4.45pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Tory branding is everywhere in Manchester – even at the conference hotel bar!
2.30pm ToryDiary: Cameron makes it clear that there will be no shift of European policy in Manchester Updated at 8.15pm with reaction to the Irish referendum from Ian Taylor of the Conservative Group for Europe
- Lisbon is David Cameron's number one headache
- Pensioners will keep their home and get free residential care if they pay £8,000 insurance fee under Tory plans
- PoliticsHome survey of 33,000 voters in marginal seats points to Tory majority of 70
THE BIGGEST EVER SURVEY OF THE TORY GRASSROOTS (PART I):
- 92% of Tory members are satisfied with David Cameron
- 99% of party members expect David Cameron to be Prime Minister after the next General Election
- William Hague is the most popular member of David Cameron's team with Liam Fox and George Osborne on the silver and bronze steps
- William Hague is also the clear choice of members to be Tory leader if, God forbid, David Cameron vacated the leadership
- Tory members want spending cuts from George Osborne, not tax rises, to close the deficit
- Only 12% of Tory members want George Osborne to set out very detailed tax and spending plans
- Only 16% of Tory members say ratification of Lisbon should be accepted
- 68% of Tory members want a fundamental change in Britain's relationship with the EU
PART II FOCUSING ON WIDER POLICY PRIORITIES TOMORROW.
David T Breaker on CentreRight reminds us of Manchester's free market history: "There was a time when free trade and capitalism were the cause of the disadvantaged and working class, the theories of Adam Smith et al articulated in a way that emphasises the wealth creation and spreading of prosperity, the power of capitalism as a rising tide to lift all [willing/able] ships. This is Manchesterism."
“There could be no worse way to sell the EU to the people of Britain.”
William Hague on the prospect of Tony Blair becoming EU President, quoted in The Times.
"what a final insult it would be for voters to eject Labour from office next year, only for the party's former leader to be installed as EU president, with more power than David Cameron in many areas." – Daily Mail leader
French Europe Minister attacks Tory policy on Europe – FT
Controversial rightwing MEPs denounced by foreign secretary will attend Conservative party conference – Guardian | William Hague accuses David Miliband of insulting the Latvian Government
Conservative Campaign HQ hires private photographer to record David Cameron's behind-the-scenes bid for Number Ten
"David Cameron has hired a press photographer who charted his journey to the threshold of No 10 to work full-time for the Conservatives. Andrew Parsons, who has worked for The Times and the Press Association, is to provide behind the scenes images of the Tory leader to the media as he fights to win power." – Times
Jeremy Hunt warns of tough times ahead for BBC – Guardian
LISTEN: Nick Watt talks to Tory Culture Spokesman Jeremy Hunt (Guardian).
Hunt lists the scale of the electoral mountain facing the Conservatives
and the need for a mandate to lift Britain out of the budget deficit.
Peter Oborne: Cameron does not need to spell out every detail but he does need a Thatcher-style mandate
"She didn't (as some commentators are advising Cameron to do) set out her plans for government in detail. 'We Conservatives don't have a blueprint for instant success,' she said. 'There isn't one. However, she was unashamedly honest about the general principles that lay behind her approach to government. She made it plain that she would cut costs to bring the national books back into balance and - the biggest problem of all back in 1978 - confront the over-mighty unions who had made Britain ungovernable." – Peter Oborne in the Daily Mail
Max Hastings: David Cameron must show his ruthless streak by cutting NHS spending and increasing VAT – Daily Mail
Patrick O'Flynn: Cameron must stand up for the hard-working majority against the "feckless millions" – Express
The Conservative Party has yet to engage the enthusiasm of the nation – Times leader
But The Times' Matthew Parris says that the absence of enthusiasm is no bad thing: The lower their hopes, the less likely they are to be disappointed.
If Cameron becomes Prime Minister he will have fifty MPs from a City background
"Assuming a bare Conservative working majority – 326 Tory seats versus 234 Labour – the incoming government would have about 140 MPs from business backgrounds, including a substantial 50-plus cohort with experience in banking, finance and insurance. The preponderance of MPs from teaching and other public sector backgrounds under Labour rule would end. The greater the Tory majority, the bigger the City and business contingents of MPs, the research suggests." – FT
Michael Brown pays tribute to the Tories' organisational readiness
"The Tories' secret weapon remains the strength of their grass-roots organisation and financial good health. Whatever the predictions of the opinion polls – which are not quite as solid as the Tories would wish – the state of local readiness is probably the best I have ever known and certainly much better than in the autumn of 1978. Of course, electoral technology is out of all recognition to those faraway days. But even though the internet was unheard of, armies of party workers brought voters out in their droves with 80 per cent turnouts then the norm. This time, in spite of an apathetic electorate, the Tories have the advantage in enthusiasm and organisational terms." – Michael Brown in The Independent
SNP leader Alex Salmond accuses David Cameron of taking voters for granted after Tory leader suggested talks to discuss a working relationship – Scotsman
Liam Fox brands Gordon Brown a “coward” over Lockerbie silence – The Herald
'Cameron's class problem'
"when David Cameron speaks to his party conference next week, he will have to overcome a class difficulty – not so much that he is an Etonian, but that he is part of our professional, permanent political class." – Charles Moore in The Telegraph
Polly Toynbee warns against the "viciously sharp teeth" of the Tory lambs
"Between the lamb-like social reassurances given to we Guardian journalists and the reality of Conservative government falls the shadow of George Osborne and his axe. In the shadows, too, loom Rupert Murdoch, Lord Ashcroft, Chris Grayling, Bill Cash, John Redwood, Daniel Hannan, their weird new European group, their hedge-fund backers and a great many other forces with darker intentions and lip-smacking expectations. The lambs will get it in the neck at first blooding." – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian
New Tory website MyConservatives.com collapses on launch – Telegraph
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: MyConservatives.com has gone live
Chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference says Tory schools plan is inadequate for challenge facing Britain – Daily Mail
Geoffrey Lean criticises sacking of Peter Ainsworth in review of Tories' green credentials – Telegraph
Channel 4 will show film about David Cameron's Bullingdon days on Wednesday evening – Daily Mail
Tory Conference is a big money affair with corporate day sold out and a first ever shopping mall
"The party’s “Corporate Day” next week, when businesses pay £1,000 a head to meet George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, is a sell-out. All available space for exhibition stands at the Tory conference has also been bought with a record 118 exhibitors, compared with about 100 at the Labour conference last week. The Tories have for the first time opened a shopping mall in the conference centre. There are 17 stores, including Marks & Spencer, Harvey Nichols, Carpetright, Blackwell, Asda, Tesco, Austin Reed, Crombie, and WHSmith. The mall is a first for any political party conference in Britain and reflects how the corporate sector is banking on a Tory victory next year. The Tory conference also has 371 fringe meetings within the secure zone, all of which are sponsored and hosted by businesses such as Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Tesco, and pressure groups. Fringe meetings cost between £5,000 and £7,000 to host, which is split between the sponsors, to pay for hiring the venue and for food and drinks." – Times
Obituary for Piers Merchant – Independent
Plans to stop life peers from quitting the House of Lords and being elected as an MP soon after are set to be dropped – BBC
Vote Labour because left-wing politicians are better looking says The Mirror!
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