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I think if an election is called now, Brown will be looking at a big squeeze in Scotland by the SNP and a big squeeze in Kent/Sussex/Essex M25 marginals at least.

And then there's the Cameron factor. He's the only show in town. We didn't even need today's awesome speech to know that. It could prove an absolute knock-out on a 3-week campaign trail.

If I were Gordon, I'd hold fire and see what things are like next May.

This the somewhat incomprehensible reaction to DC's speech from our freinds over at Labourhome.com

"I can honestly say I think that's the poorest speech I've seen him give. Where was the passion he uses in Prime Minister's Question Time? It simply wasn't there.

Considering Brown could call an election at any moment, this was pretty dull by anyone's standards. No new policies, no conviction, no heart. Cameron's shot himself in the foot with this one"

Wow. Talk about wide of the mark

The Conversational style worked well. Echos of FDRs fireside chats. I like the balance, the passion and the sincerity. Exactly the sort of speech I was hoping to hear.

That was an excellent performance from Cameron. The fightback is on but will gutless Brown now bottle an election.

I don't believe that we're ready to win an election but......

I think that is the game Cameron is playing. Notice he said "we will fight- Britain will win " Not "we will win". He knows he isn't going to win but if Labour's majority falls low enough, Brown will struggle to see out another full term, and he could pounce.

Assuming, of course, he is kept on after the defeat.........

I think Brown has missed his chance, through his indecision, and yesterday's Iraq spinning has lost him a lot of his sheen etc

It worked brilliant. He played it well by not just rabble rousing the hall and spoke to the voters. Brillian style, brilliant content. I don'nt know a Tory member who didnt think his speech was nothing short of perfect for what he needed to do.

Well Tim, there speaks the 23rd most influential person on the Right of British politics, little more than twice as far down as Tony Blair at no.10. Don't let it go to your head! (Sorry but after reading that list, a little mockery seems in order - to think that I got a personal note with my ConHome mug from such an important person.)

You can go on to LabourHome right now and tell them their chums at the BBC are getting - according to John Soppell - a number of emails from viewers saying they haven't voted Tory before but will consider so due to that speech.

We have won the election. This speech is destined to be one of those "where were you?" moments for the British people, like the death of Diana. Except this speech was the death of Labour.

The Sun set Cameron his 'Mission Impossible' this week. Today he just made it 'Mission Compelete'. Today will go down in history as the day David Cameron saved the Conservative party.

What worries me most about David Cameron is the gnawing suspicion that he has an IDS-like inability to reinvent himself or show a different facet of his character when the occasion demands it. Luckily for him, and us, even this David Cameron arguably has more going in his favour than the last three of his predecessors.

But for this speech, we needed epic. We needed thundering condemnation of this shoddy and dishonest Government; and a simple and heartfelt assurance that a Conservative Government could and would get Britain on the road to recovery. And instead, we got charming, telegenic, and nice.

I'm not saying that David Cameron doesn't stack up well against Gordon Brown. I'm not saying we can't win a general election, either this Autumn or in the future. But this should have been a speech that sent our opponents running to their dark holes in shame to lick their wounds and fight another day. Instead I think David Cameron has failed to shed the general aura (unjustified perhaps) of insubtantiality that still follows him.

An excellent performance from Cameron, it would have been good to have a new policy that would have caught the headlines,like Flat tax, but not to be.

Brown will not call an election until 2009 at the earliest, and more likely to go to 2010.

The risk at the moment is great for him.
The SNP and the Referendum will pose a great risk that he will not take, 2008 is out because the economy will have bombed, house prices dropping, inflation going up and the £ going down or interest rates going up

On crime and policing he used the phrase, 'beat-based zero tolerance'. It stood out a mile. You should shout it from the rooftops. Other than that I think the speech was just too laid back to make any real difference.


I disagree, you can't talk about more personal choice and more personal control and then say that the Tories will win.

It's for the people to decide, it's placing trust in them to decide the right outcome, to use that personal choice to exercise their democratic right.

And on the basis of the conference, that's a Conservative Government. :)

Good speech but let's not get carried away. We need to work like never before to reduce Brown's majority. The reality still is that if an election was called he would win with a decent majority.

Sky are loving it. Their interview with Osborne was like a party political broadcast for the Tories; he couldn't have wished for easier questions.

Maybe Murdoch has sent a message down from on-high...

Yup, there's every chance that Brown would lose Labour's majority if he called an election this year.

It would take a lot more than one good conference and a good four or five weeks on the election campaign trail for us to win a majority, but it would be a stepping stone back to government.

Ive gone on Labourhome.com once already, im not risking infection twice in one day

I haven't seen the speech yet, but I'll have whatever Oliver Arthurs is having.

Simon Robinson - hope and optimism win votes. A negative speech concentrating on slagging Brown would have gone down like a lead balloon - not in the hall, but in the media, which is the key.

I thought the speech was exactly what was required - nothing bombastic or apocalyptic, just straight talking, no arch dramatics a la Blair, no hypocrisy a la Brown.

And to be very basic indeed, a calm and visually attractive person, against the guy with bitten nails, a facial tic and an unfortunate nasal fixation.

Cameron has established himself as a grown-up politician - the fireworks can wait until a GE is actually called.

Comment on the BBC site:


A great speech full of ideas, content and direction, and one that secures my support.

The responses from the Tory-bashers however are predictably vacuous and small-minded: He went to Eton and he wasn't brought up in the poor house. Obviously he couldn't *possibly* be a good PM then.

If that's all you can come up with then I pity you.

Jon, Newbury

Simon, I have to disagree. I think people are tired of tub-thumping politicians preaching fire and brimstone.

David Cameron treated his political opponents as flawed humans deserving sympathy... far more humiliating than treating them as dangerous adversaries. For years we were caricatured as being nasty but efficient, David at long last put the boot on the other foot and painted Labour as well-meaning but useless.

It was a speech of optimism, hope and a very British quiet determination to do a necessary job.

Let Brown rage and thunder while Cameron stays calm, self-assured and polite.

I heard the speech on the radio. Brilliant. David Cameron can be persuasive by being reasonable. When talking directly about his education and upbringing he did the right thing - taking Labour's class warriors head on. I've lost count of the number of Labour people up here in the North East who scorn so-called 'toffs' but if going to one of the best schools in the country is a disqualification for being our Prime Minister we have really reached a sorry state of affairs!

In my Sedgefield by-election campaign DC and I had a private meeting with a group of highly sceptical health workers. After 10 minutues they were asking DC to pose for mobile phone pictures and were truly won over. He has style and substance and that came through today.

if the speech had one big theme it was David Cameron.

And according to the polls that's hardly a plus factor at the moment. In the eyes of the public the party remains a one-man band.

After all the build-up the speech was something of a damp squib, but I suppose it could hardly be otherwise. I have no doubt it went down a bundle with the faithful, though.

Gordon Brown must know that he'll face an awesome opponent if he calls an election

I think Brown despises Cameron and I very much doubt that opinion has changed.

I don't believe that we're ready to win an election

Exactly. And if the election is called and lost, all this mad 'make my day' nose-thumbing must never be forgotten.

Are we a party, or a playground gang?

See...this is why he became our leader, this is why we need to unite to beat Brown and Labour.

Forget about the few internal wrinkles, forget about the "Brown Bounce". People like Cameron, and his speech has properly shown that we are a party that can unite against the common enemy - Brown and his dangerous destructive government built on lies, spin and secrecy.

It was a good speech and well delivered. Some weaknesses, but nowhere near as many as Gordon Brown's speech. Service delivery is a good place to attack, because the point that nobody would really fault Labour's intentions with extra funding to Education and the NHS is important and inclusive, it is their delivery that has been appalling. Good detailed analysis of past failure and detailed prescription of addressing causes of failure will firm up people's intentions. Good layout of support for family. I hope it will make people believe in the process of engaging in politics once again. Labour's policy of "I hear you ......... and I'll ignore you" really has sapped belief in the political process.

thought speech was excellent as a result my wife and i have again joined finchley and golders green conservative association today

And to think that Kinnock actually had a poll lead when he got this confident prior to the election!

The BBC News website's "Have Your Say" section is currently down. Perhaps they're worried by the positive reaction!

Excellent speech from Cameron.

There's now no chance of Brown calling an election this year - he's just not enough of a risk-taker; and he'll be stuffed by the economy for the next couple of years. His only chance is to cross his fingers, polish his compass, and go long...

If Brown has any sense he will call an election now - just look at the PM's throughout history that 'could' have called an election when they first came into office and decided to wait - Callaghan being the most obvious example.

That is not to say I do not think we can win now! I just think our chances are only going to get better from here on in.

Those who disagree with me on the need for fiery rhetoric; I do see what you're saying. I just worry that without penetrating scrutiny and comment, Gordon Brown's masterfully created image as the iron clad Chancellor/PM will remain unchallenged. He has after all been Chancellor for ten years, squandered a golden legacy and ruined our economy, but has emerged with his reputation wholly unblemished. I don't rate him as either a Chancellor or a PM, but as a politician he is incredibly effective.

If we don't confront this; who will?

The best thing to happen to us this week was Brown's too-clever-by-half exposure in Iraq yesterday. Now the scales will fall from the electorate's eyes over this unpleasant man.

Inheritance Tax/Stamp Duty gives us something to sell- a Hung Parliament is all to play for now.

Simon R @17:10 - If he is an iron clad Chancellor etc then he got a pretty effective hosing down yesterday. All we have to do is wait for chemistry to do its work!

"The reality still is that if an election was called he would win with a decent majority."

You didn't see the speech, I assume? After this Brown has no hope whatsoever of winning the next general election. He's going to be on the end of a landslide and go down in history as the biggest chump ever to inhabit Downing Street.

Can I just say that I am still predicting (and my predictions are uncannily accurate usually fellow ConHomers!) that we will be the largest party (though just shy of an outright majority) after the next election with somewhere around 308 - 318 seats.

c. 88 direct Lab-Con gains in South, SE and Midlands - Given our atractive Inheritance Tax policies now, this should be DEAD easy!! (Pun entirely intended!).

Add to that 35 or so ripe cherries, that are ripe for plucking from Ming's Dim Lebs and you have a healthy outcome for us after the next GE.


Simon R 17:10

The conference speakers have attacked Brown all week. Having watched most of the major speakers either live on TV or later via the internet, I'm convinced that the shadow cabinet will continue, in the weeks to come, to dismantle the lies, half-truths, myth and spin that Brown has promulgated so expertly for the last 10 years. They've demonstrated that they can do it to great effect, and I see no reason why that shouldn't continue after the conference.

However, it would have been entirely inappropriate for DC to close what has been a memorable conference week with further attacks. That job had already been done. He had to finish on a positive.

I think he got it absolutely right.

Well done to him and his closest advisers.

This was a measured speech in which conviction and determination weren't sacrificed on the off-putting altar of tub-thumping and wild gesturing. The line that jumped out at me was the declaration that DC wants his children to go to State Schools! Wow. Did I hear right?
It's a great aspiration and we are proud to send our daughter to a superb girls CofE state secondary. However this inner city school is not the norm and gutsy educational reforms meeting the academic and vocational needs of our teenagers, along with restoration of authority to teaching professionals need to be set out in detail. I look forward to the manifesto!

What posters forget is that their conference-side view of the Cameron love-fest is very different from the view seen by 99+% of the population.

Two years ago the public saw a new face with some new ideas. That was big news. Today all they will hear is that Cameron made a speech and they will hear a few soundbites on the news. So he learned it by heart. So what?

I spent the day on the road and discovered that Cameron's speech was being broadcast live only on Radio 5, a station to which I have never knowingly listened. I then spent tenminutes attempting to tune the radio to this station with nil success.

Now I have heard some snippets on R4 and listened to some disparaging remarks from Michael Brown, the former Tory MP.

I suspect the policy announcements on IHT and SDLT will achieve some favourable movement in the polls. I doubt that Cameron's 'fireside chat' will have any significent effect.

This will not charm the 3 million "missing" Tory voters back to the polls.

Some of us were waiting for a definitive statement from him that he will fightFOR a referendum and then fight for a N O vote in it.

According to the blog he didn't mention the great unanswerable plus he has over Brown - that Brown promised the referendum. But then did the blog just forget to mention what Ed Balls (Min of Schools etc) said in his comments "got his biggest cheers for his attacks on Europe" .

Did the blog forget the biggest cheers?

Gordon Brown - Rust in Peace

We've had several excellent speeches from this conference (all available for download from conservatives.tv) but Mr Cameron's speech today was the absolute tops.

Conservative policies explained. Labour's policies considered, rather than rubbished out of hand. Top drawer stuff. A vote winning speech.

Simon Robinson- "But for this speech, we needed epic."

No we didn't. We needed straight forward, open and honest - and we got it.

Amazingly, the highlights clip on the BBC is actually quite positive!

I agree it was tour de force, but I wished DC had plugged the injustice of the West Lothian Question- the English do not really understand this constitutional outrage

Here rises David, the brave man who is going to challenge the big clunking fist of Gord-Liarth. I hope today's speech is the slingshot that launches the deadly stone against this powerful control freak.

Comstock 16:05
"think that is the game Cameron is playing. Notice he said "we will fight- Britain will win " Not "we will win"."

You are mistaken Comstock, that is exactly what he said (about 29 mins in) when he told George Osborne that his first task "when we win the election" is to set-up the pensions lifeboat.

Do pay attention! ;-)

I'm delighted with David Cameron's speech, he get the balance right and said what needed to be said

Please lets ALL get behind him and the parliamentary party and take the attack to Brown and expose the shameful record of Labour in office

You get my vote Dave

Overall, very encouraging signs - but has any speaker made any mention at all of English Parliament/EVEL/devolution at all during conference?

I just took the plunge and glanced at LabourHome. It as though you have to register in order to post (and presumably will be de-registered if the powers that be don't like what you say). Is that really so? Pretty much sums up Labour's attitude towards freedom of speach.

Maybe that's why so many Labour supporters feel the need to hand around and post here where you are allowed to express yourself freely ...

If the blog won 't tell me here's what got the biggest applause in the whole speech - -


"When we look at our democracy, we're still stuck in the dark ages. When it comes to politics we just have to take what we're given and put up with it. And to me nothing sums this up more than the European constitution. It's not just that it's an issue of trust. We put it in our manifesto that there should be a referendum, Labour put it in their manifesto that there should be a referendum and it is one of the most blatant breaches of trust in modern politics they won't give us that referendum. But it actually goes further than that. In a world where we have all this freedom and control are we really saying to people that when it comes to how you're governed, how your country is run, you can't have a say, it's nothing to do with you? That's wrong and that's why we'll keep pushing for that referendum, campaign for a no vote and veto that constitution.

2 quotes on a site that is usually pretty volatile:

I cannot believe I am saying this, but I would probably vote Cameron

I have never voted conservative in my life but find myself agreeing with what he said on most things - the clincher will be Inheritance Tax.


Am I the only person that thinks a hung parliament would be the worst outcome of an election? A hung parliament would surely mean electoral reform, would it not?

"Some of us were waiting for a definitive statement from him that he will fightFOR a referendum and then fight for a N O vote in it." - Christina, 17:38

Er...I don't know where you've been the past two years, but EXACTLY THAT has been party policy since as long as I can remember. Cameron, Hague and others have made that pretty clear.

I've just watched IDS' speech; incredibly moving. I'm about to watch Cameron's now (it's loading...), and Osbourne and Hague's were very good. Where is the talent on the Labour benches? I'm getting really hopeful about this; I think we're seeing the first real signs of not an opposition, but a government.

Excellent speech.


Good attack on Gordon's deception over "British jobs for British people" - but hold on - what about not mentioning that 80-90% of British law is no longer set by the British government.

Well it went down in the hall it seems. Did he actually say anything that could be considered policy? Now we get to wait to see if Brown calls an election. Then we get to see if its just hot air or will translate in votes.

Put simply, in Dave we trust. Even my Cameron-disliking friend agreed that now he's ready for #10.

Ken, yes Annabel Goldie on first day in the made a very strong case for EVoEL.

Cameron did as much as he could possibly do - no doubting his energy and guts. He cannot retreat from the clear position he took and I am prepared to settle for that. He was clearest on Europe and spelt out beyond dispute that he is FOR a Referendum and will campaign for a NO vote. That backed by Hague's pledge on a Referendum on any future constitutional issues should put this issue to bed.

Ted 21:24

Ta for that

Brown would be shooting himself in the foot by calling an election now.

I was worried about it until today, but Cameron showed himself to be more than capable of taking on Brown and beating him. This was the kind of speech that heals party divisions and pumps up the troops.

There's nothing like coming out with all guns blazing.

I don't think we can win, but thats not terrible. Even getting Brown onto a thin majority is major. I bet my bottom dollar his government will implode in on itself. Those on the left will only move when he has less than (say) a 20 seat majority, we MUST try to achieve that and then just wait... New Labour has never been in that territory, this is why Broon is talking nonsense with the Libs., but it won't work.

Ken Stevens:

Yes covered in the democracy debate yesterday. Nick Herbert (Shadow Justice) said.

The West Lothian question, first posed by a Scottish Labour MP about devolution, remains unanswered.

Why should Scottish MPs have a right to vote on laws affecting hospitals and schools in England, when English MPs have no say over these issues in Scotland?

The Government is following the principled advice of Lord Irvine - that's Lord Irvine of the wallpaper, in case you'd forgotten - who said that the best answer to the West Lothian question was not to ask it in the first place.

But we believe in the United Kingdom.

And we believe in fairness.

So we will re-balance our constitution to strengthen the Union ...

by ensuring that English Members of Parliament have the decisive say over English laws.

Ken Clarke's Democracy Taskforce is looking at how this work in detail, and we look forward to his report.

Oberon, quite agree.

Getting a 9-10% swing to take us to majority territory is not a possibility only 2 1/2 years after the last election. But cutting his majority below 20 or lower would in many ways be preferable to leaving Labour as largest party in a hung Parliament when the Lib Dems under Ming would be seeking coalition (assuming that the LDs keep most of their seats). Brown would obviously have to resign and Miliband or other would probably agree to PR.

A weakened Brown, with a bare majority, would be ripe for the picking.

I take it all back!!!

ive blogged everywhere claming that DC is ruining the party and im ashamed to be a conservative.

For the fist time in years not only do i believe in the leader and the party but i truly believe we CAN win

The Culture Warrior @1953 missed my point. I was asking why EITHER Cameron hadn't said that about a referendum OR why the blog had left it out. Since it got the biggest cheer it was significant !

In any case this was a definitive Leader's speech and it had to be said - again if necessary. Remember some of us are still a touch dubious after DC's broken promise over the MEPs and leaving the EPP/

I'm delighted he spelt it out unambiguously.

"When I look at Tory democracy, you're still stuck in the dark ages. When it comes to broken election pledges, you just have to take what you're given and put up with it. And to me nothing sums this up more than the EPP. It's not just that it's an issue of trust. Camerloon put it in his manifesto that he would withdraw Tory MEPs, and it is one of the most blatant breaches of trust in modern politics that they remain in. It actually goes further than that. In a world where we have all this freedom and control are the leadership really saying to Tories that when it comes to electing a leader, how your party is run, you can have a say, and then are ignored? That's wrong..."

English?, thinking of voting for Gordon Broon?, do you like Dictators?.

To sum up Broon and McLabours position than simply look at this helpful graphic.


Cameron or Broon, take your pick.

Definitely a triumphant day for David Cameron, a positive conference for all Conservatives, and a promising future for the Party!

But that's only the first steps to a revival that began 2 years ago; the most important and continuing task must be to carry all the right and factual messages to the public.

There must be no let up in momentum from now on, from MPs down to grass-root activists!

"Even getting Brown onto a thin majority is major. I bet my bottom dollar his government will implode in on itself."

I agree with Oberon! (Must be a full moon)

An increased majority for Brown should be the end of Cameron, but cutting his majority to 30 or less will be success and make for a very interesting and fun destruction of Brown.

It is easy to achieve a 'result' in front of a dutifully applauding audience of the adoring faithful.

But we must never forget how easy it is for inward-looking members of the political club to find themselves isolated from public sentiment priorities.

I believe that the announcements on IHT and SDLT will produce a positive effect. However, the effect of Cameron's somewhat low-key feat of memory will be as marginal as his competent performances at Prime Minister's question time.

Furthermore, Cameron has played a very dangerous game. Until this week's taunts Brown would have faced charges of opportunism for calling an early election.

That obstacle has now been removed and, IMO the Tories will do much worse in an election called now than they would have done in a couple of years' time when the economy is likely to be significently weaker and Brown's popularity may have faded.

For the general public the narrative seems to be proceeding in one direction; back to the 'default position' of support for Labour which informed the original calls for Tory 'change'.

Voters were previously distracted from that position purely by the appearance of a fresh face at a time when Blair had destroyed his own popularity. That was then. this is now.

While I don't believe for one moment that an election this year will produce a hung parliament, I agree with the poster above that this could be the very worst outcome for the Tories, as the likely introduction of PR would remove any remaining hope of a future Conservative victory.

"Tradional" Tory wrote

Two years ago the public saw a new face with some new ideas. That was big news. Today all they will hear is that Cameron made a speech and they will hear a few soundbites on the news. So he learned it by heart. So what?

I spent the day on the road and discovered that Cameron's speech was being broadcast live only on Radio 5, a station to which I have never knowingly listened. I then spent tenminutes attempting to tune the radio to this station with nil success.

Now I have heard some snippets on R4 and listened to some disparaging remarks from Michael Brown, the former Tory MP. "

I find that the most amazing contribution ever. Trad Tory did not actually hear the speech, he desparages the people who were there, without even seeing them. It's a pity he did not see it, because I nearly jumped out of my skin when Cameron came to the end and there was an immediate leaping to the feet, to a man they did it, I have never seen anything like it. You are entitled to your dislikes, and your arguments, Trad tory, but don't distort the facts of the case. Me I prefer the honesty of people on here who say they were never cameroons but by golly they were impressed, and I think that shows the effect it had on all sides of the spectrum.

I expect those who listened to the speech noticed the Freudian slip....
" the last - this government "
The Independent did and we came to the same conclusion.

John Leonard October 03 23:10

Thank you for taking the trouble with detail.

I await EVEL proposals with interest. Hopefully there will be a wholehearted solution to the difficulty, rather than just a sop that hopes merely to dampen the WLQ. Devolution was supposed to undermine calls for independence but is merely seen as as a step en route to that ultimate goal. EVEL risks the same fate unless handled properly.

D.C's speech was truly magnificent. He was so calm, relaxed, clear & concise. He put Labour's mistakes across in simple terms.
I will be so disappointed if G.Brown doesn't call an election, I don't think he will now as we will win.
It was the best conference that I have been to & the calibre of the PPC's is outstanding.
Thanks to all Conservative delegates who made it such a memorable occasion

For those who were there it was a great speech supremely well delivered and was received rapturously by the audience.Looking at the press and listening to the radio today the favourable impressions of those in the hall seem to have replicated by the media.
We must not let this opportunity slip and go into 'silent mode' as we did for far too much of the summer.
Cameron and the other mambers of the Shadow Cabinet should take every media opportunity they can get to expand on the details of this speech.
The phrase that most stood out for me in this speech was when Cameron asked 'who is making the arguments for Britain's future?'.The answer I hope any fairminded person would agree,is the Conservative Party.

Traditonal Tory, perhaps you should change your blog name to "Tory Eeyore". We are dedicated to blue as a party colour, not a permanent mindset.
I don't believe D.C made a mistake by calling for an election; the media have consistantly repeated he had no other choice. The attack on opportunism can still be made by others from within and out of the party. D.C. would be well advised to stay out of that fray in any event. There will be plenty of University boffs [as seen on last night's Newsnight] ready to come on T.V and "question the unconstitutional nature of a snap election when their is no national crisis". Last nights contributor suggested it would raise the question of whether the decision should be taken out of primeministerial hands.
I am not suggesting people will sacrifice watching Hollyoaks in order to follow the detail of the debate, but they will get a whiff of a bad smell.
However, your point on a hung Parliament resonated with me. Usually the leader of the main party will balk at the suicidal nature of P.R. even if it would extend their tenure; its an illustionary carrot be be dangled under the noses of those who are mesmerized by the opportunity of influence they never thought they would achieve. I fear Gordon's long held desire has affected his judgemental compass. Ming could retire as the most successful Lib-Dem leader ever!

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