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Frankly, I think focusing in on Lit as being the problem rather misses the point.

First off the campaign did some things very well (showing a big improvement on our past by-election “form”) but the limitations of our approach where shown in stark relief towards the end of the campaign.

Tony Lit was a solid candidate for the seat, without him we would have been significantly squeezed… however at the same time without “the photo” who’s to say how the result might have differed, while the impact in Southall was muted, going into the last week the incident and the reaction of the press and the LibDem/Labour campaigns unsettled what had been up until then a solid Conservative vote in Ealing.

Compared to past by-election contests, this represented progress, yes in the LibDem/Tory marginal of Chedale we had a campaign that increased our share, but to fight an urban, multiethnic seat such as ES and prevent any kind of squeeze against us by the LibDems was progress.

We hoped for more maybe expected more but our shortcomings (principally in terms of field operations and organisation) meant that we were unable to achieve this. The campaign however deserves a lot of praise for what it did right, but more importantly, we can now see where we failed and address those failings.

It is little use wrangling about candidate selection in by-elections, frankly the best candidate must be selected (if a PPC is not already in place) as soon as possible (consultation with the local party is essential, and I’m not sure we saw that in ES, but you cannot run a campaign as intense as those in by-elections through slow party mechanises, practicality and sensitivity have to be balanced!).

Our failure in ES (a seat where we where third and had never held), was far more down to the failure of our campaign to build on its early (encouraging) success through an effective field operation (canvass data, gotv operation and polling day organisation could all have been much, much better), than it was to do with “the photo” or aggravating the local party.

Ben these problems of by election organisation that you list were highlighted in detail by people following the Bromley debacle.

Since Bromley many of us have pushed Francis Maude on what had he done to ensure that our machinery was "fit for purpose". He said it was much better and we learn that it was only a little better. A little is not good enough.

We can of course ask Caroline Spelman but I sense that the problem has more to do with the basic inexperience in the CCHQ "agents" that are brought in.

The Lib Dems have a core of 40+ year olds hardened through various campaigns, our party chairmen have simply failed to build the same talent yet we have many times the cash of the Lib Dems.

Grant Shapps has now been moved on so where is our Lord Rennard? Who owns the challenge of making our by election team fit for purpose.

Evening Standard is quite right. This is a disappointment, but not a disaster. The message from this is that people still need to be convinced that we have changed. The notion that if we were more right wing that we would have done better in Southall would be funny if it was not being put forward by so many "Conservatives".

A little less in the way of Bryll Cream and a little more in the way of Conservative Policy would have helped.

Tony Lit rhymes with...... Enough said

Well, I don't think we would have done appreciably better by being more right wing, but I am highly sceptical of the notion that if we show we've "changed" enough (code for becoming softer, weaker, more ineffectual, more left wing) the voters will come flocking.

Fair point wasn’t involved in Bromley, but I spent a wholly knackering week down in ES (only got back home this afternoon)… and more than anything I think its was the “nuts and bolts” so to speak of our field operations and broader organisation that let us down, and these are things you need to have secured and set in place going into the final week of a campaign to have any chance of decent result.

As I say I think we did some things well and I’m not saying “the photo” didn’t knock us badly (particularly in the Ealing end of the seat) but we need to sort-out our approach with regards to things like procuring accurate voter ID, effective means of GOTV as well as things like our poster campaigns and even our literature (and while ours was good, it was hard to deserve much coherence in it – again a contrast with that of the LibDems, which was exact templates of what they have put our in past by-elections, but still effective).

As for a by-election supremo, I would agree that we need a figure responsible for the coordination of such operations, Shapps did well in ES IMHO and has shown a flare for campaign organisation in past contests, yes “his” campaign had flaws that I’ve already mentioned but with suitable support and the right framework a by-election unit should be able to learn from where we fell short this time around.


The importance of having shown we have changed was illustrated by IDS' report on social breakdown, especially around marraige. In past years, that would have been spun by the media and others as "Tories going back to basics / moralising" etc. The fact that it wasn't owes a huge amount to the way in which David Cameron has modernised the party

The Ealing result really has to be taken in perspective. Its worth bearing in mind that in spite of the transient Brown-bounce the Labour vote was down 7% in a Labour stronghold. Over the last decade the Labour vote in Eailing has fallen by 17%. Labour in Ealing is in decline. It is Labour rather than the Conservatives who should be worried by their performance in Ealing Southall.

"A big disappointment for the Conservatives"


Labour's vote down 7.28%.
Conservative vote up.

I imagine Brown is sweating a lot more than Cameron today. Come on, Gordon. Call a snap election now and we'll see who experiences "a big appointment".

Keep it real Oliver Arthurs !

I don't think it is helpful to try and spin this into something other than a disappointing result.

No we would not expect to win Ealing Southall at a GE and is true that Labour are loosing some votes there over the last decade.

But come on, this is 10 years into a Labour government and a by-election. Oppositions should always have an advantage in a by-election as the government is not at stake but it is chance for all and sundry to air any grievances they have.

When all that is considered, the Tory performance is poor at best. Considering Dave's input into the campaign it is downright disappointing for the Party under his leadership...

"I don't think it is helpful to try and spin this into something other than a disappointing result."

I just don't see the need for self-flagellation. It was a rise in the vote in a constituency we haven never really done well in. There are more positives than negatives to take out of it.

Everything from candidate selection to campaigning technique was wrong with this by-election. Doubtless the party would have called in the famous by-election team... the sort of electoral losers who lost Leicester South, Hodge Hill, Cheadle, Hartlepool (behind UKIP!!) and only just clung onto Bromley.

The campaign team are, if it is the same bunch, losers and rude to those who help. I went to 3 of the above by-elections to help and brought many campaigners with me, many helping out in their first parliamentary election. The staff were rude and discourteous. Their people skills were zero and attitude objectionable. Many of these helpers got a truly awful first impression of the party.

It is time to give the responsibility for big by elections to those not involved in the party's metropolitan little clique and instead mandate the many hundreds of winners we have who beat Labour week in, week out up and down the country.

We avoided the dreaded third place squeeze in Ealing, which has hurt the Conservatives in not only by-elections but in many seats in the last general election too.

No one expected us to win, and the party didn't either. Unfortunately our prospects were 'ramped' too highly by those on political and betting forums and those who follow or take lead from them will be the most dissapointed (most likely those who lost money!)

The Lib Dems and other minority parties were the main beneficiaries of the drop in the Labour vote in Ealing and Sedgefield. The Conservative vote increase was tiny. (Afleitch should note that the Tories were breaten, rather than squeezed, into a poor third place in both contests.)

The main opposition party should be benefit from public discontent with an incompetent and sleazy government. In fact, it was the Lib Dems, stuck with an aging and dull Leader, who gained at our expense.

Let us be frank. The by-election results were very poor for "David Cameron's Conservatives" as Tony Lit was described on his ballot paper. Was Lit ashamed to stand as the candidate of "The Conservative Party".

Cameron thought that he was the party's main asset in the by-elections. He should take personal responsibility for the results.

No one expected us to win, and the party didn't either.

Really? I can be bothered to scroll back through all the overblown messages on CH, but I can assure you that there were a significant number of Roons making this ludicrous claim.

Of course the Tories would never have won this seat even if they had an honest candidate with a background in the party and a decent party leader - but this is to miss the point.

No. The point is that Cameron made a fool of himself and a fool of the party, enforcing an unsuitable candidate on local Tories, putting his own name on the ballot papers - a gross insult to all of us who do not regard ourselves as Cameron's personal chattels, and making the most ridiculous claims about the likely outcome of the election.

In contrast Labour chose a sober, decent activist beside whom Lit looked like a Brylcreemed bling-draped spiv.

Anyway, Lit himself isn't the issue. He's probably got his money's worth of free publicity. Good luck to him.

Cameron and his total lack of judgment - not to say detachment from reality - are the issues, and they aren't going to go away.

Lit worked to this extent. The Lib Dem by-election method works by grabbing all the attention. Watson showed the world the pic of Lit with Blair, and that overnight became by far the biggest theme of the Southall ealing by-election. It sucked all the oxygen away from the Lib Dems, so their normal game didn't work. Cameron was lucky to get so much help from Labour in stopping the Lib Dems, but it is clear that this tactic, if it was a tactic, worked out quite well.

OK it didn't cover us in glory, but if Lib Dems cannot pull off by-elections any more, the threat they pose is greatly reduced, and their momentum is tiring.

The real story was not to be found in Southall but in Sedgefield, where Labour saw major erosion of support to the BNP in a Constituency where the BNP have not been on patrol for long, and which is outside the metropolitan areas they normally run in.

If the BNP can threaten Labour's core vote so easily and nick nearly 9% of the vote without touching the level of Conservtive support, this is really very good news. It means Labour are far more vulnerable to erosion by 'Others' than we are.

We suffered 2% UKIP erosions in 2005. What will Labour be looking like facing 10% BNP ones? Answer - Out Of Power. Brown will not look for an election any time soon after the Sedgefield result.

No need for Cameron to employ spin doctors.

He can take his pick from the endless parade of seriously 'delusional' individuals who keep telling us that last night's results were a tactical triumph.

Keep taking the medication, lads.

Traditional Tory. Aren't you getting tired providing the 'we're doomed' chorus all day? Take a rest and come back tomorrow. Things will seem so much brighter.

a gross insult to all of us who do not regard ourselves as Cameron's personal chattels

Presumably because you were expelled from the party?

Tapestry what on earth are you going on about?

You're making things worse by blatantly spinning. If you are going to comment just be honest and not spin this as some sort of triumph for Cameron. It wasn't by any means.

And if you think Labour have much to worry about after last night, then you're highly delusional.

Ben, what really annoys me is the basic incompetence that people like Francis Maude have demonstrated. He assured people on this site in response to questions last year and requests for fundamental improvements to the by election campaign team, that these improvements had been made. These improvements were clearly inadequate.

We also discover that the CCHQ /Regional operation that Francis sat on top of, had stopped the Association from selecting its own candidate "until more winnable constituencies had had the pick of candidates." I had wrongly lambasted the Association for this incompetence as I thought that CCHQ had more sense. I misjudged CCHQ, they really did have no political sense. To have no candidate selected in a constituency with one of the oldest MPs who had been in ill health for many months just beggars belief. How incompetent was it not to have sorted out a candidate? Our opponents could afford to be sloppy as Labour had an 11,000 majority and the Lib Dems had pencilled in the same man as last time. Equally in Sedgefield we knew there was a high chance of Blair stepping down early so why was no candidate sorted out last year?

Grant Shapps also carries a lot of the blame. Francis said words to the effect that Grant Shapps role was to make our by election team "fit for purpose". Holding onto 3rd place in ES and falling back to 3rd place in Sedgefield is frankly unfit for purpose.

What we now need is some assurance from Caroline Spellman that she will get this area sorted out.

Actually Tapestry I've been out working most of the day. The chorus has mostly been provided by others.

Thank you for analysing our stunning achievement in beating the BNP. This at least should raise morale.

(BTW, is the BNP anything to do with the Bilderberger conspiracy?)

HF @ 16.25

"We can of course ask Caroline Spelman but I sense that the problem has more to do with the basic inexperience in the CCHQ "agents" that are brought in."

I think you will discover - if you bother to find out - that it's the agents who have the campaigning experience. The ones in their 40s (like those you mention in the Lib Dems) will have fought many elections if they've been around a while in the party.

Agents are employed to campaign. The problem is that many of them have to spend their days tied up in administative duties such as chairing meetings to discuss the shape of sandwiches.

If agents could get on with campaigning the party would be in better shape - but maybe that's for another thread.

Bad result, yes. Learn the lessons from possible mistakes made, yes.

But we'd do better looking ahead rather than trying to apportion blame. That gets you no where fast.

At the end of the day my take on it is the people of Ealing are a bunch of morons who will live to regret their decision.
There was no reason for them not to vote conservative other than being closed minded habitual labour voters too scared to vote for change. I trust the rest of the country wont be so foolish.

HF @ 16.25

"We can of course ask Caroline Spelman but I sense that the problem has more to do with the basic inexperience in the CCHQ "agents" that are brought in."

And Anon @ 19:46

You should differentiate between CCHQ Agents and constituency agents. It is true that CCHQ has very few agents working for it now with recent constituency agent campaigning experience. Is there actually a campaigning department at CCHQ now? I have always been baffled as to what actually replaced Field Operations. Whilst we must have Regional Directors and Campaign Directors with constituency experience in the field, there are many who would be better serving the Party in CCHQ. I think there are plenty of people in CCHQ would can come up with ideas but very few if any who have any experience and instinct on how to implement these on the ground. I am encouraged by recent changes at CCHQ but I guess these came too late to have any impact on ES.

Michael Davidson wrote, Tapestry, You're making things worse by blatantly spinning!!!!!!!!!!!!

The media narrative is so strongly set and repeated a million times a day that other narratives are overlooked and most people cannot see any other important aspects.

The Lib Dems are usually the by-election story - not any more. Do you remember Bromley and can you see how things have changed since then? Cameron sucked all the oxygen out of the Lib Dem campaign in Southall assisted by Tom Watson and Tony Lit.

In Sedgefield, Labour lost a bunch of votes not to Lib Dem as normal but to the BNP and an independent. How is that good for us? Because it demonstrates the numbers of votes being lost to the BNP are greater for Labour than anyone else, and that the Lib Dems are not as powerful political force as once they were.

If you track opinion polls, they never report the figures for 'others' or even say who 'others' are and yet 'others' have doubled their share in polling in the last 7 years. This trend is no doubt not going to stop so 'others' are going to be say 20% of the vote by 2009, still the most likely date for the next GE.

The distribution of these, and which parties are donating votes to them will be crucial to the electoral arithmetic. On current trends Liberal Democrat votes could be low teens by then.

I'm sorry not to focus on the emotional pain felt by Conservative supporters after not winning Southall, but that is not the most interesting fact to come out of these two by-elections.

Spinning? No - I'm doing the opposite - thinking!!! Read what I'm saying after a day or two when your pain is less. You might see what I am trying to get across by then. It's simple mathematics with all the emotion taken out. Spin is the opposite as a rule.

Tandy, I agree that the problem with CCHQ is that it has too few who have come up from the field with battle hardened experience.

That is precisely what the Lib Dems have.

Will Caroline do anything about it?

As to Tapestry's points, my view is that the BNP just attracted the "anti" vote which Lib Dems normally attract and we should be attracting. Why were we unable to attract the "anti" vote in Sedgefield?

Ahhh as ever a complete blindness to the truth clearly demonstrated by Changetowin, Tapestry and various other non conservatives like them.

The ES campaign was fought entirely on the Cameroonian's terms and in exactly the way that they wanted it to be fought and it got us absolutely nowhere. By the very same logic that the likes of Changetowin, and the other destroyers of conservatism, like to use so often that means that the Cameroonian agenda, or rather the nebulous leftism that vaguely passes for one, and their PR and spin in place of principles and policies approach does not work. What also doesn't work is CCHQ's disgraceful approach to candidate "selection", a word which in ES was spelt "imposition", resulting in them only caring about whether the candidate is photogenic and ethnic minority enough for the BBC not about their ability, previous membership of and commitment to the party or absence from recent Labour Party donor's dinners.

It is complete and utter bilge to whine on about us "not having changed enough" there has been plenty of change but the problem is that what we have changed into, a pale imitation of New Labour, is clearly repugnant to an electorate sick to death of pr, spin and smoke and mirrors in place of specific beliefs and ideas that would improve their lives.

We won't restore our parliamentary fortunes like this and it certainly isn't going to happen under Cameron and Hilton the way that they're going about it, but then I am beginning to fear that their agenda is all about destroying the forces of conservatism once and for all and not about restoring the Conservative party to government at all. After this debacle they look every inch like two Labour party sleeper agents in our midst. After all why else would they need to have started this ballot paper splinter group "David Cameron's Conservatives" if not to deliberately split the party?

It is more than time for the Parliamentary party to get a grip and do what must be done if there is ever to be a proper national Conservative renaissance, let alone a General Election victory.Come on MPs you owe it to yourselves, your electorate and your party to put a swift and effective end to any more of this nonsense before it terminally damages the Conservatives - Your Party Needs You To Act!

Tapestry, what you've said is as illogical as it gets.

First of all, any BNP success is no good for us primarily because the BNP are scum and we shouldn't want them to win anyway and secondly they are far more likely to take votes from us than Labour since people who typically vote for Labour are not going to be particualarly anti-immigration.

Your analysis of the Sedgefield result is too simplistic. There is no way the BNP would do that well in a general election and won't make a bit of impact in most seats.

Also you say the LibDems failed. Well, they still finished higher than we did in both elections last night. And we were second in Sedgefield in 2005, so the LibDems overtook us there. They also got 2000 more votes than us in Ealing - far worse than we should expect.

The bottom line is Labour still won both comfortably. They were never going to get the huge majorities they got in 2005 because us and the LibDems threw far more resources into these two seats than we normally would in a general election. Given all the time and money we (and particularly Cameron) spent on these seats, our result could hardly have been worse.

Party membership is collapsing, down by over 80,000 since David Cameron became Leader. My local association has lost over a third of its members in the last year. That is the activists' verdict on "change".

I really dislike the way Traditional Tory (so-called) stumps around the parade ground sneering at those he calls the 'Roons'. I have been a Conservative activist over a long period, serving in whatever way needed; I haven't always liked those chosen to be leaders of the party but I have accepted they have been appointed sometimes by consenus of those who have more knowledge of the strengths of a particular person, or latterly by ballot - both of which forms of appointment seem to me to be binding upon the members. It is disloyal to continually try and undermine what the elected leader of the party is doing. Cameron, in a strong field of candidates, received an overwhelming vote of support to be leader of our party - and I for one resent the way not a day passes but "Traditional Tory" seeks to undermine his authority and the views of the vast majority who put their faith in David Cameron as their leader.

@HF: The Lib Dem campaign team in Ealing was much younger than you think - only a handful of 40-somethings in sight, and most of them were in their early 20s.

Membership down by -80,000 -Dismayed. Is that a fact Dimayed? Or is it just an (un)educated guess?
I quite agree with you Gwendolyn,Trad Tory is whatever his politics an objectionable character who has no constructive advice to offer at all. Every post is just a variation on his 'I hate Cameron' theme, as much as anything else it's as boring as hell.

Sorry, but only just seen this results, totally forgot about it- and my reaction? Wow!!


You'll never get back in.

Malcolm, 80,000 is a figure that was quoted to me by a well-known journalist who has excellent contacts in CCHQ. It is consistent with the drop in membership in my constituency and its neighbours.

"Just seen the results" - has Comstock been at the sauce again?

"You'll never get back in." Is Gordon Brown planning to abolish elections? Nothing would surprise me after the "Cash for Peerages" whitewash.

On the subject of membership the figs for all parties (to Dec 06) will be published very soon by the Electoral Commission.

One indicator that we have more holes in CCHQ than the Associations is the performance at local elections where we have been making gains in each of the past 10 years.

Contrast that with the CCHQ performance in by elections!

Chris states above that 20 year olds were in the LD campaign. I am talking here about the core Leadership of the Lib Dems the ones who supervise the leaflets, organise the rotas etc. There are no Learners in those management roles for the Lib Dems.

We seem to have the reverse situation where youngsters in charge directing the older more experienced people. The "Whats a knock up" anecdote sums it all up.

The other issue is the inadequacy of Bluechip and the failure by CCHQ to deploy Merlin to the Associations. It is now almost a year late FFS! And let us not pretend THAT is a secret.

I agree with HF - pass the smelling salts!

OMG - did anyone else see Cameron's answer to the question on using his name on the ballot paper. You could see the pain on his face as he struggled to answer - then a look of sadness as he realised he had dropped a bollock.

I hope he does better in the real election or we are screwed.

I have just seen that Cameron answer on Newsnight. It was a brown trousers moment!

The real question is whether his advisers see "David Cameron's Conservatives" as being separate from The Conservative Party, i.e. the members.

Wow I find myself completely in agreement with HF's last post. Now there's a first.

HF is totally, totally accurate in his prognosis. The CCHQ by election campaign 'machine' is the same clique as the prats who were comprehensively outclassed by the LDs and Labour in every by election they have been involved in. They are losers who have pathetically little experience in the sort of regimented campaigning needed to win a parliamentary by election.

We need to get rid of the cliques who normally act as agents to tory heartland areas and bring in gritty campaigners who have a real track record of beating Labour in tough areas.

Where were the Sunderlands, the Blackpools, the Traffords, the Swindons, Peterboroughs?? Why were the brains behind these local election winners not given £10k and expenses for the month long by-election campaign?

Bloody pathetic campaigns from bloody pathetic losers.

The general approach since DC became leader is correct but there are things we need to think about and improve. I think we would be wrong to tack to the right and wrong to blindly modernise even more. The problems are more practical in nature. One of the issues is that earlier in the year there were signs that the public were listening and wanted us to move up a gear. Those signs were not fully recognised nor heeded quickly enough. The good news is that those are things that can be put right but to do so we need to focus our efforts. We need to be much clearer about what we stand for and illustrate this with a coherent set of practical, distinctive ideas centred on the things people are interested in eg NHS, Crime, Education and economy. We don't need masses of detail (neither Thatcher or Blair had that when they won) but we do need coherence on those big four areas so people become enthused and the message cuts through all the noise. To get the clarity and coherence we should avoid things that confuse, divide or over complicate,


I was out. Looks like I missed a fantastic row (Raj etc)

I wish Id seen Cameron on TV. Sounds pathetic.

Talking of membership...

I joined the party for the first time on Monday 16th July, 2007 (so technically membership is only down 79,999!).

Why did I do this?

Because I'm going to get stuck in. It seems to me the Conservatives are a party of (mostly) good intentions - but it is run by upper-class PPE graduates from Oxbridge without fire in their bellies nor true hunger to wipe the floor with Labour.

Instead of banging on about it on here though, I'm going to try and be pro-active, roll up the sleeves and get involved.

It's the only way to go about it.

I won't be the last. I'm sure membership numbers are indeed down, but I think the party is going through 'renewal' - a plateau stage between a number of the grey brigade around the constituencies retiring their tea-cosies and a younger generation stepping into the breach.

The average age of Tory activists needs - and will, hopefully - drop. That's not being ageist, that's recognising that the demographic of the Tory party needs to reflect the country at large.

"Party membership is collapsing, down by over 80,000 since David Cameron became Leader. My local association has lost over a third of its members in the last year."

If this is true it's terrible. Can somebody confirm?

I don't know about people sneering at the "Roons". These people seem to be stuffing the party. We dont need to sneer at them. We should be doing something about them

You can watch Newsnight on the BBC website.

That should have been 'average age of a Tory member needs to drop' - sorry.

I dont see why the average age of tories needs to drop. Weve got an ageing population, so, logically, the tories are quids in: as more people get old, more people vote tory.
My old man was once labour, now as he's become more of a realist, he's a tory. Hurrah for the legions of zimmerframe weilding tories.

Dismayed @ 22.22- Yes, I had been 'at the sauce again', it being a Friday night. I had forgotten about this by-election, but looking back I had 5 Live on yesterday and don't recall hearing about it.

Admittedly 'never' is a long time, but on the strength of this I do think 10 more years is feasable, and I think Gordon Brown could be one of our great Prime Ministers. Even you must admit that for a 10 year incumbant govt these are excellent results?

ConservativeHomer @02.30 You assume people will logically become Tories as they become older, and I'm not sure that assumption is correct.

I'm 33 now and I've certainly become more of a realist than the idealistic teenager who railed against the monarchy, hunting and the criminal justice bill in the early 90s, but I think 'new' Labour has grown with me.

Indeed as I've grown up I've come to realise what is really important. I'm still no fan of the monarchy or fox hunters but I'm more concerned about the NHS, schools, police, social housing etc etc....all issues which Labour is concerned with too.

I'm not gonna give me vote unquestioningly to one party for life, but I can't see a scenario whereby I would vote Tory, and I think that holds for many of my generation........

There seem to be a lot of armchair critics of the Ealing Southall campaign, rather than much comment based on experience of doing any actual work on the ground.

It would be easy to blame the campaign as some are doing, but I've helped out in several by-elections in recent years and in terms of basic oganisation, quality of literature and the number of conservative activists on the ground Ealing Southall was the most impressive.

Of course not coming second was disappointing and there's no point pretending it isn't, however our vote held up rather than collapsing as had happened in recent by-elections, and whilst we would have liked to have made better progress than an increase in our vote of less than 1% we just have to accept that hard work alone just wasn't enough to turn this safe labour seat blue.

The positive thing I take from this is I detect in the level of support we gave to the Ealing Southall campaign there is now a hunger to win in the party and channelling that in future campaigns is I believe a reason to be optimistic.

Did you see Eric Olleren-shaw in the evening standard? I feel really sorry for Eric.

It is time for the Conservatives to accept that there are other communities in Britain.

Its not easy to get the Asian community to vote for us. I can say this as I work very closely with the Asian community(Croydon Conservative Community link).

We are still seen as a nasty party by the BEM communities. We don't want to listen to their concerns. We just want them to vote for us.As a party it is time for us to talk to all BEM communities if we want to win certain seats in London.

Keith Vaz and EM task force of the Labour party are doing a fantastic job.Do we have an EM task force? we call it "Cities and Diversity unit" or whatever.

Unfortunately our EM taskforce is selective on including certain communities.It has become more of a muslim forum than a Diversity unit.

Did you see Eric Olleren-shaw in the evening standard? I feel really sorry for Eric.

It is time for the Conservatives to accept that there are other communities in Britain.

Its not easy to get the Asian community to vote for us. I can say this as I work very closely with the Asian community(Croydon Conservative Community link).

We are still seen as a nasty party by the BEM communities. We don't want to listen to their concerns. We just want them to vote for us.As a party it is time for us to talk to all BEM communities if we want to win certain seats in London.

Keith Vaz and EM task force of the Labour party are doing a fantastic job.Do we have an EM task force? we call it "Cities and Diversity unit" or whatever.

Unfortunately our EM taskforce is selective on including certain communities.It has become more of a muslim forum than a Diversity unit.

Bromley: No Cameron, vote collapsed in a solid Tory seat.

Ealing: Lots of Cameron, vote increased in a solid Labour seat.

Spot the difference?

Enough of this anti-Cameron spinning by the Cornerstoner dinosaurs.

Nobody can pretend that the by-election results were great but we should reflect on:
1. The timing could not have been better for Labour but the Brown bounce dividend was reduced majorities and lower vote share.
2. Timing could not have been worse for us given our press over the last couple of months: Grammargate, Museumgate,Defection, poor polls, Tony Lit photo. However, the vote share held up! How long since we could say that in a by-election.
3. If the Lib Dems can't make more headway than this they are toast in a GE.

Sure the campaign had some errors, and DC has not had a great last last few months. However, he's still learning and some of the new policy stuff is very encouraging. There's all to play for especially if the economy and personal finances worsen at the same time as public services get the big cash squeeze. We should get stuck in and stop moaning.

"We are still seen as a nasty party by the BEM communities."

Mobody saw the party as a 'Nasty Party' until Theresa May's idiotic speech. The Party's classic Ratner moment.

It's true that the population is ageing and getting more reactionary so there's no reason why we shouldn't age with it.

Older members in my assoc are always talking about their days in the Young Conservatives when we had hundreds of YCs in each constit.

Until we can achieve that again we can forget about capturing the youth. There is no CF in my assoc.

I thought you might be interested to see the comments of a recent defector from the Lib Dems to the Tories in Bromley, as posted on another website:

Paul Seery says (on libdemvoice):
"What would have happened if there was no Paul Seery campaigning hard against them?
The latter one I will answer with pride. During this by-election I delivered 13,000+ pieces of literature thoughought the ealing Southall seat. This included all the wards in the seat and all but 7 yes 7 polling districts in the seat also.
My efforts were so magnificant that it recieved such high praise not only from other conservative activists but from PPCs (Marke Clarke, Louise Blagshaw) and also MPs (Justine Greening, Grant Shapps etc.) that helped out there.”

And Dave wants Boris as Mayor of London, say no more, he's flipped.

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