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I think William Hague should also take some credit, calling for unity in his excellent opening speech:

"We have strong leadership, clear direction, and policies our country needs. So let us make the most of all of that, and so conduct ourselves this week that people can see the relish, the confidence and the optimism with which we approach our task. Let this week be a reminder never to underestimate the Conservative Party, and a demonstration of how we can serve a country where it is time for change. It's time for change. And let it now begin."

I very much doubt that Liam Fox's speech at Conference was the reason why the election wasnt called.

I mentioned Liam's role in exposing Brown's despicable behaviour yesterday yesterday but in truth I think it was a whole raft of reasons.
The Tax announcements,wonderful speeches from Cameron, Hague &IDS, the unity of the conference,the quest to strengthen famillies and Labour overconfidence and downright arrogance all played a part.
It would be easy for Cameron to gloat now but I hope he and his parliamentary colleagues don't do it. He should leave the gloating to nobodies like me.
Remember only a week ago we were dead in the polls and the media narrative was that Cameron was a loser.How fast can things change!
Cameron should use a few sentences from IDS 's speech as a template to his reaction. 'Last week in Bournemouth the ex Labour leader declared that it wanted to destroy the Conservative party.Well we have a higher ideal than that ,we want to build a better Britain'.
Cameron should emphasise today his fitness to be PM both to parliament and the country today and reluctantly forego any desire to score cheap points on the back of Brown's disomfirt.

Suddenly it feels good to be a Tory again.

A big well done to Cameron, who went head to head with Brown, and won.

Fair play to George Osborne, played a blinder last week in his speech and in the media, and has led the charge against Bottler Brown this weekend.

The BBC and the Guardian are gutted, Andy Marr and Jackie Ashley must be choking on their cornflakes as their hero turned out to have feet of clay.

I don't think Liam Fox swung the opinion polls that much - the voters turned on Brown without needing much encouragement after his cynical trip to Iraq. Osborne's promise of a tax cut had much more impact that Liam Fox having a dig.

I think it was Cameron's speech more than anything else.

And re Brown's stunt in Iraq, John Major should be given the first credit.

Did Liam Fox speak at the conference?

So surprise surprise, voters like tax cuts. If only we'd been consistent that the tax burden is too high, and not gone awol on a icepack huskie detour, we'd be well ahead, not vying for a hung parliament.

Good for Dave and George for getting back with the program - better late then never!

He did indeed Gareth. And he certainly got to Gordon Brown. From the New Statesman:

At times since the Labour conference, the PM has been in a state of barely controlled fury. I am told this grew to a crescendo during the conference speech by the shadow defence spokes man, Liam Fox. If Britain does go to the polls, the following passage may turn out to be the tipping point: "You, Prime Minister - in your self-indulgent, plagiarised, 67-minute speech, how much did you dedicate to Iraq, Afghanistan and our armed forces? One hundred and twenty-six words. One hundred and twenty-six words. One word for every two servicemen or women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan."


Liam Fox was excellent on Tuesday and at the top of his brief. He articulated the anger and passion that many felt about Brown's stunt in Iraq that day very well.
Watching the post mortem reports of the last week unfold, I think that anyone who tries to pin the change on one event or politician would be wrong. It took a much larger cast of characters to get us where we are this Monday morning.
A superb and united team effort from the whole Conservative party led by an invigorated shadow cabinet that raised its game to the highest level.
But the big beasts of the past also played their part to great effect, John Major's actions and performance on Tuesday should not to be underestimated, it was on the day the most effective and wounding intervention by a previous PM that I have seen. The input of IDS, Hague, Clarke and Heseltine should also not be ignored.
David Cameron and Osborne showed themselves to be both astute political strategists, showing an instinctive steady hand in the face of the full onslaught of the clunking fist.
Cameron's speech showed real courage and conviction, which was all the more powerful in contrast to Brown's opportunistic and cowardly behaviour during the week, before and after Wednesday.
But lastly, as I have said on here before, it was the arrogance of the Brownite cabal that finally undid all the artfully crafted spin they have peddled over recent months.
Gordon Brown's first big test, and he showed himself to be a big feartie!
The big tests keep coming for the Conservative party, the unity of purpose and the passion to challenge this government has to maintained to successfully stop Brown's damage limitation exercise gaining traction.
We have to be statesmen, clinical and workman like, rather than gloating in the way we behave this week.

John Majors quiet incandescence also played its part. V impressive.

I was attempting irony Simon. I assume you were too in suggesting that Dr. Fox's speech was the 'tipping point'? I know you're an admirer but, really, there are limits.

No, No, NO.

I'm not buying this folks.

This, from a party who a) supported both conflicts and b)Cynically went to the country in 1983 on the back of a victory in the Falklands.

Maalcolm Dunn @ 9.28 - I agree absolutely with your last two paragraphs, and I am sure that David Cameron will not make cheap jibes a la Blair, in Parliament this week. Undoubtedly members of this pernicious government will do all they can to provoke DC into 'cheap talk', but I am sure he will resist!

I think Camerons speech is given far more credit than it deserves. It was unmemorable and about it being unscripted, we know thats very untrue. It would have been very scripted, just memorised. It was waffly and it seems some of the anecdotes werent entirely true ("completely pissed" anecdote for example). I feel the speech lacked real feeling. It still felt like he was forcing the emotion, ratrher than it being heartfelt. The "hot mic" moment at the end was a silly gesture to show he was a family man. Despite it being an hour long, only the last few lines will be remembered.

Perhaps Im just too cynical about politics.

Ultimately it's futile larding our particular Shadow Cabinet heroes with selective praise. We all know that Dr Fox has a keen neocon fanbase. Fine, it takes all types to make a party. And he made a good speech.

The fact is that last week was a fastastic team effort - and I'd include the rank and file at the Conference in that too (I wasn't there), as they showed themselves united and resolute. We all know it was the opinion polls turning, nothing more and nothing less, that changed the Grand Old Duke of Fife's mind. Which particular bits of the week were most important in securing that is pretty impossible to say. Looking more like a Government in waiting, with a rather more Statesmanlike leader, and a few eye-catching proposals showing a firm sense of direction but not recklessness, were probably the key factors.

I think we have analysed this enough. We now need to build on it and remember: united parties gain votes. Cameron has earned some leadership spurs, even if it might partly be by demonstrating that key leadership quality: luck. His three, probably four, predecessors didn't have that.

In London we now need to follow this up by all getting behind Boris's campaign for his free run at a 1st May triumph. This should be the next key milestone in the journey to a 2009 or 2010 election victory.

Many Conservatives like me have never supported the Iraq war Comstock.As a point of fact the Falklands war concluded more than a year before the 1983 election.If Mrs Thatcher had wanted to score cheap political points over the Falklands war she could have done so.She didn't.
Your man on the other hand couldn't resist it. The reason that the attacks made by Fox and Major were so wounding to Gordon Brown is that most people realised they were right.

Comstock @ 10:40 - what cr**!!

Brown's behaviour re announcing troop reductions etc has zilch to do with anyone's original stance on the wars. You can't really not see that, can you?

And re 1983, that was an election after 4 years. If that was "cynical", then so were the elections in 1955, 1959, 1970, 1987, 2001 and 2005 (all the other elections after 4 years since 1950 - 3 called by each party and (with 1983) exactly half the elections since 1955). As well as being rubbish, that thin vineer of admiration for Mrs T seems to have rubbed off the Labour Party rather quickly, hasn't it?

Watch out for whatever Darling says about Inheritance Tax tomorrow for the real cynicism.

Can't agree Comstock. The old leftie myth of 1983 being a khaki election is nonsense. The polls at the time showed that the Falklands made a minimal difference to peoples' votes. If victory in warfare were a prerequisite for victory at the polls then Winston would have won in '45 and Bliar would have lost in '05.

Without Conservative MP support we would not be in conflict in Iraq and millions of people would be very happy with that.

When an Election does eventually come,this fact will be up at the top of the list of things to talk about this time,especially by ukip and others,and who can blame them for raising such a point?

Come on Comstock! Mrs T went to the country 1 year after the Falklands victory. Hardly a 'snap' poll. That was also just over 4 years since the last election. i.e. precisely the length of time Blair allowed the 1997 and 2001 parliaments to run before he called elections.

It was TEAMWORK what done it: Fox, Hague, Davis, Duncan-Smith, Osborne, Redwood and Cameron.

With great support from Milliband, Balls and Brown!

I just came across this post about Brown on another thread:

""He has just sneakily announced that 2 more RAF bases will be closed and sold off, along with RAF Aircraft that we need.""

Can this be true ?

Can anyone point me to any other source of this information?

A little bit hyperbolic. John Major also had a part that played well with the media.

From today's Telegraph.

""British defence officials have held talks with their Pentagon counterparts about how they could help out if America chose to bomb Iran.""

We must, must oppose this, if, God forbid, it ever happens. We must not support another War like Iraq - whatever the apparent justification might be at the time the orders are given.

We,the Conservatives, will support the Labour Government and the Americans to attack Iran just as we did to attack Iraq and Afganistan.

Shamefull at the least,without these we would be at 60% in the polls,not 39 or a dizzying 40%.

I think the treatment of the Army, Airforce and Navy is a scandal, and we must hold the government to account.

We have many excellent speakers and ex-Army people in our ranks, which contrasts with Labour's lack of ex-service people.

For example, one of the speakers at the Security debate spoke very eloquently, and I believe he is an ex-army conservative candidate.


These people are our competitive advantage when it comes to Defence and security. The voters are finally starting to notice the state of our Army under this government.

Patriot. Some stuff on base closures in yesterdays Times. Personally I'm all in favour of it and I hope the money saved is put to good use.

Try this link http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2604027.ece

You'll need to copy and paste it

'Wot stopped it' is simple, we are genuine and honest about wanting the best for our country and not just ourselves, and it shows! Fantastic display of empathy and cohesion at Conference and IDS was bang on about us living our politics.

Comstock- I supported the war in Iraq for sure. That was because Tony Blair lied to us and I did not think he would tell a lie that big.

Had the facts been accurately presented and some decent analysis presented on what would happen when Saddam went, I for sure would have never been in favour.

I am sure many feel the same way I do.

The LibDems and Labour rebels were correct- but even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

As Lord Gould (New labour's Pollster)says in his book The Unfinished Revolution, it is in the areas of Tax and Defence that labour are weak. We forget how much TalkSport man cares about our military.
Fox and Osbourne have insured that the skilled working class vote that Thatcher was so strong with (was it a 7% lead she had with them at one point, and a 21% lead Tony Blair had with them in 2000?), are once again rooting for us.
Thank God for Coulson. Thank god that the right of the party held its nerve until it was proved correct.

My God in heaven, the Tory party must not follow Labour and the Bush administration over the cliff if the US moves to bomb Iran. I do not know if the Tory bench has made any public statements on this.

There is a large and growing conservative opposition to the war in the US -- but you won't be here about it on Fox news, etc, except as a misrepresentation.

And sadly, the unpopularity of the current administration may very well lead to the election of Hillary Clinton -- who believes in nothing but getting elected, and doesn't have a conservative bone in her body.

ps...yes I support the war on terror and I have nothing but great admiration for American & British troops. And that's why I, and most everyone here on this site, must be opposed to the opening of another front.

It was good to see Paxman roasting that idiotic Defence Minister Bob Ainsworth last week.

The respinning of numbers was catastrophe for the Government and Fox had a target rich environment.

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