LAING Eleanor7.45pm MPsETC: Tory MPs react to Eastleigh – urging rebuilding of ground operation, focus on economy and greater sensitivity to traditional supporters

5pm Adrian Hilton: A good cultural education makes good individuals and a good society

3.30pm Adam Afriyie MP on Comment:

  • We need to face up to the reasons why we lost and take action to make changes as quickly as possible….
  • I want the Party to concentrate on policies that can deliver economic growth for the country sooner rather than later…
  • David Cameron is doing a good job in difficult circumstances and we must all work together and make every effort to help him and our Party get it right.

…What we can learn from Eastleigh

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 12.56.05


12.45pm Lord Ashcroft on Comment: Here's why Eastleigh voted the way it did

11.45am Local government: New guidance on Town Hall Pilgrims

11.15am WATCH: Nigel Farage claims that UKIPy won support from ALL parties and from previously non-voters

10.15am MajorityConservatism: A lesson from Eastleigh. The Conservative grassroots are withering – and the party leadership has no plan to revive them


Cameron boxing Farage 2

ToryDiary: Cameron's Conservatism is too small, too narrow, too unambitious, too unbalanced, too inconsistent

MPsETC: Lib Dems hold Eastleigh; UKIP come second; Tories come third

May Theresa Home OfficeAlso on ToryDiary: Net immigration falls by a third. Theresa May is delivering.

Brandon Lewis MP on Local government: Adur and Worthing are Councils of the Week

Fiona Hodgson on Comment: Sexual violence has become a weapon of war, reaching unimaginable scales

Heresy of the week on The Deep End: The welfare state was created by capitalism, not socialism

"David Cameron suffered a humiliating defeat in the Eastleigh by-election in the early hours of this morning after his party was beaten into third place by the Liberal Democrats and Ukip"Independent

"Tory backbenchers are seething at the party’s failure to take shamed Chris Huhne’s constituency from the Lib Dems – a key target for them in the 2015 general election. And they will be staggered that anti-EU UKIP edged ahead of them into second, claiming more than a thousand more votes than the Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings." – The Sun

  • Lib Dems and Conservatives both saw a 14% fall in share of the vote – Daily Mail
  • Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings, who came third, decided not to speak to reporters after the count at Eastleigh – and the result was an almighty scrum – ITV

Q5083121Has the Tories' shift to the Right failed?

"When David Cameron pledged to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership earlier this year, the strategy was simple. He wanted to head off the growing threat from Ukip and shore up the restless Conservative backbenchers. Last night came the first signal that the strategy may have failed." – Robert Winnett for The Telegraph

"UKIP have shown that they are now—at least, when it comes to by-elections—a serious force. In Eastleigh, they’ve gone in a short campaign from 3.6% of the vote in 2010 to 28% tonight. One imagines that if there was another by-election in a Liberal-Conservative marginal, UKIP could take it. They’ve also in Diane James found a serious, impressive female voice for the party." – James Forsyth at Coffee House

Eastleigh proves yet again that Europhile parties are elected when the Eurosceptic vote is dividedJohn Redwood

And Toby Young says the same: "If the Right is divided, the Left will win".

AND Dan Hannan MEP: "As long as the Eurosceptic vote is fragmented, the Euro-enthusiasts will keep winning".


> ConservativeHome in May 2012: "We need game-changing events over the next three years to change the great fact that the Cameron-Clegg Coalition has united the Left and divided the Right."

> ConservativeHome in November 2010: "The strategists in Cameron's circle rightly believe that there's a danger in wooing ['ANTI' voters] because they might erode the progress that the party has made within 'Liberal Britain'. I would agree that the danger is real but I would also argue that no centre right party has ever won a majority without making big inroads into this 'pound-stretching class'. Thatcher had her Essex Man. Reagan had his 'Reagan Democrats'. John Howard had his Battlers. Stephen Harper won over the 'Tim Horton Voters'."

> ConservativeHome in November 2010: Cameron's "target voter is the voter who wavers between blue and yellow. At some point, however, there's a danger that he'll start losing more to UKIP and abstention than he'll gain from the Liberal Democrats."

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 07.43.45Meanwhile… The Left unites?

  • Liberal Democrat blogger Stephen Tall: "Most Labour members I’ve spoken to were half-cheering on the Lib Dems. Partly, yes, to mischief-make against the Coalition. But also partly because, once again, an anti-Tory coalition is beginning to form. That isn’t the same as saying a Lib-Lab pact it’s on the cards – there is still a fair amount of lingering bitterness on both sides – but we are beginning to recognise a common enemy: reactionary conservatism, whether in the guise of Ukip or the Tories."

Philip Collins in The Times (£) suggests an intellectual Lib/Con alliance: "The Tories and the Liberal Democrats should fight 2015 on the same intellectual ticket. This does not mean the same manifesto. There will be plenty of scope for rows about mansion taxes and Europe. It does, however, mean that there is profit for the coalition in casting the 2015 general election as one that pits the prudent against the profligate; the deficit realists versus the deficit deniers. No majority is available for any one party, but there may well be a majority available for that argument."

Nile Gardiner: Conservatives must take a harder line on EU membership

"There is no prospect of real reform in the European Union, and his policy of fighting for renegotiation is a red herring. A majority of Britons want to leave the EU, and if the Conservatives are going to fight the next election pledging to stay in the union, large numbers of their supporters will desert them." – Nile Gardiner for Telegraph blogs

  • David Cameron must reconnect with Tory heartland values, or else his time may be up – Tim Stanley at The Telegraph

Do southern voters know what one nation Labour is meant to be about? More policy grit would be welcome – Patrick Diamond in The Guardian offers some Eastleigh lessons for Labour.

Ashdownea"Don't panic, Lib Dems. All this manure just makes us grow stronger"
– Paddy Ashdown in The Guardian

  • Cameron yesterday refused to back Nick Clegg’s handling of sex harassment allegations against top Lib Dem Lord Rennard – Express
  • The Daily Mail
    continues its onslaught against the Liberal Democrat leader: "To put it
    bluntly, Mr Clegg lied and lied again to the British people".

Cut the tax on beer, petrol and flying, Osborne is warned as Tories demand action on rising cost of livingDaily Mail

> Yesterday's ToryDiary identified a "cost of living caucus" as one of three parliamentary Tory groups.

  • Fraser Nelson urges George Osborne to go Nordic and cut taxes – Telegraph

Migration at lowest level for a decade: Curbs on non-EU students and workers cut number of new arrivals by 74,000Independent

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 07.48.16"The number of people coming to live here fell by 74,000 in the 12 months to June last year as curbs on students and workers from outside Europe began to bite. But there were warnings that the Government’s successes may be reversed when the labour market is thrown open to workers from Romania and Bulgaria at the end of this year." – Daily Mail

Writing for The Spectator Andrew Green of MigrationWatch claims that the Coalition's immigration policies are working very well.

The Sun also celebrates progress: "There are plenty of areas where the Coalition is failing. But immigration isn’t one of them."

> Read today's ToryDiary on the good immigration news.

Limits on bankers’ bonuses would undermine the competitiveness of the City without making banks saferTimes leader (£)

  • "It is not the job of central government, either in Brussels or in Westminster, to set remuneration policy in a commercial industry" – Independent leader
  • Boris Johnson has launched a classical attack on the European Union over its plans to cap bankers’ bonuses, invoking the memory of the Roman emperor Diocletian – Telegraph
  • City jobs at risk from bonus cap – City AM

The FT (£) describes the cap as a diplomatic defeat for Britain: "If
a bonus cap is a diplomatic defeat, it is one for which the UK bears
much of the blame. David Cameron, prime minister, has misjudged the
European parliament, whose power was boosted by the Lisbon Treaty and
which insisted on a bonus cap as a condition for putting global capital
rules into EU law. Pulling his party out of the EP’s main centre-right
grouping handicapped his ability to win over parliamentarians, had he
had any interest in doing so."

EU chief, Herman Van Rompuy, uses speech to attack Britain as a 'grumbling island' and Cameron's plan for clawback of powersDaily Mail

  • "David Cameron’s promise of an in/out referendum on Europe has boosted public support for staying in the EU, according to The Independent’s latest poll of polls." – Independent

Government 'misrepresenting' the poor, say churchesBBC

100,000 people have now signed an online petition calling for a debate on the 'granny tax'Express

Leading architect of NHS changes has warned they may be undermined by new competition rulesBBC

  • "Care is so poor in some hospitals that as many as one in three staff say that they would not want their family to be treated there" – Times (£)

UK has FIVE times as many 'special needs' pupils as EU average: Schools accused of classifying poor performers as having learning difficultiesDaily Mail

A Conservative MP Karl McCartney has been rebuked by the Commons expenses watchdog for writing “abusive and offensive” messages to its staffTelegraph


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