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Actually, the "out" party always goes first. For most of our lifetimes, that has usually been the Democrats.

UKIP will light the fuse on 5th and 6th September in Bournemouth.

Christopher, by "out" I assume you are defining that as the Presidency as the Democrats have both Houses. Interesting - I didn't know that.

In a courtroom the Defence always sums up last to give the defendant the best chance...in much the same way I presume.

I'm a partisan politician so Lab and Lib conferences are only a chance to spend extra time in the garden rather than in front of the television. Apathetic voters won't watch them and genuine floating voters will just pick up nuggets from the evening news.

Going last is probably a good thing. Rather like at a trial, it's the last argument you hear before you step into that jury room which sticks in your mind.

I think we do have an advantage in going last - at the moment

Last year's conference showed that we could set the agenda and gain momentum with eye-catching announcements (such as on IHT). Cameron's speech could also immediately be compared to those of the other party leaders

Of course the risk for us would be in future years if we had similar policies to Labour (witness their "rushed copy" of our non-dom tax/IHT cut proposals). If the tables were turned then the very fact that our conference comes later would leave us open to charges that we were following, not setting, the political agenda

UKIP will light the fuse on 5th and 6th September in Bournemouth.
Posted by: michael mcgough

Is Farange the Z-List 'celeb' turning on the Christmas lights early this year?

"Is Farange the Z-List 'celeb' turning on the Christmas lights early this year?"

Given Labour and Tory energy policies this year's Christmas lights might be the last .

I'm surprised UKIP isnt opting for a telephone box!

Have justbeen watching a Newsnight story on the Olympics. One Guardian man interviewing Guardian another man. Now it's the turn of Grayson "Dolly" Perry and Livingstone sneering about the working classes. Tossers. Cameron MUST privatise it. Sorry to go off topic.

"UKIP will light the fuse on 5th and 6th September in Bournemouth."

They still exist?

Yes RichardJ. All three of them.

I think the order should rotate every year in British politics. If the Conservatives had been first up last year, the election would never have been averted.

Remeber that America only has conventions in election years, followed by the election in the Autumn.

In the UK we have conferences every year, and most elections don't take place until the spring in any case.

So in the UK I don't think it matters......

I think it can be a slight advantage to be last - particularly probably in an era of political cross-dressing when there is the danger that Labour steals our policies. Follow the conservative maxim: If it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.

In terms of personal convenience, our conference also has many more normal human beings at it who have to take holiday to attend, and it makes it further removed from most people's main summer holiday.

One thing I have noticed is that ours is earlier than it used to be (not just earlier in the week, which I understand the reason for, but in an earlier week). It used to be around 7 October (in my Conference heyday, coinciding often with both Mrs Thatcher's and Jim Prior's birthdays!) This year it finishes on Wed 1 October. Does anyone know why or how this has come about - maybe it's just that Labour has crept earlier and we have followed? That is turn could be influenced by school summer holidays ending earlier under the influence of earlier exams in the summer.

Welcome to the first conference of the season:

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