Frank Field MP, who was the first MP to support Hoon & Hewitt's plot last week, offered some support for the Conservatives today. He turned up to David Cameron's speech at the thinktank Demos, at the Conservatives' invitation. ConservativeHome's report on speech here. Mr. Field is too much of a Labour man to ever defect to the Conservatives, maybe he will be invited to play a role in any future Conservative government? He could take a job on welfare, the teaching of British history, democratic reform or even immigration.
David Cameron gave an excellent performance on Five Live this afternoon. Cross-examined by Richard Bacon and callers for an hour he came across as measured, warm and consistent. We should not underestimate the vote winner that Cameron is going to be for the Conservatives once the election campaign is up and running properly and voters are focused on a choice between him becoming PM and Brown staying at Number Ten.
CCHQ needs to reassure grassroots Conservatives on the shortlisting process for John Maples and other 2010 retirees. Conservative Grassroots reacted furiously in the blogosphere to John Maples' decision to stand down now and thus disenfranchise his local party members in their selection of his successor. Mr. Maples position at CCHQ as Head of Candidates means he should not have any role in drawing up the shortlists of three for his seat. CCHQ will want to avoid a row with local parties so close to an election.
And Finally, Conservatives take 16% and 13% leads in two new polls out tonight.
- Angus Reid Public Opinion have figures showing no change on their previous poll on a sample of 2,000. Conservative 40%, Labour 24%, Liberal Democrats 20%. Read more about the Angus Reid survey at PoliticalBetting.com.
- Meanwhile, on a sample of 1,509, Populus for The Times (here) has Conservative 41% (Up 3% points), Labour 28% (Down 2% points), Liberal Democrats 19% (Down 1% point).