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The problem isn't Cameron, its the people surrounding him.

Not only - on the whole - a narrow inexperienced priveleged clique which permanently provides ammunition to opponents but in other areas - like press- staffed by people out of their depth.

Until he tackles this and broadens his outlook and his circle he won't go forward. Coulson is a long overdue step in the right direction. He shouldn't be afraid to ditch those who were part of his leadership campaign - its the nature of politics!

I don't especially like this government but I have no yearning for a Conservative one.

Sorry Tim, but you missed the point and more importantly the news. It is party unity which is being scrutinized and seen as a weak link.
You go on about strategy, but at the moment what you suggest is a reaction to Brown's agenda and the perfect ammunition he seeks.
I agree that we need to go on the attack with all guns blazing against Labour all summer ON Labour's and more importantly Brown's record, but equally we need to start pulling together and working as a united and loyal team hungry for government. Anything less than that and we become the negative and damaging story.
We cannot go back to the knee jerk right wing responses to Labour policy, we also cannot risk undoing the decontamination success either. Let Cameron and his team do their job on strategy because for once I would like to see what the hell happens before the back seat drivers make us change direction at the first sign of a bumpy ride.

I agree with the article in its entirety, though obviously I don't advocate the murder of bus drivers :)

I am reliably informed that no one in Brown's camp is pressing for October but April after the Budget is very much on.

Personally, I think that is very short-sighted of Brown and risks repeating Callaghan's mistake but Brown has always dithered over decisions.

We don't need a new Leader we need to sack Hilton. We need a new agenda and the policy fora speeded up to report before the end of the Summer so that we go into the Conference season with much more confidence and something to talk about apart from ourselves. I am not sure that DC is temperamentally equipped to do that and is to wedded to his existing course to admit its all gone pear-shaped. If he doesn't then we'll lose the next election and have a new Leader within 10 months. Gove and Osborne will be too identified with the current regime and David Davis too ancien regime to be players. We need a Leader who comes from the right of the Party but can communicate. We need a Leader who can enunciate a set of new policies, not just in core areas, that break the current 3 Party fix and offer voters hope of a better Britain. Something that's worth voting for so that the turnout goes up as Thatcher's children return home.

"The challenge over the summer is not to put the Tories back into an election-winning lead - that may be too big an ask. The challenge is to reduce the Labour lead so that the instinctively cautious Gordon Brown won't risk an autumn election. It's not so much a time for strategy - more a time for guerilla war against Labour."
Tim, I have reread your article and I do agree with you 100% on this comment. It was the earlier part "Our party's problem is one of strategy. Prosperity and security are nearly always the top two issues for voters and we haven't focused enough on those issues." The irony is that Brown's U turn on a border police force has been very much reported as a Conservative proposal which Brown has taken up and as such has been the only bit of sunshine in another wise stormy week.
Brown is getting an incredible soft ride from the media, never before has the party needed to get its act together with its media operation. All summer I want to see a rotating steam of strong and robust performances from our MP's speaking from the same script about Labour failures and Brown's previous record.

Tim, the problems on strategy are mainly the ham fisted way in which elements have come out, 10 great ideas and one dumb one and it is the dumb one that gets the headlines. Beer tax, Museum charges, hugging hoodies, Polly, grammar school "rationale" etc etc. All were avoidable own goals if there was some quality control in place. None of these were issues that a large % of the voters find interesting, so why talk about them? They are more narrow in their appeal than talking about Europe!

The way back is for his fellow members of the shadow cabinet to get off their backsides, curtail their outside interests and perform their shadow jobs effectively (I refer to Benedict Brogan's piece on part timers).

I was not a David Davis supporter but he is by far the most effective shadow minister because he puts in the effort to master his brief.

Time that Con Home started a "media mentions" report on here which Iain Dale has intermittently posted in the past. Shame the timid ones! Let us see who really works this summer.

scotty: It is party unity which is being scrutinized and seen as a weak link.

Nonsense. The MPs are happily singing the "Save Dave" tune, even Davis. Explain why Cameron is summarily demolished in 90% of the comments in for example Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. Then explain the Mail poll with 76% thinking he is a failure as leader.

Better explanation: Cameron is his own worst enemy.

risks repeating Callaghan's mistake

Callaghan lost a Confidence Motion in March 1979

The attacks on Cameron were initiated by Rupert Murdoch according to Stephan Sheakespeare who was told three weeks or so ago by a Murdoch editor that Murdoch had decided to be rid of Cameron and replace him with Hague. This coincided with the Brown takeover and with Cameron strongly resisting the EU Constitution.

The only polling organisation to provide hopeful polls to Brown after the by-elections was ICM Guardian. The first poll was a survey which did not ask about voting intention. The questions were 1. which party did you vote for at the election and 2. which party do you feel warmest to now? From these answers, voting intention was deduced.

The results look odd as 'others' has been awarded 9%. Most other polls find others on around 15%. At Sedgefiled, others were on 20%. At Southall where the voting mix is not as typical, others were on 10%.

Judging by the obvious bias in the most recent poll focused entirely on Cameron, not even asking anyone if they liked Cameron and the Conservative Party, it would not be unreasonable to deduce that ICM Guardian's recent polling has become blinded by the need to ramp up the pressure on Cameron.

The BBC has clearly been running the narrative about Cameron's trip to Rwanda being a wrong move. His time spent in his Constituency beforehand visiting flood-affected people - two days - was not even reported. The media bias in this country and the blatant attempt to unseat yet another Conservative leader by providing effective lies to suit, is downright pathetic.

If there 2 letters written to the 1922, one would be Bercow who is usually to the fore in these media coordinated games. The other could be Ken Clarke, or another Europhile. If the pro-European conspiracy cannot unseat Cameron this time, they will probably try again in a few months time. If I was a Conservative eurosceptic doubting Cameron's strength of will to fight on my behalf, I would be feeling most encouraged by Cameron. Not from what he's telling me himself so much, but from what the stealth enemies of Britain and our democracy are trying to do to Cameron.

The by-election were spun as a Conservative disaster so strongly that even Mike Smithson's had another visit to the results yesterday realising that in fact the Conservatives held position and slightly increased. It was Labour's vote that took an unexpected hammering.

There are two realities in Britain. There is what is really going on, and there is what the media tries to tell you. Fotunately enough people are starting to realise that what the media tries to tell you contains substantial lies.

As for newspaper comments, if I write pro-Cameron it doesn't get on.

As for newspaper comments, if I write pro-Cameron it doesn't get on.

Then moderate your language to something printable.

jorgen - really. you are silly.

You know Conservatives are actually quite a content bunch by and large despite all the outpourrings by the sad and the lonely on blogs.

It makes me laugh that ICM Guardian ran their much-publicised news story about dislike of Cameron amongst Conservatives when what they failed to report, is that 52% of Conservatives like both their leader and their Party. That's a high figure!

Compared to labour we look a most contented bunch. The equivalent figures for Labour are in comparison totally horrific!

Read this.

In the Labour Party, only 13% I said 13% like both their leader and their Party. 25% who like their leader don't like their Party. This is only 3% amongst Conservatives.

No wonder the Conservative polling figures stay so constant. And no wonder it is from Labour that the BNP are finding they can take large chunks of votes as at Sedgefield. Gordon Brown's vote is decidedly brittle.

Re Tapestry, is HeffUrKip still controlling the comments area of the Telegraph?

Re Tapestry, is HeffUrKip still controlling the comments area of the Telegraph?

That makes me think that Cameron's strategy is actually much better than I'd thought it was beforehand.

The figurees about Labour I just quoted make you wonder what on earth holds the Labour Party together, they are so full of self loathing. The answer is simple. A hatred of Tories. They hate themselves but they hate us even more!!!!

If Cameron becomes not-a-Tory but David Cameron who somehow or other is a Conservative but not really, the hatred that binds Labour voters together will become so much the weaker, and at Sedgefield, the first signs of an unravelling were visible.

OK the Labour vote moving out is going substantially to another hatred-based political organisation and not the jolly old contented Conservatives. But never mind. Our job is to reduce the vote and strength of our opponents as much as to build our own voting level. And Cameron seems to be achieving that very nicely.

"If the pro-European conspiracy cannot unseat Cameron this time, they will probably try again in a few months time. If I was a Conservative eurosceptic doubting Cameron's strength of will to fight on my behalf, I would be feeling most encouraged by Cameron." - Tapestry

But then you're not a Eurosceptic, just as Cameron is not. He's only opposed to the European Constitution, sorry - that should be 'Treaty', because even he knows that he'd reveal himself as an arch-Clarkite were he to do otherwise.

"Our job is to reduce the vote and strength of our opponents as much as to build our own voting level. And Cameron seems to be achieving that very nicely."

Yes, that's very nice in theory. However, I'm not quite sure how you deduce this fall in Labour support when all the opinion polls are putting them between 6 and 8 percentage points in front of the Tories.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the Tories have to have at least a 10% lead in order to achieve a Commons majority.

Cameron is failing abysmally in both respects.

Tapestry lives in a world of global conspiracy and the Dark Lord Rupert Murdoch.... he makes polls the centre of his fantasy world and Hague as some king across the water. It is delusional.

Hague is unpopular in the public and a failure. Most people could not care less about the Conservatives. Outside the Southeast they are a bit of an oddity. Cameron has spent 18 months exploring blind alleys - and did not enthuse voters in Bromley.

The Conservatives are beached and cannot be refloated by any leader - they lack grasroots infrastructure and are basically a virtual party without physical substance in much of the country.

Rather than spend 18 months building it was a typical image marketing campaign like they sold broadband Internet - national advertising but we don't serve your region

If Tapestry could take a break from opinion polls and Cameron and leadership and start wondering why turnout is so low in by-elections it might have more contact with reality - but spouting on about BNP and how super Sedgfield was for Conservatives makes me think of John Major's comment about the flapping of white coats

Cheer up Tom Tom. The weather's bad enough. You'll be driving us all over the cliff in despair. Write something cheerful please or is everything just a great black hole? Please note that my comments about Murdoch being behind the failed putsch to unseat cameron, and replace him with Hague came from reading Stephan Sheakespeare's column on CH. Click on it above.

My comments range far further than opinion polls. I tackled the wrong interpretation of Sedgefield recently taken up by Mike Smithson on www.politicalbetting.com yesterday, wrote about my doubts over ICM Guardian and we've been discussing on yesterday's Iain dale open thread why Gordon Brown has been so dumb as to place $112 billion into US Treasuries in the last 12 months in his own version of Black wednesday trying to defend the Euro from a falling dollar.

This information has not even appeared in the Financial Times it is so sensitive. Get about more Tom Tom. There's a lot going on on the blogs. You will be surprised by what you can find. Sorry if you find me delusional. Nothing I can do about that. I'm sure!!!!

Stephen I have written elsewhere why ICM Guardian polls need treating with a large pinch of salt. The one yesterday which focused on Cameron's position was so badly rigged it is a joke. visit my blog if you want to see more. www.the-tap.blogspot.com

You're over-egging at 8%. The highest was 7%, now put at 6%. It could all be a load of baloney anyway.

8.19 Stephen again - you're not a eurosceptic....

wrong Stephen. go and read my profile before jumping to such outrageous conclusions!!!!

If my theories are right that it was the europhiles attacking Cameron and trying to unseat him, then what better evidence is there that Cameron is not just a token eursoceptic.

My comments range far further than opinion polls

Oh yes - I have seen them. You are a real fruitcake

The Party is getting itself into an almighty fluster about this. Ive been sent a list of the chances of an early election. There will not be an election this year. Why would Brown go to the country so soon and without putting in place the initial foundations of his premiership? He would be essentially standing on a Blair premiership that he inherited rather than one he has been able to adapt.

Its obvious that Brown is doing this to make us panic. This is the silly season and this is par for the course. Hook, line, sinker...

I'm glad to see more positive comments today. Too right we should be taking on Gordon Brown. Anatole Kaletsky, not an instinctive pro-Conservative writer, lists some of the early mistakes of the Brown Government, from not scrapping ID cards to going "back to the future" on council housing.

We should certainly not be shy of reminding everyone in the Thames and Avon valleys that Gordon Brown cut the flood defence budget last year, while spending money on thousands more public sector non-jobs.

Also Brown's "border force" announcement was classic New Labour, put up a couple of signs and order some new uniforms...no new powers, no proper coordination...a cosmetic exercise that will cost a bit of money and help no-one.

The lack of a referendum on the EU "treaty/agreement" is also a broken promise in spirit, if just about not in wording. Of course, there are lots of issues about the content of the treaty - but the simple message is you can't trust Labour/Brown who'll say one thing and so another...

Let's get to work....

Yes the Cameroons are working themselves into a total panic.

Meanwhile I have learned, from the horses's mouth so to speak, that Cameron's meeting with the '22 was not quite the breeze reported in the press.

Much of his speech was greeted by Tory MPs in sullen silence. There was an attempt to raise applause when he attacked his 'baiters' but the cheer was more half-hearted than rousing and its source very obvious.

The crisis continues.

we've been discussing on yesterday's Iain dale open thread why Gordon Brown has been so dumb as to place $112 billion into US Treasuries in the last 12 months in his own version of Black wednesday trying to defend the Euro from a falling dollar.

This information has not even appeared in the Financial Times it is so sensitive. Get about more Tom Tom

There is no discussion on that thread just as noone comments on your blogs...you just push out the weird conspiracy rubbish blogs are notorious for.

Buying £56 billion of US Treasuries is hardly earth-shattering and is most likely part of the forward-intervention by the B of E to stabilise the Pound between US Dollar and Euro.

The UK has a vested interest in managing the inverted yield curve in the USA just as other European economies have - so buying into Treasuries helps keep the yield curve from inverting and causing recession - it is probably part of a normal Central Bank operation

Tom Tom. I don't accept many media narratives on face value - that's for sure. And with the BBC forcing its executives to all attend courses about 'honesty' as defined, how can you blame me?

Once you start thinking that what you are being told is not true - which it isn't - you are entitled to form different narratives which make more sense of events.

I note that you are a copier and a generaliser, good with detail, but not an original thinker. That's fine. We're all different in our approach, and can add to the debate in our own way.

Buying $112 of US Treasuries as interest rates are rising, and as the dollar is collapsing is barmy. It will lose a fortune.

Central banking interventions only delay. There could be a secret Eurozone operation going on to stop the euro rising against the dollar. Spain e.g. is selling its gold in an accelerted programme and buying 'bonds'. these are probably dollar bonds. It seems that the UK is heavily involved too.

The chinese are known to be putting money away from US Treasuries now and buying equity and other asset investments. We will cop a massive loss trying to protect the euro which is not even our currency. Brown has probably lost around $10 billion on this already. We will lose far more trying to save the euro than we ever did trying to stay in the ERM.

"I don't especially like this government but I have no yearning for a Conservative one."

Exactly, we need a choerent narrative which is positive.

A guerilla war wouldn't give people a reason to support the Conservatives...Howard made this mistake, I'm sure Cameron won't.

It's time to stick to the strategy!

I think Tapestry's comments above regarding BBC bias deserve more recognition and I particularly agree with the comments made regarding the criticism of the Rwandan trip. Anyone remember all those times Brown went to Africa?? I seem to remember the BBC giving plenty of coverage devoted to it: "Oooh oooh look at our wonderful humanitarian PM-to-be" etc etc, while of course there would have been big domestic issues going on then too.

I couldn't agree more with what Scotty said at 00:41. I do believe that the 'oust Cameron' stories have been seriously exaggerated. "We don't need to change our leader" - a massive understatement. Does anyone seriously think that there's anyone else fit for the task??? Yes Cameron's made mistakes but he's also made a lot of progress getting the Tories listened-to again, had good polls for over a year, good local election results and the policy groups he set up have produced some promising stuff which we can develop into coherent, comprehensive, Conservative policy ahead of an election. In Cameron we have a positive, optimistic Conservative and as a younger voter I think (and I'm by no means alone among others of my age group in thinking this) that counts for a massive amount. I agree he could do with talking about crime and the economy more and making his Europe position better-known (from what I've ever read about Cameron and that subject I'm satisfied he's a eurosceptic).

We now have the best chance of electoral success we've had in years and I genuinely believe we're setting the agenda. I've always been of Conservative leaning but when I read Cameron's leadership manifesto and the Built to Last document I felt inspired, I felt we'd finally found something attractive, sensible and electable. I don't see why that's changed. I'm not worried by the 'Brown bounce', just by the hostile media and the shaky nerves of some of our own members. Let's re-iterate all Labour's failures over the Summer and let's not forget that if Brown's snap election coincides with the 2008 budget, we have massive ammunition about the entirety of his record but most of all the deceitful tax "cuts" from the 2007 budget which will be coming into force at about the time of the election...

I heard similarly Al Hamilton. From what I heard Cameron was to have another rough ride. Telling them that they are wrong and he is right just aint cricket...

Gotta give Brown credit where its due, hes swung to the right and is stomping over Camerons blue lawns, something not many of us expected.

Constantly changing the leader is insane and part of the problem. It sends all the wrong messages and suggests that the public can be converted as long as we change the leader rather than get the party on the right track. None of the alternatives would be any better and the media and Labour would soon lay into them to the same degree or more that they are to DC. I think we need to refine our stratgey and chiefly we msut be much more practical and focused in our approach. The issues are Crime, NHS, Education and the economy. Concentrate on these not with vast detail but practical ideas that coherently fit together and constantly use these to illustrate what we stand for and what Conservatism is in the 21st century. The defining feature under all the leaders we have the lost elections, is that people don't know what we stand for. We are actually the most in tune party to today not the least that is why Balir and Brown had to copy us. This is not rocket science,


In a strange way, possibly the recent difficulties are a good thing, well they will be if it helps unite us.

I still find it perplexing as to why the party has allowed itself to become so fractured and marginalised as a result. Has the conservative party become the catch all for the discontented on the right? Is the church too broad too become an effective political force. Don't think so, but I'm hoping a rash of pragmatism is going to break out and people will start bartering for position before uniting together and going for power instead of moaning about pet hatreds and damming all before them.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Cameron has the capability to lead us to victory, and it will be at least 6 months before Brown has to face any music. Patience my friends.

I wouldn't mind an autumn election! Any chance to get rid of Labour... DC needs to stop all the PC posturing ( wait for it, he'll call for the banning of patio heaters) and stop trying to represent 'Springfield'. His attitude at the moment reminds me of Chief Wiggum investigating Mr Burns' shooting where he asks a ramdom member of the public: 'Have you got any idea? I haven't-Help!' Something tells me he wouldn't even win an election there! We can't help be disappointed and annoyed with our party leader when he consistently shoots himself in the foot - when he is capable of so much better.

I notice Labour are in the red this year as far as the accounts go and they have reduced the number at HQ to 158. How many log on to Conservativehome.com to disrupt the site I wonder. Tim, its time to end anonymous posts.

I have questioned Cameron's tactics and his persona on this forum but I am beginning to feel sorry for him.

Who has he got in the shadow team to help him out?

Osborne - suffers from the "toff bashing"
Davis - is hoping to give Cameron enough rope to hang himself
Hague - very capable, but a failed leader
Letwin - another eccentric toff
May - looked bored and sulky at PMQs
The rest do not register on the media radar

Any leader is only as good as his troops.

Worryingly some of Brown's troops like the two young Miliband's are beginning to look increasingly plausible as government ministers

Just picking up n a comment made by tapestry with regard to posting on DT comments section. I am very pro-DC and have tried posting as such in very moderate language - I never ever post using any profanity - yet my comments never appear. I do strongly suspect that there is a degree of selection being done to suit Heffers agenda.

What worries me to the pit of my stomach at the moment is the suicide wish that seems so prevalent on so many of the comments on this and othjer cons blogs. I think this is echoed in the YouGOv survey that says DC is not in control of the party. I fear too many in the party are too comfortable talking to themselves and do not want to face the compromises inherent on government.

I personally wish to see the Conservative party in power. I would even vote for a COnservative party that just photcopied the labour manifesto. I would do this because I believe that the basic instincts of the Conservative leadership are ones I can identify with (private better than public, individual liberty greater than state control etc.)

With those instincts the same manifesto would be implemented better. But more by being in power the Conservative party would be in a position to shape the agenda and indeed the definition of where the centre is. It is oft repeated but it is a basic truth pf politics that power is binary you either have it or you don't. In opposition we can make little difference in government we can.

I know that in last year it has become respectable to be conservative again - first major success of DC. We need to build on that and accept that there are many shades and flavors of conservatism - it is a party of power note a pressure group. Too many on this site and in party seem to think that it is some form of campaigning pressure group with a unitary definition of what it is to be conservative.

Well said Oberon Houston. Yes Tim, I too think that contributors to this site should not hide under the cloak of anonymity but there must be exceptions. eg.If as I understand there may be good reasons for prospective candidates not wishing to reveal their true name as the thought police might mark their card and then they can kiss goodbye to any chances they may have had of ever getting a seat. Otherwise it seems a good idea.

Now that the Cash For Honours case has collapsed, Labour fundraisers can get cracking. The unions will do a deal and bail Brown out. If his poll lead continues, business will back him rather than the Conservatives. An autumn poll may be too attractive an opportunity for Brown to resist.

Gove!? You have got to be kidding. Comes across as a geeky school kid from bash street. We'd be even more of a joke.

ICM Guardian starting to look bloody foolish. Yesterday they splash all over the media that Conservatives are in the cart and cameron's finished etc.

Today as if nothing as follows -

From PB Blog Entry -
'Theer are some corrections to their reporting in today’s Guardian:

“A chart showing David Cameron’s personal rating in a Guardian/ICM poll (front page, yesterday) contained several mistakes. It did not include those voters who said they liked both David Cameron and the Conservative party, and muddled some other figures. The correct figures are: likes Cameron, but not the party, 18%; likes Cameron and the party, 25%; doesn’t like Cameron, but does like the party, 26%; don’t know, 26%. Five per cent refused to answer. Voters were not asked if they did not like both Cameron and the party. We did not make clear that the chart showed figures for all voters, not just Conservative voters.”

Some fairly major errors there, but at least they have clarified them, including the main issue identified above - that there was no possible answer for those who did not like both the leader and the party.'

ICM Guardian have a major credibility problem as do the BBC. It's no point in apologising to us. They are the losers in that no one beleieves them any more.

Conspiracy theories are usually put about by fanatics and accepted by the unstable. Rupert Murdoch has no interest whatsoever in replacing Cameron with Hague.

I was turned off Labour, mainly by Tony Crosland and always voted Conservative thereafter until 1997 when I simply could not vote at all as Major's lot were clearly disastrous. Yesterday's men are still trying to move the party towards Europe - Heseltine and the back-stabber Clarke. In that effort they will try to instal a Europhile, if they can find one of eminence. That is the conspiracy, but not a very secretive one.

My allegiance problem is that I cannot understand what Cameron and his cohorts are doing. I also object to the fact that they do not oppose even the most laughable Labour policies with any vigour that one can detect.

So, in the next General Election I am likely to withhold my vote again. A million or so like me are David Cameron's problem.

Stephan Sheakespeare, you're a fanatic. Talk to Victor.

Buying $112 of US Treasuries as interest rates are rising, and as the dollar is collapsing is barmy. It will lose a fortune.

Central banking interventions only delay. There could be a secret Eurozone operation going on to stop the euro rising against the dollar. Spain e.g. is selling its gold in an accelerted programme and buying 'bonds'. these are probably dollar bonds. It seems that the UK is heavily involved too.

The chinese are known to be putting money away from US

Get an education Tapestry instead od displaying financial illiteracy...you are one of those who cuts and pastes without understanding - China has $1.2 trillion in foreign currency reserves - putting $10 billion into Barclays Bank leaves a lot over.....

They have no ability to sterilise so they buy Treasuries because there are few deep capital markets and they refuse to revalue so they will explode....there are not enough physical assets for sale for them to buy in the West.....

Stephan Sheakespeare, you're a fanatic.

Stephan Kozlowski adopted his wife's maiden name of Shakespeare.....one day Tapestry will learn to spell it.

Fraser Nelson authors an article in this week's Spectator (not yet online) that speculates about the possibility of a fourth Tory defeat and who might then succeed a defeated David Cameron.
I would be surprised if there wasn't a 4th Labour victory - it won't neccessary be a Conservative defeat as such because it might well involve the Conservative Party making a major recovery in terms of votes. In 2005 both main parties were actually at a very low ebb, the Liberal Democrats were only really recovering because of the unpopularity of the other two parties and not because of anything much they were doing, UKIP was on something of a high as were other parties such as Respect and the Greens; but were starting from too low a base really to be able to capitalise from it in terms of obtaining seats.

There are of course two different things - what is the right thing for a leader to be doing and also perception of what the right thing for a leader to be doing is which are not neccessarily the same thing.

If the Conservative Party hugely increases it's vote but loses because Labour increases it's vote by more and so holds onto it's majority or increases it, or Labour holds on to government through a coalition with other parties or a minority and the Conservatives improve their position then David Cameron rightly or wrongly will be acclaimed by many as a heroic figure and will carry on beyond the next General Election as Conservative leader and would then be in a position to mount a serious challenge to form the government in 2014.

If the Conservative Party support appears to stall or they fail to increase their total number of votes, but increase the percentage vote; or increase the total number of votes but this does not translate into a higher percentage vote because of higher turnout then David Cameron would almost certainly be able to continue, but might face a leadership challenge. If he were to go I doubt George Osborne would succeed him because it would be said that his going was an acceptance of the failure of the strategy that both were associated with. He would be succeeded by someone with more substance to them, whether that be someone seeking to pursue radical Neo-Conservative or Neo-Liberal policies; or a more paternalist approach or some kind of mixture.

If the Conservative Party were actually to slip back in terms of votes or seats then he would probably resign, Edward Heath though in 1966 continued as leader despite presiding over the Conservative Party during a General Election when Labour not only regained it's majority but increased it substantially at the expense of the Conservative Party and then even after presiding over the collapse in the Conservative vote in February 1974 to it's lowest levels since 1945 then still held on until after a second election which further reduced it to the lowest levels of support since the Corn Laws. If he were to try to continue I imagine he would be deselected by a vote by MP's as Edward Heath would have been in February 1974 or in 1966 if the Conservative Party had had such a system then, George Osborne would not be a credible candidate in such circumstances.

I would think that after a 2009 General Election that William Hague, IDS, Stephen Dorrell, Theresa May, Liam Fox, Edward Leigh and John Redwood would all be possibilities to succeed him as leader.

I rather think that he will continue until 2014 as leader and will be succeeded by Priti Patel. I expect the 2019 General Election to be very close (by that time Ed Balls will have succeeded Gordon Brown as PM) although I expect the Conservatives to narrowly lose although quite possibly with as many votes as in 1992 and maybe more than Labour. Ed Balls might try to win an early General Election - anyway I would expect Priti Patel to become PM some time between 2019 and 2024, and then for Labour to slip back into infighting and be out of power for decades.

Tapestry: Thanks for that, very poor journalism from the Guardian.

This all strikes me as Hacks making the story rather than real substance, with the BBC et al merrily stoking the fire. Doesn't help of course when some dissafected trouble makers within the ranks gobb off too, but again, these people are pretty irrelevant unless the media sieze on their comments to help spin the story. Don't get me wrong, there are a number of serious lessons to be learned here, but talk of melt down is rubbish.

Honestly I despair.

The main reasons we are getting a bad press and not doing as well in the polls is that we appeared disunited over grammar schools and are now plotting against the leader. Ring any historical bells?

DC has been in the job 18 months. Overall he's done well in the polls, very well in the council elections, and started a policy review that's generating some powerful stuff which, for the first time in years, has started people talking about what a Tory Government would do. We are being taken seriously again.

After a couple of bad polls and a poorly handled Grammargate we are now talking about who will be the next leader and when. It's pathetic. If I were DC I'd be wondering if the Party is worth leading because it's got no ability to be loyal, no ability to disagree privately, and seems intent on prsenting the worst Government in history with another 10 years in power. Does anyone really think that yet another change of leader after another bout of backstabbing will make the public think we are a credible alternative government?

Things look so bad in Cornwall with the Local Conservatives that Mark Prisk is to become Minister for Cornwall.
Tory infighting and division has become so bad that Cameron has had to appoint a fire fighter. It is recoconised that the small Cornish team of Conservatives ( remnants of the civil war which was sparked by Ashley Crossley a former PPC ) are finding it impossible to make headway. The team face an uphill struggle winning the county back from the Liberal Democrats who swept the board in 2005. The Cornish Western Morning News reports on this subject today. A "big" razz a ma tazz is planned for Friday in Truro to kick of the new plans. Many Cornish Councillors and Activists feel the current PPCs and the Cornwall Agents are not connecting with the electorate.
All this is happening when the PPCs face the new Cornish Assembly which got the go ahead yesterday, and which to their embarrassment they opposed.

The Tory Party is, to all intents and purposes, unleadable. There is a faultline - no, a crevasse - between those obsessed with Europe, immigration, tax cuts etc. and the centre-right faction which is more in tune with the British public. It has always been there but various leaders, usually with the support of their predecessors (unlike, for example, Thatcher's unpardonable and destructive behaviour towards Major) and other contemporaries, have sensibly ignored the extremities and concentrated on the issues which really concern the voters. If the usual gang of thoroughly unpleasant obsessives is not seen off, once and for all, there is no future for the Conservative Party in its present form. The only alternative is for sensible centre-right Tories to make common cause with sensible Liberal Democrats (like Clegg or Huhne), thereby forcing the lunatic Liberal left to go a-wandering and marginalising the far right. Any such grouping would sweep the board in electoral terms AND represent the mass of centre-right opinion in Britain.

Steve Garner? Chappers? Hear Hear.

Thanks for your post Richard. I'm just not sure I understand it!

rumpel: There is a faultline - no, a crevasse - between those obsessed with Europe, immigration, tax cuts etc. and the centre-right faction which is more in tune with the British public.

"obsessed with ...": you mean Thatcherite policies.

"centre-right faction": Ah, you mean the lefties in the party.

Which public might that be that Cameron is in tune with? I only read Daily Telegraph and only once in a while Daily Mail, so please tell me which paper they read so I can check the comment section.

Why would we not want an early election. We can sit back, watch Cameron lose big time and then get a leader.

Richard - quite right. I think we need a "People who are beginning to tire of the Heffer brigade" group.

Some of these criticisms are astonishing. Whenever I ask someone to explain how a shift back onto traditional Tory territory is going to do the trick, I get a prolonged silence in place of the detailed strategy. Typically, such people then start talking about how "people want" a shift into this territory, with neither evidence to support this, nor a recognition of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

The general public are not, in fact, Cameron's (or for that matter, our party's) problem, because generally speaking, people have warmed to him. It is no coincidence that people stopped warming to DC the moment we appeared to lack unity, which we did at the first sign of a dodgy poll.

If you are worried about our leader, you should try to briefly detach yourself from your status as a party member/supporter and look at events from the perspective of an outsider. Sometimes, I don't think supporters realise just how astonishingly bad it looks to other people when we start being openly rebellious. It doesn't look like rational debate - it looks like we are falling apart at the seams.

Ban Tapestry
Make TomTom King of the World.

Hurray ! A new leader ! The sooner the better.

"Why would we not want an early election. We can sit back, watch Cameron lose big time and then get a leader." - Peter North

I think this is what Cameron is talking about when he describes certain people as "delusional".

Isn't the objective of the Conservative Party to be successful in elections? From reading what Peter North says, you'd think it was to lose elections to achieve the primary objective, which is to have an ideologically pure leader.

Is it not a bit of an indictment of the current crop of conservative MPs that a serious commentator cannot think of anyone to replace Mr. Cameron?

At least there is no mention of serial Europhile Clarke any more. That would finish the Conservative party forever.

I hurl into the debate three names to see where the pieces end up: (1)Alan Duncan (personable, articulate,telegenic, bright and as a homosexual clear evidence that the conservative party has changed and is all-embracing) (2) Chris Grayling with his attack dog character and (3) Rifkind: also bright and articulate, serious heavyweight politician, Scots so he can appeal to that corner of the realm, can fight his corner in debate, good on TV.

I am not advocating any one in particular, but I wonder if any one of these might feature if Cameron drowned unexpectedly (and I am desperately trying to avoid the base accusation of irony here, you will understand!)in the floods.

Cameron ignored all the signs. Brown didn't. Voters have been saying Cameron was going the wrong way. They voted BNP in the locals in the hope the warning would be heeded. It was not. It did however spell out to Gordon that there's a whole bunch of conservatives and right wingers he could hoover up if he addressed urgent problems with right wing solutions. Now we pay the price.

Camoron=loser. He must go now.

The points to remember are these:

Cameron has made some wretched mistakes. He must remedy those he can and not make anymore. We can't get rid of him at this point, nor can we too abruptly change our message. There is no magic bullet. Unity and hard campaigning are the only way.

For the future, however, we should note that a pattern is emerging. We are defeated; we are depressed; we accept it and do nothing for a year. Belatedly we stir into political life. We light upon some amazing wheeze which will solve all our problems and in the meantime flinch from saying or doing anything which invites wounding criticism from the press, the Beeb or the other parties. As a result our core message and core appeal are never given a chance - even when they offer the most rational assessment and treatment of the national malaise; even when the public is desperate for some force to offer them such a message. If the public are as "socialistic" as one arch moderniser believes, then why does Labour - first Blair, now Brown - always open its campaigns with a volley of right wing noises? The one leader who seemed to recognise this was Howard.

Three mistakes did for him. First, he wrapped up his message in innuendo - "Are you thinking what we're thinking?" - as though he himself were ashamed of it. Second, he was too narrow in focus. Third, he assumed that one election would do it. In other words, he too assumed that there would be a wheeze, a magic bullet.

When that bullet failed to slay the monster outright, Howard allowed himself to give up when he had in fact climbed half way up the mountain. Had we never hugged a hoody; had we supported the radical reform of schools, bringing back selection; had we kept up the argument for tax cuts and low immigration, we might now be near the summit.

After the next defeat, which has been assiduously lifted from the jaws of victory by our modernising chums, let us greet the first day of renewed opposition with fighting spirit. Let us not apologise, let us not explain. Let us announce that the campaigning will never abate and let us disparage Brown as a socialist dinosaur no matter how effectively he has blinded the electorate. Belief, belief and more belief - it is the only way.

Labour learnt politics from 18 years of opposition - it gets power but botches everything. The conservatives learnt government from 18 years of power - they are competent but cowardly and can never bear to fight their way back. This is the underlying problem.


"I would even vote for a Conservative party that just photocopied the labour manifesto. I would do this because I believe that the basic instincts of the Conservative leadership are ones I can identify with"

Totally agree. You have to be in power to change things for the better and, whatever else you think of David Cameron, he is, at the most basic level, a Conservative.

I only wish the death wish posters on this site and elsewhere would get this simple truth and use all their energy to get the Tories back in power where they should rightly be.

Perhaps if Jorgen read newspapers that do not pander to the anti-Cameron tendency, he might have a clearer idea about the real world. The Tory Party will head into the same territory as the Liberals did some years ago if the next election is lost badly and obsessive right-wingers will be exchanging their prejudices in pubs, clubs and the Dail Mail whilst Brown governs with an even larger majority over a Liberal Democrat Official Opposition!

"I would even vote for a Conservative Party that photocopied the Labour manifesto". Er no: even as things stand, people have too much experience of Conservative Governments which talk right but act left.

Dear Rumplestiltskin, might I remind you that it is the Liberals who have been out since 1924. You are asking a party which was in until 1997 to fail even more spectacularly. Indeed, to judge by recent trends and events, the conservatives have been taking your advice: say nothing; if you must speak, say that everything is fine, just fine; aim to be as centrist and inoffensive as possible. The result? A number of defeats almost as impressive as those of your liberal friends. I think it's about time we stopped listening to the creatures of fairytale.

Great to see posts from the likes of Simon Denis, Jorgen and Michael McGowan again.

"Which public might that be that Cameron is in tune with? I only read Daily Telegraph and only once in a while Daily Mail, so please tell me which paper they read so I can check the comment section."

The average person doesn't make comments online if they even read the paper at all. And if they do it is more likely to be on Charley v Chan v Dizzy.

And since Heffer arrived at the DT it has become a UKIP/grumpy old man supporting paper and as such as seen a decline in readership.

"Er no: even as things stand, people have too much experience of Conservative Governments which talk right but act left."

Sadly not as it may have escaped your attention but labour has been in power for 10 years. And the popular memory of conservative government is not of a left wing government. The electorate did not vote for labour and against the conservatives (tactical voting against CP inflating lab majorities) because they perceived us as a bunch of lefties!

"Perhaps if Jorgen read newspapers that do not pander to the anti-Cameron tendency,"

Which papers would those be. All the "Tory" papers have it in for him and even the Guardian and the Indie, which share his bunnyhugging leftish tendencies, are taking pops at him now.

They all smell blood, and nobody loves a loser.

Barring the Cameroon losers who post here.

Evidence, DavidK, for your assertions about Telegraph circulation? As for poor Simon Heffer, he's not the only columnist on the Telegraph you know. They have a fellow called O'Hagan who produces lib-left outrage by the yard - see a recent piece of his attacking Margaret Hodge for defending the interests of her constituents in the face of unprecedented migration. Nor is he alone. If anything the Telegraph has become yellower, not bluer in recent months. If anyone were to restart the Morning Post and with it occupy the Telegraph's older, less centrist ground, it could pick up quite a few readers.

Why is it that every time we have a Leader get into difficulties the same old tired mantra is trotted out yet again. There's nobody better, all other alternative leaders are inferior, yada, yada, yada.

Well Dave doesn't want us in our comfort zone so why should we allow him his?

We have been out of power for over a decade. We have a realistic chance of gaining power next time.

If the Cameroons cannot deliver a victory then its curtains, next act, change the scenery.

Yes we are going through a rough patch and no, it does not make sense to change Leader now.

The Leadership has had a wake-up call. They should not be given to believe all is well and the complaints can be safely ignored. No comfort zone.

Cameron has it in him to be a unifying figure not just for the Party, but the country. We don't need a u-turn, but we may need a course correction to adjust for the Brown era.

If Team Cameron cannot deliver then we may have just cause to look elsewhere, but for now the timing is totally wrong and quite premature.

rumpelstiltskin: Perhaps if Jorgen read newspapers that do not pander to the anti-Cameron tendency, he might have a clearer idea about the real world.

I prefer to read Conservative newspapers but I am always interested in expanding my horizon and therefore asked my betters. I had my hopes on you so please enlighten me. Perhaps Morning Star, Daily Worker or such?

When, oh when will the right-wing headbangers and nutters realise that the Tory Party of eurosceptic fanaticism, obsessive anti-immigrant, stand-on-your-ownsome, laissez-faireism HAS to change, HAS to be gone if we are to stand any chance whatsoever of winning the hearts and votes of the great British public. The backstabbers and gripers simply do not want Cameron to win - or indeed any Tory Leader to win - if the extreme right-wing agenda is not followed. I am not a Tory to be in opposition for the rest of my natural life. I want my Party to be in Government and I want the treacherous swine who are determined to do down Cameron - just as they did Major - to belt up in public and give the overwhelmingly-elected Leader a proper chance.

"Cameron has it in him to be a unifying figure not just for the Party"

Of course the biggest problem has always been not so much Cameron as the dreadful people around him.

Perhaps if his clique of sycophants could be got rid of we could reassess the Cameron situation, but Im not hopeful

Dominic at 12:17. Bit of wishful thinking on your part. Michael Prisk is a Shadow Minister only and I think his lack of impact on Cornwall will ensure that he remains a Shadow. The local Packet Press contains an interesting editorial today. I am not very good at this game and cant create a link so I will have to laboriously type the piece from the newspaper. Quote:

"The Tories should be in a position to win at least one seat in Cornwall at the next general election but on their current performance even this seems most unlikely.
The results of last week's by-elections in Sedgefield and Ealing Southall were a disaster for the Conservatives, who came third - behind Labour and the Lib Dems - in both constituencies. David Cameron is doing for the Conservative party what Michael Foot did for Labour - making it unelectable! He is, in my opinion, a joke -a toffee-nosed twit. He has surrounded himself with upper-crust buffons who would probably have struggled to get a job selling the Big Issue had they not been born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
With boundary changes, the creation of a new Falmouth-Truro constituency and the retirement of popular Lib Dem MP Matthew Taylor, the Tories have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win back some parliamentary power in Cornwall.
Not that long ago the Tories dominated politics in Cornwall but now you hardly hear a peep from them.
The few remaining active Cornish Conservatives would do well to start the fight back now by demanding that the party finds a new and more credible leader." Quote ended.

I dont really accept that it is the present Leaders fault. If the Tory Party in Cornwall was compared to a Company then what it is doing is drafting in more and more outside Directors (Prisk for example) to shore up weak local management (3 of the 5 candidates already selected for example) when what they really need is workers on the ground. But the 'Company' has either brought about those very workers resignations by ill-treating them or have sacked them. It has all got to be put right from the grass roots upwards not imposed from the top downwards - and frankly its far too late for that now.

"When, oh when will the right-wing headbangers and nutters realise that the Tory Party of eurosceptic fanaticism, obsessive anti-immigrant, stand-on-your-ownsome, laissez-faireism HAS to change,"

If you don't like the party as it is, rumpelstiltskin, why don't you join one that is more in line with your PC principles.

I have a feeling that Brown's Labour Party is going to be a little too "right wing" for you, but you could try the Lib Dems.

I don't know why people like you join the Tories in the first place. You must be a masochist.

Any alternative is better than Cameron - things can't get much worse than they are now.

That's why the 'Roons are getting so worked up because they know the end is nigh.

Michael Davidson's wrong - things can get a lot worse. Remember our election performances in 1997 and 2001? Not only that, things will get a lot worse unless the Party starts pulling together and fights Labour instead of each other.
Speaking of Labour, I can think of an alternative that's worse than Cameron...he's called Brown. If Michael Davidson and his lot have their way we'll have 10 more years of Brown government after we self destruct...again.

Steve - I believe that's such a ridiculous argument.

Do you not realise that with Cameron in charge we really will see 10 more years of Brown? Do you seriously think Cameron is capable of beating Brown in a GE?

Cameron has already blown the next GE for us and whilst I accept we're probably going to be stuck with him for a couple of years, if and when he loses the next GE, he's getting booted out without delay and we'll say good riddance.

There's a rumour going around the financial chappies that Gordo appears to have lined up pledges of £20m+, and that November is being touted as a diary clear period.

DC needs to get a grip and stop causing schism within the party. Policy is something that all contribute to, NOT a small elite group. Many of whom are outsiders and not party members or long term supporters, or having a feeling for the ethos of the party, past, present and future.

The only way to win is to get current Lib Dem and Labour voters to switch to us. You can argue the toss about what these swing voters want, but the argument that there are legions out there just waiting for hard right policies is wrong - otherwise UKIP would be an electoral success....

Time and again the issues that swing voters care about are things like healthcare, education and housing...all areas where the current government has made (ed) balls ups. It's putting forward decent alternative policies in those areas PLUS taxation, defence, lighter regulation on small business etc. that will see us back in power.

Not a big fan of Cameron, but reading these comments am starting to feel sorry for him. The Tory party is such a shambles it's unbelievable - yes Cameron is a bit rubbish but still miles better than Hague (failed leader), IDS (failed leader), Davis (couldn't even win over the Conservative conference), Fox (non-entity), etc. Does anyone really think those jokers would win an election? There is no plan B.

Reading some of the comments on here, I want to cry. I can not believe that some people honestly believe that getting whacked by a landslide whilst banging on about irrelevant issues is better than being relevant and in with a shout at the next election. Some of the posters here make the residents of a lunatic asylum look sane!! This is a few week period of wobble after 18 months of progress. Let's get the silly summer season out of the way and down to the business of continuing progress.

Michael Davidson - what kind of statement is "things can't get much worse than they are now"?

We have been ahead in the polls for 18 months until Brown took over, we have had amazing local election results, we have a dynamic, progressive leader who actually understands what has to be done to get back into power, and a real chance of winning in the next election.

Or do you forget our sub 30% polling results, three successive election defeats, widespread media and politico ridicule of Major/Hague/IDS?

Yes, more needs to be done. And yes, all is not perfect. And yes again, we need some firm policies and principles. But as with the border police, Brown will not be afraid to steal our best ideas, so we should be wary of presenting too much policy too soon.

It's not going to be easy to beat Brown, he's a cunning and experienced politician with a ruthless machine around him, but has massive weaknesses on his record and policy decisions, we just have to work hard to exploit them, and we won't do that by arguing among ourselves.

Cameron is the man to do it. He's here to stay and has a huge mandate from the party. Now let's get on with fighting the real enemy - Gordon Brown.

1. When Cameron calls natural Tories for "delusional" and "racists", he can hardly be called a unifier. His advisers can hardly be blamed and even if they could, the buck stops with Cameron.

2. It does not matter what "the backstabbers and gripers" do. People in general don't read Conservative Home. The MPs are not attacking Cameron. Read my comment from today and yesterday.

Personally, I am sure Cameron is a nice man and I would probably like him if I met him. However, I don't feel that he is a Conservative. I had my doubts sometimes with some of his predecessors, but deep down inside I always knew that they were one of us.

In 10 lines or so: A real Conservative starts in my book with tax cuts and a small state, as that makes the wheels in the society run faster. This makes people and the society wealthier, thus generating money to help those who for whatever reasons get into serious trouble. A wealthy society also make people more generous and more willing to work for and donate to charities. Curbing immigration is important because there is a limit to what a society can take. etc. etc.

Cameron starts in the opposite end. Now, I agree he should not come up with policies too early. But when he starts all discussions from the same end as the socialists, we Conservative need to see Cameron's credentials. I have my doubts whether he is wet or a leftie. A Conservative he is not.

Interesting to learn from these blogs that a Shadow Minister for Cornwall is appointed by Cameron. The Cornish Western Morning News is confirming this. Is this Camerons response to Devolution and Labours Regionalisation?
The County must be recognised to be in a state of conservative flux to have a big wig appointed. If I remember rightly, it is only until recently, parts of Cornwall were being administerd by Conservative HQ- is this just a continuation of rule by a Pro-Consul Mark Prisk MP?
Reading the letters in the WMN a reader is proposing the return of a right of centre conservatism, to Cornwall, and another local Paper the Packet in Truro is on its main leader page writing about the collapse of conservatism in Truro. It is asking Where are the Conservatives? Surely this is a disgrace to the PPCs who must be seen to be working hard to win the seats. I understand the Local District Conservative Councillors in Truro are not helping matters by fighting with each other like cats and dogs to the benefit of the Liberal Democrats.
If there is an early election one can be assured Cornwall will remain in the hands of the Liberal Democrats.

Simon DT circulation by month
Jan 2007 911,454
Feb 2007 896,476
Mar 2007 896,197
Apr 2007 898,817
May 2007 894,258

Go back a few yrs and it was over 1m

Source is DMGT published figures

Heffer is not only columnist true but at least until recently has been responsible for editing comment section.

The only way to win is to get current Lib Dem and Labour voters to switch to us.

NO ! That is the wrong approach. That will not work. You need to increase Turnout - that is exactly what Sarkozy did.

It is the hardest thing in the world to switch the core vote of other parties when 40%+ of voters are abstaining since you are down to people who will vote for their party irrespective of policy......the abstainers are the ones who are turned off and not as fixated on one party whatever which is why they are staying away from the polls

Unless reappointed, Heffer has not been responsible for comments for a long time.

Anyway, I don't believe for a second that they leave comments out.

The Telegraph's circulation was falling a long time before Heffer became a columnist there.

You might as well ascribe the decline to the fact that the paper has Boris Johnson and (former?) Cameron groupies such as Alice Thompson and Rachel Sylvester writing for it.

BTW, to which pro-Cameron paper do you think readers are switching?

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc is the argument of morons.

Why on earth have we appointed a Shadow Minister for Cornwall? Since when did Cornwall break away from the rest of England?

Is there anything remotely unionist about our party anymore? It seems we're constantly selling the UK down the river for the sake of a couple of seats at GE time. It's abyssmal.

The Tory Party will head into the same territory as the Liberals did some years ago if the next election is lost badly and obsessive right-wingers will be exchanging their prejudices in pubs, clubs and the Dail Mail whilst Brown governs with an even larger majority over a Liberal Democrat Official Opposition!
I don't think there is really much chance of the Liberal Democrats becoming the Official Opposition after the next General Election, but a Conservative collapse could mean that the Liberal Democrats are able to maintain their current number of seats or even increase them despite all the signs of the first 2 years of this parliament that they were heading back to where they had been in the 1960's, as of yet though they have not come even remotely close to the support that the Liberals got in the mid 1970's or the Alliance got in the 1980's and in the 2005 General Election they still got fewer total votes than they did in 1992, so it is as well to keep things in perspective.

If the Liberal Democrats were to get more votes than the Conservative Party in the 2009 General Election, but fewer seats this would pose a dilemna for the monarch as to whether Menzies Campbell for the Liberal Democrats or whoever was Conservative leader should be called on to be Leader of the Opposition - the closest it came to this dilemna regarding the position of Leader of the Official Opposition was in 1983 - Labour came out with slightly more votes than the Alliance in the end though!

I still think that the Liberal Democrats will struggle at the next General Election to hold on to their gains since 1992.

"NO ! That is the wrong approach. That will not work. You need to increase Turnout - that is exactly what Sarkozy did."

However higher turnout usually helps labour. In France the country was even more messed up. Lets be honest ten years of a labour gogernment has NOT been a complete disaster so turnout will not be as high as 85%.

The appointment of a Shadow Minister for Cornwall must either be a sign of frustation by London of the state of play of the rag tag and bobtail Cornish conservative politics, or an acknowledgement and acceptance of the Liberal Democrat Policy for a Cornish Assembly and New Labour Policy for Regionalisation.
Brown has only appointed a Minister with responsibilities for the South West, so why do the Conservatives have to go Micro-Political and do Browns policy of breaking up England for him. At this rate we will not need a Referendum for Europe- the Little England will be broken up already and rendered Politically Inept.
As I understand it the wrong people are in control in parts of Cornwall and the true Conservatives are out of the Party doing their own thing.
There needs to be an Autumn clean-up before there is any perspective of winning any seats in Cornwall. Also the "Cornish" PPCs need to be in Cornwall and not hob nobbing out of the County. The Liberal Democrats know this and work on this concept.
I think the appointment of the Cornish Shadow Minister will only get the backs up of the Cornish as I believe he lives and works out of the County.
Trelawney tried to break up Cornwall and he was executed- is this a warning.

However higher turnout usually helps labour
Labour lost the 1951 General Election which had the highest turnout in any UK General Election ever - they only got slightly more votes than the Conservatives and the Conservatives won a majority of 16.

Except for 1929 and 1945, every other single election in which Labour has returned to power has seen a drop in turnout - in 1964, February 1974 and in 1997.

You might note that during the low turnout that there has been since 1992 that Labour has won every single General Election in that period, that in the 1950's and 1980's when turnout was high, Labour consistently lost.

Another point is that prior to 1997 the Grand total of all Labour governments in the UK in years amounted to less than 20 years - Labour has since 1997 been in power for about a third of the total time it has been in power in all it's history.

TomTom is right: increase the turnout. Selling policies people like and believe in is what matters.

Cameron's approach is to get socialists to vote for the Conservative Party. This does not work as the Conservative voters then leave - surprise, surprise! I also seriously doubt the converts will stay with Cameron once Labour's election machine starts.

Cornwall might be an interesting analogy for the party's position in the whole of the UK.

Like Scotland the Cornish starting turning their backs on this party a long time ago - the rot started when Seb Coe was parachuted into Falmouth against local wishes in 1992. And the Common Fisheries Policy and the CAP have both seriously damaged Cornwall. Successive leaders have taken none of that sufficiently seriously.

Result today no Conservative MPs in Cornwall and the malaise has been spreading up country to Devon and Dorset.

Now there is to be a unitary authority for the whole of Cornwall and 6 councils will be abolished. Cornwall will be a new sub region of the EU.

We can expect the development of similar politics to Scotland and Wales as Cornwall pulls father and farther away - the EU's policy of divide and rule.

Is the present party leadership ready for this? Rhetorical question!

News today

House prices have stopped moving up.

The stock market (unrelated) is taking a pounding- has been almost daily for weeks.

...and many many are getting their new higher mortgage letters.

The Labour wheels are falling off.

"There's a rumour going around the financial chappies that Gordo appears to have lined up pledges of £20m+, and that November is being touted as a diary clear period."

Would not surprise me that Brown has been doing his own fund raising for after the Blair era.

"DC needs to get a grip and stop causing schism within the party."
George, how about the party gets a grip and stops undermining our leader but more importantly our party and its election chances.
As I said in a previous thread, some need to grow up and realise that in the big, bad and often dirty world of politics they should not need the leader to constantly treat them like fragile hot house flowers that need all attention. Judging by some of the posters on this site who do nothing but dole out vicious criticism daily without engaging in real debate or even saving a wee bit of their bile for the opposition I don't believe that they want a Conservative government any time soon unless it is tailor made to look like UKIP.

Although I personally have no love of Cameron or a lot of the things he stands
for, he needs to address policies that true Conservatives and millions of
people that voted for us in the past can see are going to make a difference to
their lives. Please let us keep away from pinkie green issues until we get
into office.

There is also merit in a strategy to allow the team behind Cameron to look
much stronger so that they do not appear to the public to be merely
Cameron’s poodles and try to be more representative of and appealing to the
millions of people that found this great party so enticing not so many years

Many people find some individuals in the Shadow Cabinet loathsome or figures
of ridicule ? I hear some Shadow Cabinet members routinely described as
idiotic, bumbling, and incompetent.

Apply the Question Time, media, Paxman test who are applauded the least every time they
Appear who make a hash of interviews. Does Letwin, May, Maude, Villiers, Grayling and Warsi come into this

It would be interesting to have other peoples? views on whom they think are
the weak links bringing the party down.

Why May is still in the forefront of Conservative politics beggars belief when
she called us the nasty party - that label has stuck like glue and most
probably will go down in history as one of the worst own goals ever.

I think the Conservative party has two options: either drop Cameron now and
get a leader people can respect (the last leadership contest brought to the
table very average people);only Hague has the capacity to be leader but he has taken the Cameron shilling. Ken Clarke would have made a good leader apart from his views on Europe The other alternative would be to beef up the Cameron team with serious heavy
hitters with minds of their own who would gain voters? respect and
strengthen a very woolly and lopsided Shadow Cabinet.
Some of the blogs bring very interesting views

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