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It suddenly appears that the Cameron Conservatives are flavour of the month on this site. This has not always been the case. Think about less than a year to the constant sniping and criticism. Ummm...

I would say that it has been a Herculean affort, except that Hercules was only one man. The most impressive thing about this has been the energy, determination, focus and unity of purpose shown across the whole Party, in a way that has not been seen for too long. It has been formidable.

Some others who should be mentioned:

Edward Timpson: he faced a very unpleasant personal campaign with immense grace - as I would guess his wife and wider family did too.

David Douglas and John Moss: some, like me, were unable to get to C&N, but we used our phones. David and John co-ordinated the telephone campaigning with immense effectiveness and efficiency.

Thanks too to Tasmin Dunwoody, who turned out to be a candidate of immense ill charm, a cross between Glenda Jackson and Harriet Harman.

Thanks to Steve McCabe MP, another member of Brown's Scotia Nostra, who like Douglas Alexander MP and Tom Watson MP before him, proved to be politically tone deaf in the finest Brownite tradition.

Its just nice to be a member of a Conservative Party that is both well led and so obviously wants to WIN again.

I only managed to get to Crewe and Nantwich yesterday to do some knocking up (with about 15 other people from Nottingham and Broxtowe) but I had a great time.

It was brilliantly organised, we had our walks within 5 minutes of arriving. I had fun out campaigning (not always the case), and it was absolutely brilliant to be able to watch the result come in.

Tim, don't let Labour see how we did it!

We have to keep some things secret :-)


One of the particular pleasures at the next election will be seeing the likes of Nick Palmer MP fall in Broxtowe.

The poster presence was brilliant. They deserve a mention.

It looked like a very slick operation all round!

Feet on ground. Keep.

A mention perhaps too for Michael Ashcroft.

Well done Mr Pickles and team and of course E Timpson MP.

I am so pleased - I cannot believe it.

We have shown that we WANT to win and we have shown that we CAN win.

Clearly this team effort under Eric Pickles, Stephen Gilbert and Michael Fabricant (in conjunction with the local association) should be put in charge of our campaign unit at CCHQ.

What a brilliant all-round effort. With organisation like this, we have no need to worry about how we will cope during a general election campaign.

O/T in February, Michael Crick wrote a blog saying the Conservatives had to pass 2 out of 3 tests before he would say they were going to form the next government: 1) win a London-wide election 2) win a by-election off Labour 3) secure a high profile defection. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/2008/02/three_key_tests_for_david_cameron.html)

Well Mr Crick, the Conservative Party has met your challenge. Can you now confirm your prediction for the next election?

Well done to all the Team - and I do echo David Cameron's words - the "Big Man" is an absolute star! I do pity Poor Mrs Pickles though - when is she EVER going to get her holiday?!!

Patrick Sullivan on the CF exec also deserves special congratulations in getting so many CFers up to Crewe!

"David Douglas and John Moss: some, like me, were unable to get to C&N, but we used our phones. David and John co-ordinated the telephone campaigning with immense effectiveness and efficiency."

Yes - big thanks too to David Douglas for organising some nice refreshments to aid our telephoning yesterday evening!

Well said George.

Just as Labour need to introspect on their failings and admit them to the electorate, Com Home ought in all fairness to admit its own analytical errors over the last 2 years and issue some mea culpas.

Team Cameron's analysis of our problems has turned out to be right. Its strategy for resolving them has turned out to be right. It has played its cards deftly and competently. And contrary to the sneering of the carpers, as soon as the centre ground has expanded to include 'good housekeeping' again (partly because of Cameron's detoxification of our brand) Cameron has moved immediately to occupy that ground and incorporate in our message.

Magnificent leadership.

F T P Topcliff: If you want to start sowing disunity we can all join in on that. The Cameroons said it was all about society, not the economy. Green taxes was one of the big ideas. Crewe & N was won with a Conhome focus on tax and crime but let's not go there. Let's seek unity.

The big issue drowning out all of our own tactical and strategical musings has been the collapse of Brown. Just rejoice at that.

If Brown hadn't bottled last year's elections it would have been curtains for us so let's not have too much superiority from the Cameroons.

That's a great start for you for the next two years.

Please have the confidence now to present some difficult policies. If that doesn't happen we are heading back to the years of Heath. The country cannot afford to continue on its downward spiral. Without policies that have been aired, fought for and agreed, that is what may happen.

Well done on a fantastic win.

Not sure where this idea that Eustice drafted literature comes from ???

When I was in Crewe last weekend there was a great atmosphere. The whole campaign was expertly run. The Tories are well and truly back in business again!

Alan S: The reason why Brown bottled the election last year was because we had a hugely successful conference, which resonated with the voters. That resulted in the News of the World poll. Then Brown bottled it.

I don't usually have much good to say about MPs, but Eric Pickles is a decent man. I lived in Brentwood for 3 years, and got involved in his constituency association. When my brother died in a car accent, Eric was the old person brave enough to mention it and say how sorry he was to hear about it. Says a lot really. Elections or no elections, I think he's a good chap, and I'm pleased to see him get some good spotlight.

I meant "only" not "old"!

Vince there's a certain irony in being lectured about disunity on ConHome, don't you think?

A little humility from Cameron's tormentors here at just this time would be very appropriate and go long way to promoting the current glow of togetherness and achievement.

Alan S, the cows would be strolling home under blue moon accompanied by Elvis riding Shergar by the time the previous non-strategy showed any signs of working.

sadly you have overstated the role of eric pickles. he was the campaign spokesman and asked to give political oversight and was requested by the marginal seats team who under stephen gilbert ran the campaign. pickles worked hardest at grandstanding and personally promoting himself. angela browning and michael fabricant contibuted significantly more than pickles

FTP Topcliff

Totally agree with your analysis. The by-election victory is indeed a total vindication of the strategy pursued by David Cameron. Some people on this site were quick to criticise when the going got tough and are equally quick to try try and bask in the glory when it suits them.

Is anyone compiling a "file" of Labour's leaflets to ideally publish on here? I still cannot believe yesterdays knocking-up card from them. Has anyone an image of this to publish on here?

Cheers George.

It's a simple formula really.

Tax + crime - detox = 0

Detox + tax + crime = 20539

It is all very well saying that ConHome's tax and crime 'strategy' worked in Crewe. There's nothing clever about that, we have all believed in that since the year dot. The fact is that people stopped voting for it. They stopped voting for it because of us and we know that because the ConHome 'strategy' was tested to (our) destruction several times and took us to oblivion for a political generation.

The reason ANYTHING we say has purchase now if because of Cameron's dexoxification of the Conservative brand. The guy made a good call. It was a brave call, he stuck to it though it was painful and difficult but we are all now reaping the benefit.

I just think it would fair and big of those fellow Conservatioves who perfectly sincerely and with the best interests of the party at heart made the wrong call to acknowledge it.

I think Tim's view (and I would agree with him) would be that the party leadership took to heart a lot of the criticisms that he and others were making.

That criticism amounted to running the same strategy as Hague, Howard and the bloke in between whose name I forget. We Tories are empiricists so there would be nothing to be gained from compromising towards certain failure.

You willing to admit that our future tax cuts will be riding on the shoulders of Cameron's successful detox strategy, Sean?

So, where do we go from here? I suggest now is the time not to bask in glory (oh well bask a bit, or as the great man said "we may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing"). Now is the time to keep the momentum up. I worry about the mess we will pick up 2009/10, we have been here just too often, Labour mess it up, we sort it out, taking the difficult decisions resulting in being called nasty then Labour sell a fairy tale to voters and have a great time blowing tax payers' money and creating another mess. We can't go on like this, with the rise of the developing nations Britain can't afford a Labour party likely to form a government, New or Old; we have got to go after Labour in general not just Brown.

@ London Tory - 14.21

Anna Soubry (Broxtowe PPC) invited us back to her house to watch the result come in. She's a great candidate and will make an excellent MP.

The fact that hard-line anti-Thatcher student politicans like Anna have left the SDP and come back into the party is a welcome sign of how our big tent strategy is working. When I was a student she was an ally of the Communist Party on the NUS Executive so hopefully we can depend on her for lots of innovative new strategy proposals.

You may be right that the first 18 months or so of irritating core Conservative voters then gave Cameron leaway to put forward a more Conservative message from October 2007 onward; or I may be right that Cameron realised that he was in danger of alienating a very large number of voters, and sensibly modified his message. It's impossible to prove either way.

But, it doesn't really matter. You're content with the current position, and so am I.

You are right that he stood that danger about a year ago. But he swerved in time and whether he did that because the likes of ConHome pointed it out or because the leadership realised it for themselves doesn't detract from his good judgement in doing so.

But all the non-irritated Conservative voters in the world would not have won over new, non-Conservative voters without Cameron's decontamination of the party. We know that because of 2001 and 2005.

I believe this matters because I think Cameron deserves if not an apology from his critics, at least an acknowledgement that he was right and they were wrong on the key issue of decontamination. It is the core grand strategy has made everything else possible.

So let's hear it from ConHome and other detox-sceptics:

"Dave, we were wrong and you were right. You have earned our respect for your judgement and in future we place greater store by it. Well done. And thanks".

Go on Sean. Go on. You know it is deserved.

Another one of these process stories!

I note that the press Officer in Crewe sent the personal details of 8000 people to a radio station and breached the data protection act. that hasn't been mentioned.


As for Eustice its laughable to claim that he wrote leaflets!

As they say, luck favors the prepared. And you all hit the jackpot with a terrific candidate: a well-spoken, intelligent, humble, earnest, sincere local lad with a remarkable life story and photogenic family. I think Mr. Timpson would have won even without the 10p controversy. He was -- by far -- the better, more likeable candidate, and he represents a public relations coup for a re-energized Conservative Party.

F T P Topcliff - can we have less of your nauseating posts - Firstly, not withstanding all the resource, hard work and a solid candidate it was Gordon who lost it! Secondly, events dear boy, please take off your rose tinted glasses at this time of righteous euphoria and get real. If you want a former hard line anti-Thatcher student politician to join us, well I hope hope she has seen the error of her ways,but maybe she has just grown up and seen the light! Finally, as posted before, tax and crime and other traditional issues won it - people have finally have started to see through the new labour veneer, so lets not be labour 'lite' and be bold offering a serious and credible alternative not just a washed down version of new labour or Patrician toryism.

Perhaps a word or two also for those people who, unlike some of the named above, were not paid to attend, took days and weeks off work and who, as usual, were snubbed by the great and the good in the main camapaign centre as they were not important enough.

Those who paid their own hotel bills, their own petrol bills and their own food bills perhaps deserve more credit than those whose job it is to do these sorts of things.

Just my humble opinion.

John Moss gets full marks not just for efficiency with the telephone canvassing programme, but also for his positive and upbeat emails, where he never forgot to thank all those volunteers.

A bit of appreciation goes a long way when you are sitting at home making long distance canvassing calls for hours at a time.....

Sounds like Gordon Brown isn't the only person in politics too up himself to say "Sorry guys, I made a bad call".

Already been said by others but I thought I'd just join in the appreciation of Liam Fox on the BBC last night.

He was absolutely immense. Almost a different person.

The smell of victory really has transformed the party from top to bottom.

I'm still in shock at the haters on this site.

When they said the opinion polls didn't matter, we won the local elections with a massive majority, when they said that didn't matter we won the London Mayoral... When they said that was anti-Ken,they said that this didn't translate into parliamentary seats - we won Crewe in a Parliamentary seat, on a high turnout.

It's evident the the Tory decontamination has been a near 100% success. That alone is the biggest achievement.

there's a certain irony in being lectured about disunity on ConHome, don't you think

Conhome’s guns point leftwards. Which way do yours point?

Go and piss on someone else’s parade.

Language, "bowling"!

ConHome's guns were blunderbusses on this, unfortunately, with the emphasis on blunder.

Just being anti-left doesn't make you a good strategist.

We stood on taxes and crime in 2001 and 2005 and got hammered. The reason people are listening to us and believing us on taxes and crime now is because of decontamination. I think it behoves us all to understand the roots of our change of fortune and avoid the wishful thinking that could lead to the same mistakes again.

Suggesting that the people who crafted the strategy that beat the left aren't pointing their guns at the left is bone-headed.

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