(1) The mood here is much improved. Yesterday’s tax cut pledges from George Osborne have given Conservatives something very real to fight for on the doorsteps. Fraser Nelson sort of agrees but concludes: "The Tories are doomed, but very upbeat about it." An autumn election is going to be very tough but at least the Tory troops now have a lot more ammunition for the fight. I’m hoping for a lot more from David Davis later. I still think crime and social breakdown should be at the heart of our election strategy.
(2) The mood will get still better when Tory activists read their newspapers over their bacon and eggs. Sun, Mail, Express and Telegraph are all very positive about yesterday’s tax announcements.
(3) Housing continues to emerge as a key Cameroonian theme. The abolition of inheritance tax for the middle classes and the abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes of £250,000 in value have now been followed up by a commitment to abolish HIPS. Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps told conference: "The experts ridiculed them. The industry doesn’t want them. The market doesn’t need them. The next Conservative Government will scrap them."
(4) Michael Gove promised ‘grammar streams’ in every school yesterday and a central place for Winston Churchill in the curriculum. Representatives loved it.
(4) George Osborne yesterday joked that anybody who thought he’d support charges for supermarket parking must have been "off their trolley"! I’m picking up a little bit of anger amongst some of the greenest blues at Conference at what they are interpreting as a downgrading of their agenda. Both Zac Goldsmith and John Gummer are here in Blackpool. I wouldn’t be surprised if one green explodes at some point soon.
(5) Which MEP has the most fans in Blackpool? Answer: Roger Helmer! Roger and The Freedom Association have been distributing fans with the message ‘Keep a cool head on climate change’ written on to them. At a fringe meeting yesterday Iain Murray and Russell Lewis examined the enormous costs of combating climate change. Murray suggested an alternative strategy of technological investment (he welcomed Richard Branson’s encouragement of a more efficient airline fuel), resilience to extreme events and adaptation.
(6) And what of the climate in Blackpool? The weather has been cool but dry. Huge numbers of people are spilling out of the stuffy, hot atmosphere of the Imperial Hotel as a result – and on to the large car park for some fresh air or the freedom to smoke.
(7) Michael Cockerell is filming around the Imperial for one of his big BBC documentaries. It looks, I understand, at the changes David Cameron has been making to the Conservative Party. It won’t be shown before an autumn election.
(9) Both the BBC and News International are not holding parties at this year’s Party Conferences. Last night’s Telegraph party was incredibly well-attended as a result. The finest drinks were being served at Lord Strathclyde’s private party. Nick Herbert spoke at ConservativeHome’s own reception in the Churchill Room. ConservativeHome is the first website he visits on any day he said. Pictured (clockwise from top left): Debi Jones, Laura Kuenssberg, Julia Manning, Stephen Crabb MP, Amanda Platell, John Hayward, Iain Murray and Fraser Nelson.
(10) Line of the day award goes to Boris Johnson. If Mr Broon decides not to call an election he’s nothing more than a big girl’s blouse!