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Did Simon Heffer really write the infamous anti-liverpool piece in the Spectator? (Am I the only person not to know that...?) Conniving so-and-so for letting Boris take all the blame, and utterly disloyal for knifing him so bitterly last week.

A fascinating list.

It's really important that those of us who want smaller government and traditional conservatism more generally have better representatives than Simon Heffer.

I totally agree with what you and Iain Dale have said about Portillo.
Dale & Portillo share their admiration of Mrs Thatcher in common. The fact of the matter is that Mr Cameron has done better in a Local Election than she ever did. Iain would be big enough to acknowledge that.
I also agree about CoverItLive we had great fun in the chatroom, especially the 'Power to The People' moment when 'Liam in Preston' became the moderator! :D

'Winner: The Tory activist'

Thanks everybody! Especially to our friends in:

Basingstoke & Deane
Nuneaton & Bedworth
North Tyneside
Vale Of Glamorgan
West Lindsey
Wyre Forest

The point about Heffer is that although he is obviously inadequate at politics and journalism he is a thoroughly inadequate person. Therefore, given the power that for some reason the Telegraph gives him, he will use that power to undermine anyone better than him.

For some reason people like Heffer have been making the most rightwing noise over the last 15 years. People have noticed and branded us all as nasty and lost, probably, millions of votes.

Those of us that remember Eric Pickles as the Young Conservative Chairman, both nationally and more importantly in Yorkshire have always known that he is a star. I am just glad that the rest of you have realised it


Re: 10, Loser, Islamic extremism.

I hope Mr Johnson's election will stop the building of the Saudi financed 'mega-mosque'. It looks like being an MI5 nightmare.

As for the BBC, a commentator on R4 this morning commented that Brian Paddick was asked what his second preference was. Did I hear correctly that the answer was he voted for the Left List candidate as the one closest to his views. (What does this say about the Lib Dems?). The commentator pondered why Paddick didn’t urge people to vote for Livingstone in their second preferences, suggesting Boris wasn't sufficiently horrible enough (note the apparent BBC expectation that Tories are naturally horrible) for other candidates to recommend voting to keep him out. So it seems the BBC blames Paddick for what could have been for them a result they wouldn’t have preferred.

I agree with most of the above especially the comments about Heffer. He has done us a favour in some ways. He is gradually alienating more people as his vile nastiness unveils itself...only Heffer could have sent my dad into Dave's fold!

As for the Hares winning? Eh?
Seems the tortoises won that race chaps.

I didn't realise about the Heffer/Liverpool thing either until recently.
Seems that his nastiness to Boris has led to it being a talking point and exposed him not Boris. Ironic and well deserved.

Totally agree with your comments about Eric Pickles. He was on Any Questions a few weeks ago and put in an excellent performance.

To build on the excellent local election results in the North, we really need to give Eric more exposure. His straight talking will go down a treat with working class voters in Halifax, Bury, Bolton etc that we need to win over.

Northernhousewife: 'As for the Hares winning? Eh?
Seems the tortoises won that race chaps.'

'Eh?' back to you!

I admitted 'us hares' were losers from recent events Northern Housewife.

We haven't given up though... As I said I aim to return to the hares V tortoises thing in the week beginning 12th May.

A good list.

The climate change industry was also a loser.

Ken Livingstone said that the London election would be the first environment election and said that Boris was on the wrong side.

Boris proved that bread and butter issues like crime, transport and housing still matter most. Particularly in tricky economic times.

I broadly agree with all this - especially about Simon Heffer (what has gone wrong with him?!). And Jeremy Vine - what a demeaning and pathetic stunt that was.


On the Loser list:

Don't forget the Libdems and UKIP in London. Both saw their vote share cut significantly and both lost 2 assembly seats.

With the turnout up 30% both saw their actual vote fall in real terms in the assembly votes. For UKIP it fell in all the constituencies, for the Libdems it fell in 9 out of 14. Truly dreadful.

A relatively small swing from Libdem to Green (about 3%) could see the Greens become the third party in London!

As for winners:

Every conservative minded person in the country. The Conservatives are 1 step closer to ridding the country of Brown and Labour.

We used to take the Daily Mail and The Times each day. Then we swapped the Mail for the Telegraph, amongst other things because we were somewhat put off by the fulminations of Heffer, so it was a bit of a disappointment when he followed us to the Telegraph! Even where I might empathise with elements of a topic upon which he is spouting, I lack respect for his style of doing so.

Btw, congrats on stunning victories. Do something about constitutional inequities of devolution and EU and you'll get my vote and maybe even a couple more.

(Then we gave up The Times because it lost focus and became a tabloid in more than just format and I just get up earlier to have first shot at our only paper). H

SW, I didn't know about it either until it came out in the course of this campaign. Boris was right to take editorial responsibility, but for Heffer to not bat an eye and then proceed to knife Boris over the past week is just unacceptable.

I totally agree about Eric Pickles, I've always loved him.

I'm a hare, but fair play to the tortoises, they won this one. However, I agree with Tim - we've got to be more harish come the general election. There is the world of difference between local elections and general ones. We've continued to make steady progress in the cities and in the north which is fantastic, and is down to Cameron, but I do think a lot of our victories were accentuated by Labour's failure. Remember, for all Labour's falling apart, they still have a pretty stable majority; comparisons with the Major Government don't fit perfectly.

Nonetheless, the narrative has changed. Since Northern Rock there's been the drip-drip, but these results - particularly London - have really set it in stone. The vacuousness of the New Labour project has been revealed and rejected; people are turning back to us, some out of conviction, some to oppose Brown: we've got to ensure we keep them.

Re 2;
I don't think Mr vine was that into it. He probably thought it was ok at the election meeting, but look at his expression on the night. Like one of those weather babes told to stand by the sea wall in a storm. His face says 'this is pretty ridiculous'then transforms into all smiles right before he goes into his routine.

Regardless, it was a very bad idea all round. They haven't really replaced the 'swingometer' yet have they.

I do appreciate that you'll be returning to the heroes of the Boris campaign, but two people in particular deserve massive recognition now: Lynton Crosby and Cllr Iam Clement. Top Work Fellas!!!

Attacking Heffer is shooting the messenger. Someone has to keep the flame of true self reliant, stand on your own feet, pay you own way, Conservatism alive. We still do not know how Cameron will redress the limp wristed, benefit culture that is bringing Britain to its knees. Labour have imploded but no clear alternative is yet on offer.

Another big loser was all the people, including some Tories on this site, who think that scorning someone as a toff Etonian is a substitute for engaging in argument with them; or that somehow it disqualifies them for high public office.

Related to this, the Guardian was also a bit loser. As I have mentioned on a thread a couple of days ago, as a refugee from the Hefferesque Telegraph I have been taking the Guardian Mon-Fri for a few months. After their pathetic "yah bo sucks" performance in the last few days of the Mayoralty campaign, led by the dreadful Polly T., our paper order has been changed back to the Telegraph from Monday. Even the Torygraph would never be so tribal. But Heffer is still a big downer. Can't Heffer and Toynbee both be sacked by their editors, and leave their each of their two newspapers to prosper without their respective malign influences?

I couldn't agree more about Pickles- what an under used talent. He has the touch and feel of a natural plitician - surely he mustbe in the farme for any future Chairmans role? Not detracting from caroline Spelman, but Pickles is far more adpt and in touch. He is just the kind of man we need with their hands on the control levers of the party. Glad to see Andrew Griffiths get a mention - he is a thoroughly nice guy, and hugely comitted. Let's hope he wins in Burton, but he has done a brilliant job for the party for many years.

Do you really have to get into the "people behind campaign Boris"?

It is likely to be very subjective and reek of cronyism. Who did what favours when and who is flavour of the month

ConHome is a fantastic resource and at its best when it deals in substance, policy and analysis. In my opinion its at its worse when it gets into process, personalities and who is in favour / who is not type gossip.

Any thread will no doubt end up with subjective praise for those helpful to Con Home followed by a backlash of personal abuse in the comments from others who do not like the line taken by ConHome. These comments will presumably then be overwritten by the Editor etc.

I can't see why such a subjective analysis can be helpful. I'm sure the backroom staff involved would rather stay in the backroom in any case and leave publicity to politicians - which is how it should be.

I watched the interview with Eric Pickles on election night on Sky. He came across so well, relaxed and funny, a real asset to us. He reminded me of Karl Rove who is similarly bright as well as having a great sense of humour.

I was going to leave this until your promised series of articles after May 12th but the verdict of history tends to get made very early on and I don't want to leave it as you have it now.

The tortoises won this election no question but as Heffer, whose Waughesque manner with personal enemies tends to get in the way of the correctness of his arguments, pointed out in the Telegraph today, this election has shown only that Cameron has converted the chattering classes and the committed voters. Murdoch and the Standard are back on side. Conservatism is no longer a vice that dare not speak its name. 44% of the 35% who have an opinion on this government are now Conservative. Only 24% of the 35% who can see any point in voting are prepared to give Gordon the benefit of the doubt.
That is not a ringing endorsement of what the Tortoises are offering the country. Its not an overly enthusiastic rejection of new Labour's economic incompetence and personal venality.
It could all change in an instant. Gordon could get some luck or Labour MPs could borrow a spine and sack him. All governments do badly mid term and recover by bribing the electorate in their last two years. We won in 2004 and lost in 2005.
Yes a certain amount of euphoric congratulation is justified but to see Cameron into No. 10 a way is going to have to be found to connect with the missing 65%. Even now they don't see the point of coming out and voting Tory. The Tortoises have won this one. Any win is a victory but its not a political earthquake and its no use pretending.

Excellent article, but I particularly agree on these...

1) Eric Pickles is great. We owe him a lot for co-ordinating this. He has an enormous amount of fresh common sense, and experience of local government. I was also very impressed that in less happier times - when we lost our local government base in 1995 - he spent the entire weekend phoning council leaders to apologise.
He did the right thing in 1995 and in 2008.

2) Yes - Jeremy Vine was awful. To be fair, this was a fairly small set of elections outside London which counted later, but surely they realise that people tuning into a politics program late at night are not remotely interested in graphics or tedious gimmicks. Why not let Tony King talk for longer or go out and interview real people at counts?

3) Yes, Portillo was absurd suggesting 44% isn't enough. I had pencilled in needing 42 so as to be above 2007, and we easily exceeded it.

On the topic of internet voting, One Big Vote forecast the Conservative vote and the Lib Dem vote correctly for the 2005 GE, and it had Labour neck and neck with the Lib Dems at around 24%. In the event Labour miraculously polled plus 10% on the forecast figure. Was postal voting fraud responsible for Labour's 'victory' in 2005 - 4 million were 'cast'.

I can't agree that the "tortoises" won this election. I can't help noticing that, as with last year and IIRC the year before, the share of the Conservative vote was higher than national opinion polls indicated which - as I've argued before - suggests that good results came not from the national leadership but from the work being done on the ground, and that local activists are better trusted by local people than Cameron and his team. These are the same local activists, please note, that are distrusted by the centre as extremists.

Also note that national revival such as it is began in the autumn with Osborne's hare-style inheritance tax policy. Until then Cameron had been leader for nearly two years and was by common consent still destined to face certain defeat if Brown had called an election.

I'm sorry if this offends any Cameroonies out there, but to me the evidence suggests that this success was due to Labour failure combined with years of local hard work. Just because Cameron happens to be leader at the moment doesn't mean he deserves the credit.

Its marvellous, isn't it? The BBC spend millions on computers with brains the size of planets which could analyse early results and turn up fascinating and significant facts and they use it to project images of Desperate Dan.

Winner: Conservative Home's Interactive Chatroom - it was a fantastic idea and a special well done to Sam who showed amazing stamina and had very few breaks from moderating throughout!

Jeremy Vine's cowboy is now on YouTube. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=y7JX8D1Kb88

Thanks Simon, I've also added it to PlayPolitical.

Agree about Eric Pickles,struck exactly the right note after victory in interviews. Not triumphalist at all (neither was Cameron) which is a good thing. We still have some way to go before the people trust us I think and we should be very aware of that.
Also agree regarding the BBC.Not great at all.

Bob Blackman, GLA member for Brent and Harrow, lost his seat.

"Just because Cameron happens to be leader at the moment doesn't mean he deserves the credit."

Alex Swanson ought to have been in Nuneaton town centre on Friday, to see the "Cameron effect" for real. Ordinary (ie, not Tory Party members) people were flocking round him to shake his hand and listen to what he had to say. There's no doubt in my mind that (despite some serious reservations in the first few months after his election) DC's strategy has paid off (in terms of making us "respectable" again, in the eyes of ordinary voters). That's not to say that we didn't have to work damned hard for the result we achieved, but I'm sure we still wouldn't have got it without a successful national strategy.

There are many factors which affect our electoral success or failure; but anyone who thinks DC is not an asset to us at present is living in some sort of fantasy world.

I'm sure we still wouldn't have got it without a successful national strategy.

Anecdotes are all very well - and I have to point out that this effect is clearly having no impact in Milton Keynes, where seats won over the past few years have been the result of hard work on the ground by local activists and owe nothing to the centre - but the figures say different.

Last autumn DC had been in charge for nearly two years and was still in line to be beaten in a general election. The thing that turned it round was the hare-like policy on inheritance tax, a one-off which flew directly in the face of can't-cut-taxes ideology we've been told is indispensable. Even after that, though, and despite continual dreadful headlines for Labour, the party continually flatlined at 40% until Thursday.

Why did we get 43/44% (depending on who you read)? Where did the extra come from? Well, in 2006 and 2007 the party also scored higher in the local elections than polls would suggest. There's clearly some sort of local effect that Cameron is equally clearly not responsible for. As I've argued before, this suggests that the local activists so often attacked as "extremists" are actually more trusted by the electorate than the national leadership is. And of course, we have the 10p tax debacle.

Cameron is not responsible. He just happens to be the Tory leader who was holding the parcel when Labour's music stopped.

Good News from Calderdale.

Following our success in Todmorden last week we now have a Conservative in one of the LDs most secure wards, the home of LD Lord Shutt, former PC Sowerby and Calder Valley, Calderdale Council Party Leader.

Councillor switches party just a week after elections

10 May 2008
By Cathy Neligan [ Halifax Courier ]

A LIBERAL Democrat councillor has gone over to the Conservatives just a week after he was re-elected.
Keith Watson stood for Greetland and Stainland ward under the Liberal Democrat banner.
But yesterday he told the party he was resigning and will be joining the Conservatives, who control the council.
Liberal Democrat group leader Janet Battye said: "This is shameful, within a week of having been re-elected as a Liberal Democrat councillor.
"We feel it is disloyal to his ward residents, who thought they were electing a person under one banner and actually find he is something else.
"We have asked him to do the honourable thing and resign his seat and stand in his new colours for re-election, but he has refused."
Conservative group leader Ann McAllister said Coun Watson was in the process of applying to the party and would be sitting on the Conservative bench next week.
"I am delighted to have an able and excellent ward member joining our party," she said.
"This is a decision he has made after long consideration and my understanding is that he does not feel that the Liberal Democrats are serving the people of the lower valley that he was elected to represent."
She added: "I know he will be an asset within the Conservative group. He knows what the people want and he feels that they would be better served under a Conservative administration."
Councillor Watson was unavailable for comment.

It is interesting that they did not suggest a former member who defected from us to them, should resign. But he lost his eat back to us thio May.

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