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It seems that people have forgotten all the dreadful things Gordon Brown has done to this country, they lay the blame all on Blair.

The problem is that there is a huge number of people who are being paid to sit on their backsides supported by payments from us, the taxpayers. They have been bought and paid for by Nu Labour and they are not going to bite the hand that feeds them. Others are simply so fed up with politics they have disconnected, they cannot see what they can do, and by voting for any of the 3 main parties, they just get more of the same.

Some radical thinking is required. A fair deal for England would be a start, and some form of PR so people feel that their vote would count might also help.

Come on Dave. Start thinking outside the box and stop trying to cosy up to the left.

It is a hard decision for Brown to make, he's obviously waiting for as long as possible before making his mind up.

He could either get an increased majority with a 4/5-year mandate of his own, or he could lose his majority and flounder for the next five years with everything slowly going tits-up around him.

It's make or break for us. If we get trounced again, say with a Labour majority of over 50, we will be out of power for another ten years. On the other hand, if we can somehow deprive Labour of their majority, it will be a good springboard for a 2012 election.

My gut feeling is that it would be stupid of Brown to wait any longer than October/November this year. Cameron's position can only get better as he rebalances the agenda to please more of the party oldies, and standing of Labour and Brown can only get steadily worse over the coming months. It's a ruddy great risk for Brown to take though, does he have it in him?

I think that Fraser Nelson makes some interesting points. It is looking increasingly likely that we will have an October election. If this is the case, I hope that we can all (from all sides of the party) unite towards a common goal. An outsider looking at this site would view our party currently as deeply divided. We have no hope of winning an October election if this view is held by the public.

Things may well get worse economically but this may not automatically be good for the Tories as voters will look for the person they think can best deal with tough times. The suggestion from the Northern Rock problems is that this might be Brown.

And while Brown can't trade on 'not being Blair' forever, the more Cameron is seen as being Blair-lite or heir-to-Blair, the longer Brown's studied seriousness will appeal.

Michael Hewlitt is quite right.

I think this site provides a very useful forum for debate outside of General Election time. However, I think this site could prove to be a very dangerous platform for mischief-makers and malcontents during an actual election.

We all know that comments on here are sometime quoted in the press as coming from 'Tory Grassroots', when in fact the lack of registration means that anyone can post comments here. They should really be quoted as 'someone on the internet said...' but they won't be.

EDITORS: I hope you have a plan for how you are going to manage the site once an election has been called. You must manage it differently furing the six weeks of an election campaign. You simply must. Otherwise you will hand our opponents a powerful weapon to use against us.

These are all very good points. One point missing though is it's not just us who can dent Gordos majority, there's the SNP to consider. If they can grab 5 or more seats off Labour then that's just 20 we need to get. It's a massive gamble for Brown. Doesn't seem the type to take them.

Good to see my 'Morrisons voter' phrase make it into our thinking.

A wise general does not fight on 2 fronts. We need to first break the Lib Dems in half and just make a few nett gains against Labour. Overall aim is to be 40+ up.

Then in the 2nd GE we can focus our efforts on beating Labour.

If Brown is going to do so badly why try and scare him off calling an election.

A touch of desperation, methinks.

Once a General Election is called, Conserv ativehome.com should be just that. Paid up conservative members only. List of Members and Patrons obtainable from CCHQ. Please take this on board Tim and Sam. I shall be hounding you two at Conference about this.

During an election there certainly will be a shift of activity on this site. thewrongman.org will be our focus then.

Now back to the subject of the thread please...

" What is a very real prospect, however, is that the Tories could deprive Gordon Brown of his majority."

There has been nothing outside the Tory Party to suggest a reduced majority for Brown, in fact, the polls consistently suggest an increased one.

So, genuine question seeking an answer; what source are you using to support this 'very real prospect' claim?

Hi Tim, Annabel Herriott (Sept 23, 2007 at 11:19) shares my view [Sept 23, 2007 at 10:00 - Tories close the gap on Labour (a little)].

There must be more who agree that this policy of "closed door discussion" is right, for bolstering our defences in readiness for "war" (GE).

Having just listened to Radio 4 News about Labour's approach to MRSA and Andrew Lansley's response, we have not given Andrew sufficient ammunition to rebuff that policy proposal. Where are Andrew's medical advisors, as Andrew is not from the medical profession?

The ConHome Poll of Polls has Labour just 4.2% ahead, Chad.

At the last election we outperformed the polls.

If we put disproportionate resources into the marginals there must be a real possibility that Brown could lose his majority.

That's all I'm saying. It's not a prediction but it's a risk for Brown.

A net 25 gains from Labour would be a fine result, which given the volatility of the polls is quite acheiveable.

Net gains from the Lib Dems, whilst handy, make little difference. In other words the manifesto has to be very targetted on the Tesco mums and PC world dads, mainly in the South and East Midlands

Thanks Tim.

Graeme has ably and repeatedly explained why your poll of polls is a statistical nonsense but at least it explains what you are basing this view on.

As I have said elsewhere and continue to say, we have nobody who can articulate and expose the Brown spin and sham. The Shadow Cabinet is invisible and we are sleepwalking into yet another election disater, where we are in real danger of losing some of our rightest and youngest talents and being left with a rump that mostly represents the old guard- heaven help us.

David Cameron is a good leader and our only hope for the future. yet in recent months we have seen disunity and overt disloyalty by MPs and parliamentary representatives who should now hang their heads in shame. The media will only concentrate- with the Labour spin machine's help- these failings next week.

The british people deserve better than this. What Fraser says is right- the problem is that we will be in opposition again for the next 4/5 years by the time his prophecies come to fruition as they will

Is there nobody in this party who can expose the Brown machine in a way that the public can understand and show them there is a real alternative?

It is pointless talking about winning the election in 2011/12 and those who do are just adding fuel to the Brown bandwagon

I have a dreadful foreboding about the next few weeks


The last few elections have shown that the manifestos and campaign make very little difference to how people vote- the die is usually cast even before a PM declares and election.

This is the sad reality of the situation we now face where initial perceptions of Brown and the public seeing disunity, diloyalty and confused messages from us stick.

A lot of housewives now think we will charge for them to use supermarket car parks!

"The Shadow Cabinet is invisible "

Yes, but its not just their invisibility which is the problem, for when they do pop their heads above the parapet, they only do it for 24hours before they disappear again. Eg Health we were told there was going to be a bare knuckle fight over the issue, OK it didn't get off to a good start, but as I and others said at the time, if they felt they had a case then they had to keep banging away at the issue. But they didn't, after a day or so they got bored with it and since then nothing, and as a result of not keeping the pressure up they have allowed Brown back in with his crummy proposal today.

Brown has now reiterated that the NHS is his priority, well first of all its the English NHS he is talking about, because that is all he can legislate on. Conservative MP's should point out that fact, then point out that he has under funded the English NHS by the tune of £1,000 per head, and also point out that his last act as Chancellor was to slash the capital budget of the English NHS by one third.


I saw in the papers that the Tory manifesto has been drafted. Editor, do you know if this is true? If so, perhaps a CCO worker reading this thread might explain what the purpose is of asking for Party members views on social breakdown if its far too late for them to be brought into the policy process.

There's no such thing as a 'Brown Tory' or whatever.

There is a core base of 32% who see themselves as Tories, and will vote as such in any election in any circumstance (within reason).

Anybody else above that percentage is a floating voter. They are not Gordon Conservatives but Gordon Swingers...

I suspect the key word is 'drafted', James. I'm sure the manifesto can be amended to reflect events and internal/ external advice. It's another indication that we're ready for the campaign should Brown fire the starting gun.

I agree with Iain above . The British government has very successfully managed to keet the myth of " The NHS " going , when it is obvious that there are , in effect , four NHS's and the English one is seriously discriminated against and the least well funded .

But to highlight this fact , rather than to go on in the usual lame way about
"the NHS" is to open up the whole constitutional area of British discrimination against England .

Should've done this years ago .
It will have to be done in the end .
Not too late for he Conservatives to make it their own though .

Just a couple of queries about a possible and very short GE campaign by Labour.
How ready is the infrastructure to cope with a short campaign, bearing in mind we are still smarting at the chaos presided over by Douglas Alexander in Scotland. It was not just the rejected ballots that turned into a fiasco, but the fact that many did not get their postal votes in time to vote at all, and remember the Scots elections had been pencilled in for sometime.
What will be the effect on campaigning and demand on postal votes in an Autumn election during the school holiday season, bearing in mind that many more go away at that time now?

I should have added that I think that this is a very valid line of attack for the Conservative party which would tie in nicely with Labour's long history of imcompetence and mismanagement.
We need to bang home the message that we are strong, confident, ready and up for an election. But it has to be coupled with the demand that the Government under Brown better have the infrastructure in place to provide a fair period for a proper debate, campaign and a guarantee from them that everyone will be given ample time to vote either in the ballot box or by post.
Brown is always keen to promote Cameron to a position of one down from Lamont on Black Wednesday, lets remind everyone that his election supremo had full responsibility for the fact that over 100,000 voters had their voice in the Scottish elections rejected and others did not get their postal vote in time!

I honestly think that in an October election Cameron could eliminate any Labour lead in the polls and Gordon's majority. But I doubt if that happens: the Conservative party has a long history of forgoing open goals and providing "senior Tories" to call offside when the ball is in the back of the net.

At the moment there is a steady drip drip of Labour press releases, that is getting publicity. Cameron has a fantastic excuse to get publicity with decisions about which bits of the workin party reports to take or discard. I havn't seen anything. As a bit of oportunism how about calling for the FSA to be taken back by the BoE with, of course, reference to Brown's bungle in separating them.

Taking a bird's eye view of Gordon Brown's recent manoeuvrings - Bercow & Mercer, hosting Margaret Thatcher, media speculation of autumn election, etc - it cannot be ignored that he is very cunning at manipulation and unsettling the Conservatives. He must think by association with Margaret Thatcher, he can subliminally appeal to the Thaterites amongst the voters, and similarly, in securing Bercow's & Mercer's association, he is trying to create a haven for those (especially "floaters") who are dissatisfied with David Cameron's leadership.

I say ignore all that and give Labour nightmares with sustained and relentless attacks on their failings (as for goodness sake, we have more than enough ammunition for that). Unity is strength. And firm up policies for the manifesto.

Will Brown even look at "the big picture"? I doubt it - he won't want to risk losing his grip on power having waited for so long, plus with the SNP doing so well he won't want to, especially as a Scot, be remembered as the Labour leader that lost Scotland

There is a core base of 32% who see themselves as Tories, and will vote as such in any election in any circumstance (within reason)
32% of what, with regard to any election the Conservative Party were getting as low as 26% in Local Elections in the 1990s and in both the 1994 and 2004 EU Elections only got 28%. In addition the core is not a percentage, it surely consists of a certain real number that usually would vary little over time, although as as a percentage of Popular Vote it will vary sharply depending on levels of turnout. The Conservative core vote fell sharply in 2001 and is only now recovering to where it was in 1997.

One big Tory problem is that there are several inexperienced candidates in key target seats. Some only joined the Party a short time, i.e. within 2 to 3 years, before they were selected. Another is the shortage of experienced agents and campaign managers.

Let us not forget that hundreds of thousands of people, most probably predominantly Tory voters, have emmigrated over the past few years. This makes getting ahead of Labour even harder.

What is most interesting though is the rising proportion of "don't knows" in the opinion polls. Would be interesting to know how high this figure is.

I agree with most of Fraser Nelson's comments. However, I think that he is very far wide of the mark on points 1 and 9.

From all that I have seen and heard over the past few weeks from my local ward constituents, a sizable chunk of the usually faithful Conservative electorate have made up their mind on both Brown and Cameron.

Unfortunately, some of those who dislike Mr. Cameron really detest him. There was nothing like this in the days of Hague, IDS or Howard. You either love Cameron or loathe him. Sadly, I find far more loathers than lovers when speaking to people.

There is very little hope in my opinion of getting them to change their minds two years in to his term as Leader of the Party.

The older members of the Anti-Cameron Conservative voter tendency directly compare him to Ted Heath, whilst the younger Cameron sceptics make comments along the lines that he is "naff", "out of touch", "toffee-nosed" and "irrelevant" to their lives.

On this last point of relevancy, I have discovered by asking, that some, across the divide of age and gender, argue that Cameron has gone way too far on the Green agenda. Not only do they dislike the suggestion of tax rises to cope with carbon emissions, they also seem to think that he has gone so far off on an obsessive tangent that it shows that he is unable to really "get in touch" with ordinary voters who go to work to pay the mortgage.

Some in my ward have even compared the latest "Green obsession" with the old tendency to continually harp on about European issues in the past. They think that we are in danger of being seen as a slightly twitchy single-issue dominated party.

I cannot for the life of me see these folk embracing the "progressive" Mr. Cameronm in the neaer future, but who knows? Perhaps Fraser is right? I hope so.

"Not too late for he Conservatives to make it their own though "

But as I pointed out that would require some fire in their bellies and some passion about something, and certainly Labour's discrimination of English people in the services their receive, and being made constitutionally second class, should have been it for Conservative MP's considering they mostly represent English constituencies, but no hardly a whimper out of them.

Even though I loath Heseltine and all that he stands for regarding the EU, one could at least say he did get angry enough to pick up the Commons mace and swing it around his head, but can anybody believe that sort of passion and fury would come from current docile lot of Conservative MP's? No me neither, working up a sweat and passion about something would just be too much like hard work for them, any way it might make them late, certainly no in the right frame of mind for their next non executive board meeting.

This '25 seat strategy' as you call it Tim is very sensible. Noone believes we can win but we need to increase the fear in Mr Brown's mind that Labour might lose its majority. He must be worried that he could lose half a dozen Scottish seats to the SNP so we actually only need a 22 seat strategy!

Jennifer makes a very good point.

A 50 majority isn't much to start with.

If 6 or more seats are vulnerable to the SNP...

If the Tories win 20 from Labour in the south where Cameron is already outperforming the national average...

If the Tories fight a good campaign...

Brown will look really stoopid if he goes to the country and the above factors kick in.

Current campaign should be:

Brown makes merry at the Labour conference....
Meanwhile, in Surrey and Suffolk, farmers are losing their livelihoods.

Brown: On the ball - or just got Britain by the balls?


"Some in my ward have even compared the latest "Green obsession""

The Green obsession could have been a tactically astute move by Cameron enabling him to introduce the concerns voters have about Labours mass immigration within the context of environmental sustainability, in which it is critical, and so enable a debate to be had about the concerns and not have it dismissed as racist, As a result traditional Tories could have then seen the issue as relevant to them, which included their concerns as well.

Unfortunately Cameron has just burnt that bridge, when he declared in an interview that he didn't view us as an over populated country, which begs the question is he living in the same country as me? And makes one wonder what exactly is his green agenda, it certainly puts it in the loopy category, for if he’s not going to deal with population sustainability, then its no more than a gesture, and as such puts him in the same loopy left environmental clique, which is no more than socialism dressed in green, yet which is contradictory, for it fails to deal with population, for that would mean dealing with mass immigration, something they won’t do.

For what it’s worth, my opinion is that the better balance between Morrison and Waitrose voter strategies that the Ed mentions could be a good strategy, e.g. a "crime and NHS” theme. That is right-wing policies on issues where voters are right-wing – crime, Europe etc, and be centrist ‘softer’ on issues where voters are centrist, such as the NHS and the environment. On the latter, 'Green’ and quality of life issues must be a natural “centre ground” theme for Conservatives (green taxes e.g. on flights on routes that have adequate rail links, are surely better than income and inheritance taxes?), but must include opposition to building on countryside, sports fields and peoples’ gardens.

Despite reservations about DC (e.g. his support for Labour's laws that impinge on freedom of religion and conscience, and doubts about what he'd do about EU policy) Mr Cameron is still offering sufficent improvement over Labour to make a Conservative Government led by him worth fighting for.

I really wonder where some of these posters live. My own personal experience is profoundly different. I live in a small rural village in Damian Green's Ashford constituency: it would be hard to create a more Conservative stronghold if you tried with a blank sheet of paper, combining City commuters and farming community types. Yet I talk to diehard Conservatives who are completely disconcerted and disillusioned by Cameron and his direction and (fairly nearly) uniformly say that Brown is doing a good job. I have lost count how many say they may stay at home, not bother voting or go UKIP. If this is the recation in a safe seat, God help the marginals.

When are the Conservative Party going to realise that Cameron Osborne Goldsmith and other Cameroon’s will never deliver a Tory victory.
Most Conservatives I know feel there is just no chance with these lightweights, to think of another term with Brown is very depressing.

I took part in one of the surveys this week and had great fun in ticking my vote for the great leader Gordon Brown.
Come the day of the election though it will be very different story.
I really do hope many more have spoofed their surveys to help con Brown and send him to oblivion.
How can I forget:
1- tax is taking 54% of my hard earned money in contrast to 37% before Brown
2- He has stolen my pension fund
3- he has lied and lied treating the voter with contempt,stating the EU Constitution MK2 is so so different from the original even though European leaders state it is the same as MK1.
4- his eating habits are disgusting I have watched in shovel food into his mouth in the Treasury canteen where everybody avoided him from fear no doubt.
If he does win then the electorate must really be as guillable as Brown thinks we are but also the Tories fail to attack his record with direct references to his mismangement.
Go for the jugler Mr Cameron!

I really do hope many more have spoofed their surveys to help con Brown and send him to oblivion.
There may well be Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters who do not want an early General Election also pretending to support David Cameron and the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats claiming to support Gordon Brown and Conservatives claiming to support David Cameron - opinion polls work on the basis that people are like laboratory rats, the difference between the people in the surveys and the laboratory rats though is that people are aware that they are being studied and that what they say can affect decisions taken on the basis of such surveys, and people are also sensitive to fashions and lie so as not to seem unfashionable. This is why especially political opinion polls are actually so unreliable and yet have a massively disproportionate influence on people.

Net gains from the Lib Dems, whilst handy, make little difference
Net gains all make a difference - Labour can lose seats to the Conservatives in net terms and still end up with a 100+ majority by picking up seats from Independents, Respect, Liberal Democrats etc.... If the Conservative Party gets 10 net gains from Labour and 10 from the Liberal Democrats that leaves them closer to a return to power than if they had only picked up the 10 from Labour, if there was no net move of seats between Labour and the Conservatives and the Conservatives took 40 Liberal Democrat seats this would reduce by 40 the extra amount they would be seeking next time - that could be the difference between being a minority government and having a 60+ majority.

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