In the fourth of a series of ten point guides to David Cameron’s first
year as Tory leader, ConservativeHome looks at the ‘ten biggest troughs’ of the last twelve months.

  1. It didn’t take one month before the right-of-centre press started to worry and worry again and again about Project Cameron.  Lord Tebbit launched his first serious attack on David Cameron’s leadership in January when he encouraged the Tory leader to focus more on the bread and butter issues of pensions, schools and hospitals.  He would later accuse the Tory leader of trying to "purge the memory of Thatcherism" and of alienating bedrock voters.
  2. The first results of ConservativeHome’s poll of grassroots members confirmed membership hostility to the A-list and to the leader’s policy on new grammar schools.  On many subsequent occasions the poll would illustrate the gap between Project Cameron and large numbers of grassroots activists.
  3. David Cameron’s attack on UKIP members as "cloest racists" and "fruitcakes" is widely condemned and gives UKIP the oxygen of publicity.
  4. 123_1
    The MIrror’s photo scoop that showed a Government driver following the bicycling Tory leader with clean shirt, polished shoes and briefcase – and which was later acknowledged as regrettable by the Tory leader (click on image on right to enlarge).
  5. Constant problems with the A-list including a shortage of women applicants, the unwillingness of A-listers to apply for difficult seats and a determination by local associations to choose non A-listers.
  6. A scribbled oak tree became the new Tory logo although the party could have saved itself the £40,000 charge if it had used the one ConservativeHomies devised for free.  The logo was leaked ten days before it was due to be launched.
  7. The lowest moment of the year came when the LibDems came close to unseating the Tories in the Bromley & Chislehurst by-election.  Since that by-election the Tories have done very little to address the danger of stay-at-home-supporters.
  8. The delay to the promise to leave the EPP wasn’t just about Europe – for many grassroots Tories it struck at David Cameron’s reputation for trustworthiness.
  9. The delay to the unsuccessful hunt for a London Mayoral candidate – predicted and predictable and part of CCHQ’s continuing inadequacy.
  10. Despite suggestions to the contrary, ConservativeHome calculated that Tory membership has probably fallen since David Cameron’s election.

The first ten point guide in this series looked at The Peaks of DC’s first year, the second at ‘Modernising Moments’ and the third at ‘Reassurance Moments‘.  The fifth and final post in this series will look at The Quotations of the last year.

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