candidates can deliver the 'ethnic' vote in marginal or unwinnable seats.

They can't, and the Ealing evidence suggests that we must have lost part of the white vote to balance out any gain in the Sikh vote.

The message to Central Office and candidate selectors must be: it's good, hard-working, loyal campaigners that win elections, not johnny-come-latelys with suspect pasts who get drafted in at the last minute.

Where is the blue wave that we saw a couple of months ago in the local elections - he is chairing a meeting in Portugal. The locals were a false sense of security. What the hell has happened tonight?
Can the real Conservative Party please stand up - dont abandon what we have started but dont ignore what principles we believe in.

We only got twice as many votes as the BNP in Sedgefield.

This country is going to the dogs...

Classic Dave story by Andrew Pierce in the DT this morning - tells you all you really need to know about our dear Leader: brittle, brittle, brittle.

Is it disappointing? Yes. Is it a disaster? No. Do we have work to do? Yes. Is turning in on ourselves and sniping left, right and centre going to help us with the work we have to do? No. Tomorrow's papers will be full of CPS related stuff so I think we should just let the by-election story get quietly forgotton in a welter of tabloid indignation over the Cash for peerages mess.

Jaz, I agree with you. I was merely saying don't start the moaning for another three months. I think it will be a few years yet before the Tories get back into power, if that ever happens, given the Scots Nats, Lib Dems in the South West, and death of the Party in the North (Boris is a step in the right direction). Gordon Brown is playing a canny game. I just can't believe Team Cameron banked so much on him veering left. Bonkers, or should that be bunkers.

My prediction posted on Conhome dated 17th July 2007.

Tories literatute delivered in the constituency can get him a role in Bollywood/Hollywood movie but not a seat in House of Commons.

For God sake wake up do it in a professional way. We would be lucky to get 7000 votes.

Posted by: True Blue | July 17, 2007 at 19:31

"The message to Central Office and candidate selectors must be: it's good, hard-working, loyal campaigners that win elections, not johnny-come-latelys with suspect pasts who get drafted in at the last minute"

could not agree more time to put the power back in the hands of local parties colour, sex, or class does not win parliamentary elections. Good campaigns, policies and someone that local people can relate to someone who at least seems real. People do not just blindly vote for parties anymore. We need candidates to give people the confidence to vote tory again - as grant schapps (and others have). Candidates with REAL commitment to the area

My Prediction posted dated 19th July 2007 at 9:15pm on UKpolling Report website:

Labour 12,000 approx
Con 8,000 approx
Lib Dem 9,000 approx

I am dismayed at the comments by ACT and Local Tory. When will you guys learn to think strategically? This is the reason the "grass roots" have consistently made wrong decisions and landed us where we are. The "good hard-working loyal campaigner" would not have attracted the necessary votes in this constituency. Without Tony, we would have got a real drubbing rather than eroding the Labour margin significantly. You weren't there and you didn't see what was going on at first hand. And by the way, the Lit family's business is as local as it gets!

Watervole, I think we saw perfectly well what happened tonight.

We did get a drubbing, let's not pretend otherwise. Given the time and resources gone into this election, we performed badly.

Lit was hardly impressive on his interviews afterwards either.

Can someone confirm, when DC visited ES how many local Councillors and Association Officers were with him to canvass? (please do not include the Labour Defactors)

Precisely - you saw, you weren't part of it and have no idea what was really happening. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Try being supportive for a change!

These results are disastrous. Cameron chose to stage a big fight at Ealing. Managing expectations, together with timing, are crucial in politics. He failed, once again, miserably at a by-election. Conservatives have done ok in the local elections, but thus far each and every by-election is a disaster.

Cameron needs to go. Brown will go to the polls this fall and will return a comfortable majority.

But who could possibly plausibly lead the Tories instead of Cameron?

I suppose that optumism didn't beat pecimism and sunshine didn't win the day.
(anyone remember that sound bite?)

Cameron made Lit his own - Lit crashed - Cameron needs to recognise this. Those Webcameron videos will haunt him!

There is still time to get a new leader!

As Ali Gledhill said in the middle of the night above:
"For what it's worth, these are strong Labour seats, both with complications. The "Blair Factor" is still at play in Sedgefield, and Ealing is complicated by the huge "ethnic minority" population. Tories are not expected to do well here, and they haven't. Big deal. This is not a test of Cameron's leadership in the way it was for Ming."

The reason people are going to be disappointed was because of the hype and huge leadership investment in Ealing Southall. But who knows how much we would have been sweezed without the hype and razzmataz - so you are probably hung either way. The Cameron bashers have been out in force of course (some no doubt Labour wind-ups). In the end we retained our share of the vote and the Lib Dems failed to pull their usual by-election trick. If you discount the last 3 weeks and someone had shown you these ES voting figures the day the previous MP died, an objective Tory would say it's not too bad at all considering Brown would be bound to be having some sort of honeymoon. You then have to add to that the fact that the general opinion is that Brown hasn't made a bad start (he hasn't impressed me much, but I heard Tory voting relatives at a family event last week-end saying this).

In a strange way Sedgefield is more disappointing - once you lose second place it's always difficult to get back for us. ES was always going to be freakish - it's a very unusual constituency. It was just that certain people, including bloggers, led us to believe that the freakishness would play into our hands, and it didn't. How many Tories can really judge from the outside what goes in in internal Sikh politics?

There will be lessons to be learnt of course. If it's true we did not work properly, and in the old-fashioned way, the better (non-Asian) areas of Ealing, then that was crass. The turnover was low, despite all the media interest, so getting your habitual loyal vote to turn out should always be a major focus of the campaign on the ground, whatever is happening in the media. Many will also question the wisdom of putting the party leader's name in the ballot paper - I presume they thought it would help in Southall, but did they think of the effect elsewhere? I am not anti-Cameron but it would annoy me for my party to change its name on the ballot paper and there will always be a minority of regular supporters for whom whoever is leader is not their cup of tea. Those who really like the leader don't need his name on the ballot paper to support the party's candidate.

and the Lib Dems failed to pull their usual by-election trick.

Which is what ? Not winning a by-election since 1982 ? I thought that was a Conservative "trick".

How many seats like Ealing and Sedgfield do the Conservatives need to win to get a Commons majority ?

According to breakfast news people are sobbing in the streets. An era is drawing to an end.

No - unfortunately we're not talking Cameron. The successful boy wonder Harry Potter is about to be killed off.

Nobody's gives a hoot about the unsuccessful boy wonder but, regrettably, he's likely to stick around long after his welcome has run out.

Lucky the candidate in Sedgefield didn't call himself 'David Cameron's Conservative' As it was he was luck to pull clear of the 'subhuman' BNP. If he'd put the Mark of Cain on the ballot paper he'd probably have been right down there with 'fruitcake' UKIP and the Monster Raving Loonies.

I don't know about fruitcakes. After these catastrophes anybody who still supports Cameron is a banana.

Virendra Sharma (Lab) 15,188 -7.28%
Nigel Bakhai (LD) 10,118 +3.19%
Tony Lit (C) 8,230 +0.91%

5.24% swing Lab to Lib Dems

Turnout was 42.95% - down 13.23 points on 2005

Phil Wilson (Lab) 12,528 -14.11%
Greg Stone (LD) 5,572 +8.02%
Graham Robb (C) 4,082 +0.19%
Andrew Spence (BNP) 2,494

11.06% swing Lab to Lib Dems

Turnout was 41.57% - down 20.65 points from 2005.

So which Voters stayed home - Labour or Conservative ?

If Lit was a mistake, it was Maude's mistake. Maude has gone.

If Lit was a mistake, it was Maude's mistake. Maude has gone

You can't get out of it that easily. Lit didn't stand for 'Maude's Conservatives'

Roll on Bilderberger Hague and the great Murdoch conspiracy. Tapestry's internationally-puppeteered coup d'etat can't come too quickly as far as I am concerned.

OK so maybe Hague is a lizard in disguise. ;) Better a lizard than the gerbil we're currently stuck with.


This blog is being posted early in the morning after the result of the Sedgefield by election. I've had a couple of hours sleep but I am now awake digesting the morning news.

I want to thank everyone involved in my campaign, especially my agent Paul Bolton and my professional team. They all worked long hours and wanted to succeed as much as me. It is not easy losing but to hear headlines about coming third is hard when you consider that it would not have happened if 750 people had not switched from Conservative to Lib Dem. We'll evaluate what we could have done differently at a later date but the experience has made me question a decision I made. In the campaign last week it became clear the Lib Dems had changed tactics, they knew they couldn't win and targeted Conservative voters with negative campaigning (see yesterday's blog). My team realised this as much as me, but it was my decision not to tackle them with hard hitting negative messages in return.

I had campaigned positively for change.The public record shows this with all media reports and leaflets from the Conservatives offering positve ideas and engaging Labour in constructive debate. I'm proud I did this but I cannot be the honest and open person I have tried to be without admitting it hurts that positve campaign is trumped by negative. Still, in the cold light of day I think my decision to keep positive was right.

In politics your 'share price' is your share of the vote. This actually went up for the Conservatives in Sedgefield. This was good news and gives me the hope I need not to be disillusioned by the process of politics.

I also think that the new Labour MP - my own MP - is a man of integrity and if he wants to follow up on any of my ideas I'll gladly support him on a non-partisan basis.

My final thought is that by-elections are strange occassions. The result should not put David Cameron off modernising the Conservatives and he should keep to his localising agenda, this - above all - enabled me to deliver a positive local campaign offering Conservative minded solutions to local problems. In another place, at another time I'm confident they would have been successful.

To those that helped for me, thank you.

The result should not put David Cameron off modernising the Conservatives and he should keep to his localising agenda

Localising agenda?

The 'A List' and the Lit fiasco prove that Cameron's bogus agenda is a centralising agenda.

Local associations have been bullied into accepting candidates they did not want. That may not have happened in Sedgefield but it certainly did in Southall.

The so-called modernising agenda had many enemies from the first and they're all coming out of the woodwork now.

A few more appalling results will drive a stake through the heart of the Cameron stunt.

The 'modernising agenda' is soooh over.

The result should not put David Cameron off modernising the Conservatives

You mean that third place after five visits and a lot of personal involvement by the great man himself is not enough to tell you that Cameron is Kinnock-material?

Lit was not a very impressive candidate. He is not a great communicator. If locals had been allowed to choose their own candidate, they probably would have done better.

In national terms, the ES by-election has provided David Cameron with a boost to his recognition and exposure with all the Tony Lit interplay mostly donated by labour, and he has done well to stop the usual Lib Dem by-election success.

In Sedgefield BNP got 10%, pulling chunks from Labour's share but not pulling down Conservative share of the vote. UKIP must have been trashed I imagine by the swap to the BNP - i have yet to see their figure.

This might give Brown pause for thought. He lost up to 2494 votes to BNP and only up to 2000 to Lib Dem.

In national terms, the ES by-election has provided David Cameron with a boost to his recognition and exposure with all the Tony Lit interplay

I suppose you could call the massive publicity Lit achieved for himself and Cameron last Sunday 'interplay'. Personally I would describe it in terms that can't be published on a family blog.

I cannot get my head round this 'all publicity is good publicity' tripe. A few years ago a local Labour candidate here got unprecedented publicity when he turned out to be a convicted rapist.

He didn't win, though.

In Sedgefield 'Others' scored 20% of the vote. BNP took 9% - my calc was out a bit. UKIP and English Democrats took an extra 1% between them, but tiny. The threat to Labour from the BNP is significant. It seems to hurt Brown and not Cameron or Ming which is interesting.

The BNP effect might stop Brown running to the country, if this result was typical of enough seats.

In politics your 'share price' is your share of the vote.

So the more the turnout goes down the higher share of the vote you can claim ?

Hardly a resounding result when 58.43% did NOT vote at all and 85.41% of those who did vote did NOT vote Conservative meaning that 6.06% electorate voted Conservative, 2.28% voted LibDem, and Labour took 18.61%

"In national terms, the ES by-election has provided David Cameron with a boost to his recognition and exposure"

I hope this isn't a joke.

Great post by Graham Robb, well done mate

8.28% voted LibDem, and Labour took 18.61%

Cameron has done well in ES to stop the usual Lib Dem by-election coup. He hasn't been hit by a second stay at home like Bromley. All in all, Conservative nerves should be steady.

Brown has been heavily hit in both Constituencies - and the story from Sedgfield is that while the Conservatives had held steady, Others have ripped chunks out of Labour's vote. In the longer term Cameron's strategy seems to be doing better than Brown's, who looks highly vulnerable, especially to the BNP.

The Lib Dems are claiming a big advance in Sedgfield, but they only found 2000 extra votes. If LD's cannot win by-elections, they are not as big a threat as they used to be.

It was unlikely that Conservatives would win either seat, and it would have been a bit like winning the pools if we had done. But the voting arithmetic is interesting.

I think Cameron's efforts in ES have helped his profile, and ensured he s not overshadowed. Lit's main problem to me is that he is not a good communicator. I would prefer the locals chose their own candidates, as that generates more momentum in a constituency than the Francis Maude style imposed candidate can do.

Maude has gone now, so that is not the issue looking ahead. Spelman's turn.

Next time, Graham Robb, try the John Redwood method of tackling Lib Dems. Publicise their own policies to their own voters. Lib Dem voters have no idea what their party's policies are. When they find out, they are invariably shocked and choose not to vote.
You did well to hold the vote, while Labour's has slumped. Well done.

Utter disaster.

Ealing proves we have made NO PROGRESS in the last 2 years.(Spelman- we are not interested in a couple of disaffected councillors defecting to us as if this were some sort of totemic moment in post Blair politics) We have tried hugging this part of the electorate closer, doused them in slogans and lulled them with mood music, and look where it has got us.
3rd place, behind even Ming The Hopeless, TEN YEARS into a failing Labour Govt.

Spelman's hapless effort on the Today programme just now has deepened my gloom further.

We should have persuaded Howard to do another couple of years after 2005 and reexamined our policies with real intellectual vigour. We should have announced these policies in 2007, appointed capable Shadow Cabinet ministers to spend the next 2 years drumming them home to the electorate , and swapped Howard for Hague with the thanks of the party ringing in MH's ears.

Instead we are now in a right mess and facing straight down the barrel of Defeat No.4.


Why are some people saying that this wasn't a bad result? This was an atrocious result. However, I don't blame david cameron entirely, I blame the notting hill set. It is ever more apparent that the entire leadership is retreating into its bunker and burying its head in the sand. I am what people would probably call a cameroon, I am a social democrat and the tory party isn't natural territory for me, but I joined because I didn't like the alternatives. As much as i agree with the cameron agenda I can see that it clearly isn't working.


The problem is, the party tried the other strategy, which is to move further to the right to ensure the fabled 'clear blue water', regardless of Labour's position, and that failed miserably.

"That may not have happened in Sedgefield "

Where the party slipped down to third. On the basis of comparing the two performances, ES came out better than Sedgefield.

Two triumphs for politics over PR

Strategically these are good results for us: Ming Campbell will remain as LibDem Leader, complacency will be induced in Labour and we can learn from the dangers of selecting celebrity candidates and the need to have a strong local presence – campaigning party members and councillors. Thank you Graham Robb | July 20, 2007 at 07:47.

In both seats we targeted Labour as that is what looks right at the top of the Party - to keep up the momentum of the Cameron vs Brown narrative.

At local level a campaign focused on attacking Lib Dems and using the various tactics that work against Lib Dems might well have been better at building us into stronger second place.

But targeting second place would have looked bad for Cameron, in his main strategy of presenting himself as the next Prime Minister.

Despite the tactics that we played, we did reasonably well in the vote. Cameron has derived a lot of PR and kept himself and the Party in the media across the rest of the nation.

It would have been nice to do a bit better than we did but winning either of these seats - or coming second rather than third in them - but that is not our primary objective.

Winning a GE is. To keep up the momentum and keeping ourselves in the media, Cameron did well. The LD's achieved no breakthroughs and hardly raised much excitement. Despite that Labour's vote is eroding. Slowly catchee monkey.

In Sedgefield the net Labour to Conservative swing is 7.3%. We often forget to include the Labour drop in the swing (-14.1%). In ES the Conservatives have had a net swing, Labour to Conservative, of 4.2%. Labour’s drop is -7.5%.

Usually the Conservatives are hugely squeezed by the Lib Dems at by elections, but this time it failed, as the Conservative vote actually increased as a percentage in both constituenices. These are in fact the best Conservative by-election results in more than a decade. For example, this is a huge improvement on Bromley, just last year.(from number 1 entry on Politicalbetting.com)

I'd normally laugh at the misery that this Country keeps giving you, but I won't.

I'll lecture you instead like the naughty boys and girls you are.

You lost because of Thatcher and your continued attacks upon Europe etc. Basically you are a leapord with the same spots and everyone knows it.

Your natural inclinations will be to hit out at Dave Cameron. The, 'you made me do it' mentality.

You don't have a leader anywhere that would have beaten an outgoing Tony Blair or an incoming Gordon Brown. Just accept it.
Bring on Hague or Davis if you want to and we in the Labour Party will do to them what we do best.

Dave Cameron has guts. There is no doubt about that.I've had a great time with his windmill and,panel and his sledging but he has taken you towards 'one Nation Conservatism'.

Drop you pitiful attacks upon the people of this Country, ditch the outdated support for violence in the Countryside and support freedoms gained throughout Europe and you may just get somewhere.

Children aged 30 years old have never seen a Tory government. If you understand this basic fact, you may just understand what happened to you last night.

Dave lost a battle and will probably lose a war if hearts and minds aren't changed further.


lot of over-reaction here I feel . Labour is enjoying a temporary Brown bounce which I think deflected the usual Lib Dem charge in both seats. Cameron does need to communicate more to the party and by extension the electorate but the truth (that he dare not articulate ) is that victory at the next general election may not be possible. A hung parliament in Aut 09 would be a great result .I don't expect Brown to call a GE any time before than unless he's a solid 8 points ahead. We know Brown to be a cautious man and that caution might benefit Cameron at the moment. Anyone who suggests Cameron be removed cannot have spent even the briefest moment considering what that would do to the electoral credibility of the party . we sometimes debate whether Cameron is the Tories' Kinnock or Blair . If he were to be defenestrated that would clearly make him another Tory Foot

Will Tony Lit manage to get his job back at his father's radio station?

He could get a job as a Brylcreem model.

tapestry: Winning a GE is.

But Labour is usually better at winning general elections than local elections.

As far as I am concerned: what is the purpose of winning an election if it is not going to be on Conservative policies?

Sorry to personalise things but politics is personal.

Cameron is an Eton/Oxbridge toff who surrounds himself with clones...

Blair hid his priveleged background well and was a fine actor...Cameron doesn't and isn't!

People get drawn into this idea that all that counts in politics is London and prosperous parts of the South West/East..

"Dave" is an electoral disaster in large swathes of urban Britain. Scotland, North West, North East, Wales, Inner city areas of Birmingham, London, Bristol....

A slick posh toff just doesn't cut the mustard any more - maybe in the 1930's or the 1980's but not the 21st Century.

Lab) 12,528
LD) 5,572
C) 4,082
BNP) 2,494

Have two and a half thousand racist skinhead voters moved to Sedgefield in the couple of years since the General Election or was the BNP tally more in the nature of a protest vote by ordinary folk who feel let down by the three main parties on the Cornerstone issues that supposedly would make the Tories unelectable?
Two thousand of those BNP votes would have put the Tories in second place and a little nearer the 8000 votes they got in the 2001 GE.

There is no doubt that Tory chances in Ealing Southall were overplayed and Cameron did make a mistake in being personally attached to its scuccess (or not as it was). We have never held this seat since its creation, so it was going to be a hard call to gain it, even if some of the BME vote switched to us.

I don;t think Tony Lit was NOT the right candidate - he was probably on cue, but judging on the knocking up I did in the Tory areas of Northfield last night, the representation of him as being Labour one-day, Tory the next destroyed his chances and credibility. I met many a Tory last night who either refused to come out or had switched to the LibDems because of this story.

The LibDems also employed a very clever tactic of putting out a blue coloured leaflet across the Tory wards saying 'Voting Conservative Tonight?' and then inside was the story and photo of Lit and Blair.

The Somalians also came out heavily for Labour

A shame, all the same. The turnout surprises - by-elections are low yes, but...

These were two Labour strong-holds and the 'Gordon' thing has given Labour a boost short-term. Still, we must avoid silly mistakes like Tony Lit's ill-advised photographic opportunity and Labour sponsorship - it gives the impression that we and our candidates are naive. The Public is not. It reads 'sleeze' and not an integrity in our beliefs sadly. None of us is perfect but!

just as the country seem to wnat a real looking politician running the country Labour get rid of tony but we get dave. Excellent comment earlier triumph of politics over PR. The country does not want another Tony Blair - slick good looking operator. It seems they want to keep it real. It is not about moving to left or the right this is nonsense it is about having policies that people want to see to improve GB on all manner of issues (even the environmnet but do not want it rammed down our throats) some issues need (forgive the lables) Right wing on law and order, europe and immigration but a social conservative approach to welfare, health and social care and probably something in the middle with tax and education. If there is an election in october the country do not knwo what we stand for and will stick with what thet know

Radical Tory @ 11.16

Oh those pesky Lib Dems, Labour and Somalians. If only they had ignored the picture of Lit and Blair and hadn't used it in their campaign literature we would have done better.

Behave yourself will you. Cameron prides himself on his marketing skills. He should know that attacking a competitor involves exposing the shortcomings of their product or service. Lit's picture and company donation to Labour was an exposed flank and they were right to use it.

I do think Cameron now has closing window of opportunity to assert what a Cameron Government would do, what he stands for, how he would improve peoples' lives.

There is no real perception of the benefits of voting Conservative being transmitted by the leadership. This needs to change urgently.

Look at Brown he is presenting Labour as offering stability in times of change, opposition to terror, the dog whistle that troops may be out of Iraq. Brown has even gone as far as saying British jobs for British people. These are election winning themes.

So far DC is taking about social responsibility. But what does that actually mean in real terms. Is it civic conservatism? I hope so. Or is it just a holding theme used to replace the absence of real content.

i am just so depressed this morning but don't want to blame DC, we're being out fought on the door steps by the dirty LD's, prejudice and stereotypes.

Yes, Lit was a terrible communicator, but even Jesus may have struggled as PPC in Ealing - which we haven't won decades.

just had a thought

perhaps we are turning into a nasty country - considering people are voting for nasty tactics

Calling all Manic Depressives out there.
It's not that bad - honest.
I hear there was a Borough By-Election in Ipswich yesterday where our candidate, a local businessman, increased our share of the vote to over 60% - the best seen for years. He also managed to cut the Lib Dems share by a quarter, although labour did increase their share by 20%.
For goodness sake, lets have a bit of optimism you lot.

I was at the LGA Conference a couple of weeks ago and someone asked a question about regional message - the answer came back from Gavin Barwell I think 'we should not have different message for different parts of the country'

We David Cameron’s Conservatives in Ealing
and The Conservative Party in Sedgefield

is that a different message

3 by elections, 3 thrashings.

The people have delivered their verdict on "David Cameron's Conservatives".

The moderniser experiment has failed abysmally, which looking at it's main proponents should shock no-one.

Get real and give David Davis the job.

There seems to be quite a few people in denial here today.

Make no mistake about it, last night was very bad indeed and changes need to be made very quickly to prevent any further damage.

Think my point is being missed - of course the LibDems were entitled to use the Lit phot with Blair. That's politics.

However, it really did resonate with Tory voters who were telling me that had been Tory for decades but were either voting LibDem or not voting at all because our candidate couldn't make up his mind if he was Labour or a Tory

After the Sedgefield result the BNP must be hoping that Cameron stays as Tory leader.

After the Sedgefield result the BNP must be hoping that Cameron stays as Tory leader.

Yes. He's probably the best recruiting sergeant they've got.

ITV 1 Teletext (analogue page 326) asks people for their views (by text) on yesterday's Parliamentary By-Elections. Among the comments sent in and published (on ITV 1 Teletext page 326) are:

Rob of Leicester wrote "My Mother said honesty is always the best policy. Maybe Dave could try it too."

Gerry of Consett stated "Cameron is just a stand-up chameleon - he has no chance."

Jack of Chippenham asked "Who is Cameron?"

The Sedgefield result was good- where would Reg Keys' votes go- only LibDem- they collapsed when this is taken into account.

Ealing- a mess. However, it is perhaps the most atypical seat in Britain.

So, disaster? No. Did we do well?- not on your life!

Time is stop the nulab type lefty trendy stuff and get to SUBSTANCE- that is: tax cuts; allowing people to choose their own medical care; law and order...all those things Michael Howard did for us and came within 3 % of beating Labour (and beat them in England).

Is Gary Elsby mentally ill?

Children aged 30 years old have never seen a Tory government

He does seem to have a problem expressing himself in articulate English.

Well, you just get this endless stream of consciousness from him, Traditional Tory.

Who knows Sean? He's been writing these types of posts on Guido and Dale for months and months. He doesn't enter into any sort of debate, ever, so he's a bit like Southends finest in that repect.

Hmm. The James Joyce of Stoke-on-Trent?

Beats Arnold Bennett any day.

The Conservatives stirred up a controversy when they reinvented themselves. Some commentators believe that NuCon was invented specifically to compete over the same electoral ground as its NuLab competitor. However, elections indicated that nevertheless most voters preferred NuLab to NuCon and the electoral failure of NuCon came as a grievous blow to the Conservative hierarchy. It is possible that voters would not have noticed the change if it had been made secretly or gradually, and thus brand loyalty could have been maintained. The Conservative chiefs were unprepared, however, for the nostalgic sentiments aroused in the party’s core support.

The new format subsequently caused a public backlash and the Core Conservatives of England lobbied for a return to previous principles. This and other protests caused the party to return to the old format under the name of The Conservative Party. The party was later accused of performing this volte-face as an elaborate ruse to introduce new principles while reviving interest in the original ones. The Tory Leader du Jour responded to the accusation by declaring: "Some critics will say we made a marketing mistake. Some cynics will say that we planned the whole thing. The truth is we are not that dumb, and we are not that smart."

[Not an original work, I’m afraid; just my amateurish paraphrase of a narrative about Coca-Cola v Pepsi Cola.]

These two by-election results are no ordinary defeat they are a catastrophe.
It is quite clear The Cameron experiment has failed, it is time to admit the mistake and move on before it is to late.

Cameron has done well in that many feared that BNP penetration outside the cities might be partly at the expense of Conservative support. It seems not.

From the BNP website referring to its 9% of the vote as 'victory' -

'This is a huge leap forward in an area where we have only recently set up local units; the mix of farming and former mining areas of Co. Durham cannot be considered our traditional kind of support base but proves convincingly that the BNP has an appeal beyond those parts of Britain suffering on the fault lines of multiculturalism.'

All Conservatives have to do is to avoid erosion by 'others', and Labour's vote will be the one to be eroded.

UKIP changed the results of maybe 30 seats in 2005 with 2% of the vote taken mostly from Conservative. If BNP start stripping away Labour support at three times that rate, it could lose Labour 100 or more seats, and let the Conservatives in.

If Cameron stands firm on national issues such as the USER referendum, on the West Lothian issue, and so on, he could see Gordon Brown's vote decimated while he hangs on to his. (Union of Subservient European Regions)

Sedgfield is the moment politics in Britain changed. Blair has given his parting gift.

Not one commentator noticed

The point is that we seem to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Labour was like an overripe rotting apple waiting to fall. There was no need to offend the Tory rank and file. No need for A lists of ambitious young ethnics and young ladies just out of university. There is no point in trying to curry favour with "The Guardian" and lose your heartland.

The Tories did gain 911 seats in the May local elections, with 40%, and a few glimmerings even in Scotland.

Give David Cameron some credit for the May elections - 40% two years running. Some people need reminding that if Southall had come up in 2003 or 2004 we would probably have seen our vote share fall whilst the LDs took the seat from Labour.

The results should have done better in the by-elections - but have held our own in a third place situation in Ealing Southall.

What's missing?
The agenda needs to be moved on from image (which is essential - the image was holding us back) to much firmer aims (short of hostage to fortune) particularly on tax, greater accountability for your tax, pensions, aswell as developing some of the good ideas Caroline Spelman started on housing.

Brown is highly vulnerable on all these - as we found out from hits in the polls between around February and May, but he has been able to present his government as more serious than it was under Blair and even as fresh.
This needs to be tackled urgently.

"Sedgfield is the moment politics in Britain changed. Blair has given his parting gift.
Not one commentator noticed"

probably because you seem to inhabit the planet Mars as far as election analysis is concerned.Here's a quick run down from most sane people and ALL experienced political commentators

Sedgefield. Reasonable for Labour,Good for the LDs, reasonable for the Tories...
Ealing.Good for Labour, reasonable for the LDs,disappointing for the Tories

An English boy is kicked to death by about 30 black boys,apparently just because he looked English. Four African Moslem refugees plot and try to kill hundreds of us.Islamist terrorists including apparently many doctors flit in and out of the country seemingly at will. David Cameron spends a few days with a Moslem family in an area which was until recently all-English but which is now all Moslem. He says "If only British families had the same sense of morality as this Moslem family". (A British newspaper some time ago had indicated that almost 1 of every 2 British Moslems wnt shariah law) Is it any wonder that most British conservatives that he does not have a clue about what they think?

yozzer - fine until anyone looks at the detail. Other parties are consistently polling around 16% and are in fact bigger now than the Lib Dems.

Isn't it odd that the media narrative excludes any reference to minor parties, even when they swing the result of individual seats like UKIP does on occasions, and as now when the BNP could before long start to swing the result of elections?

You may be happy to buy into media narratives. I find it pays to do your own thinking. I don't think you've really taken on board how controlled the process of political reporting is in this country.

They look and sound intelligent, but they are not allowed to mention the real story of what's going on. You have to work it out for yourself.


David Cameron is the most exciting thing to happen to the Conservative Party since the grey suits ousted Maggie Thatcher. I was a Labour supporter when Mrs Thatcher became the Prime Minister, I contributed to the miners' collection boxes etc., but, eventually, I saw that what she was doing was, mostly, right and sensible. Just when I had accepted this, you got rid of her. Good move! New Labour have since hijacked Mrs Thatcher's policies.

However, the world has moved on and David Cameron recognises this. There are new perils. The paralysis of the individual under New Labour is horrendous. Civil liberties are being eroded and no-one seems to care, other than the usual suspects. The first one was fox-hunting (a vile, class-related, spiteful Act finally enacted
after over two years of parliamentary debate). The last was the smoking ban (a genuflection to our European partners, most of whom ignore the Directive) which may, in certain circumstances, criminalise the citizen in his own home. Oddly, the ban does not extend to the House of Commons. In between, a raft of legislation that allows the surveillance of the public and the criminalisation of minor offences.

Criminalise too many trivial acts of the individual citizen (such as littering, bad language and peaceful protest within a kilometre of Westminster) and society becomes a police state. A total police state is where we are heading under New Labour (more so, I believe, under Gordon Brown than Tony Blair) and that is where, I further believe, David Cameron does not want to go. Give him a decent chance!

We lost two by-elections that we could never have won. So what? We only came second in Ealing Southall because our vote was split between the Greens, UKIP and the BNP. I believe David Cameron knows how to neutralise these parties and gain their votes, without sacrificing the Conservative values of respect and inclusion.

I say stand firm with David Cameron.


"We lost two by-elections that we could never have won. So what? We only came second in Ealing Southall because our vote was split between the Greens, UKIP and the BNP. "

But that doesn't happen to a party on the path to government.A party on the way to government has momentum ,purpose and pulls in 'soft' votes from minor parties.The by election results,added to the two Sunday opinion polls, show the Tories are floudering when they should be way ahead in the polls to have any chance of winning the next election..

What more do you bloody modernisers want then? Will coming in fourth place ram home the message? I don't think anything will do it. The Tories should not associate themselves with minorities, losers, foreigners and the poor; any more than with big business, the Anglican church or the Monarchy. It should stand for probity, integrity, sound defence, sound money, low taxes and dismantling red tape and controls. Law and order and immigration controls are also very important. 'The Family', 'Ethnic issues', 'Green policies', so-called 'Global warming' and seeking to rig candidate selection in favour of women and blacks is NOT the answer.

After three terms of new Labour and the disaster in Iraq,with a weak Lib-Dem leader and hosts of problems in the country the Conservatives should be wining anything but the most die-hard Labour seat. The fact that they are not shows the contempt in which this new 'Super Wimp' set of non policies is held by we disaffected former supporters.

The problem is that we kicked out our best chance of improving our position when we kicked David Davies in the teeth at the last minute.

we should have elected David Davies as leader who would have increased our number of seats at the next G.E then elected Cmaeron to fight the election after next when he could well have won.

Cameron will go, he will either return us another bad defeat at the next G.E and it will take even longer to recover or we need to replace him now with David Davies and then we have at least got someone of substance that the electorate can relate to. David Davies will give a better result at the next G.E than David Cameron, have no doubt about that one.

We timed it all wrong when we kicked David Davies out of what should have been his chance to drag us up the ladder.

Lets see sense quickly please!

I see Sean Fear (Dr.) is questiioning my mental ability, or lack of it, in the only way he knows.

Dr. Fear, listen closely for I shall say this only once,we won you lost.

End of lecture.

I repeat the claim, 30 years old children have never seen a Conservative Government. I further claim they will be 60 and still never see one.
The key to this is that I know why and you do not.
This is why we go on.

PS. Dr. Fear, name the guy who agreed that Ibbs and Irving could form a pact running Stoke? Have fun

The results of the last two by-elections should challenge the direction the party is taking. I really want to see a strong main opposition to the current government. Sadly, under the direction of 'Dave' I see nothing of the kind. I take no pleasure in predicting another loss at the general election and the further erosion of all that once made this country a great place to live, under an ever more intrusive and overbearing New Labour regime (ID cards etc) and its EU masters.

Dave is not a true leader.. The leadership qualities lack there.. He cant enforce things.. Cant get stuff done.. Umm Perhaps, Serisouly it needs a Change.. Big time..

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