While we still have a commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our GDP on foreign aid, I would much rather see such funds allocated to our Overseas Territories.
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Lord Ashcroft: Voters needed to see competence from the Conservatives this week. Unfortunately, there is way to go.
If it might not be the catastrophe it must have seemed, today has not made things any easier.
Plus: Johnson’s cunning plan. Crisis? What crisis? Paterson breaks into German. And when Green was chucked over a bridge.
Lord Ashcroft’s conference diary: Revealed – the MP who led the singing of Happy Birthday to the Prime Minister
Plus: I’ve worked as a postman, a barman and a swimming pool attendant, the new for new talent, and welcoming Michael Dugher.
Plus: Economics is not enough, two lots of protesters (one in first class travel), and keeping fit at Party Conference.
Lord Ashcroft’s conference diary: Of capitalism, Corbyn, my new book…and my past life as a taxi driver
Political leaders always say that the election they are fighting is the most important for a generation, but the next time Britain goes to the polls it will probably be true.
Lord Ashcroft: The general election. How the Conservatives damaged their reputation for competence without gaining one for compassion.
Nearly everything believed to exercise Labour more than the Tories was also named more often as a priority for “me and my family” than for Britain as a whole.
Most Labour voters think their party should support strike action if pay demands are not met, and most voters think private sector wages are higher.
If turnout matches 2015 it would be 78; if it matches the EU referendum just 52; or if everyone votes as they say they will, it climbs to 96.
But if turnout stays the same as the 2015 General Election, it could well be higher.
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Lord Ashcroft: My election model’s probabilities currently suggest a potential Conservative majority of 60
But there is still much to play for: we find no fewer than 70 seats where Labour and the Tories are within five per cent of each other.
Lord Ashcroft: “She called the snap election, and can’t be bothered turning up to it”. My final general election focus groups
Some voters have gone off Theresa May over the course of the campaign – but many won’t switch to Labour because of Brexit.
Lord Ashcroft: My election model’s probabilities currently suggest a potential Conservative majority of 142
Plus, we now present the different potential outcomes in each seat on a variety of turnouts.
Lord Ashcroft: “Sturgeon still keeps banging on about independence”. My general election focus groups from Scotland.
For most of those considering a change of parties, this left one viable option: “I hate to say it, but the Tories.”