There’s no doubt that this week’s conference in Blackpool is the most important of the big three in Britain. As Phillip Stevens points out in the FT (subs needed): “British democracy has suffered grievously these past few years from the lack of an effective opposition. Try as it may, the BBC’s Today programme is insufficient substitute. So we must hope the Tories are serious”.However he concludes that the big question facing them is fundamentally whether the Tory party can actually find it within themselves to like the voters.
…is whether the activists who make the final choice have understood the lessons of three election defeats. The organising emotion of Conservatives during the past decade has been one of rising anger at modern Britain. It is hardly surprising that the feeling has been mutual. The Tory party will win back the nation’s confidence only when it has a leader who can convince voters it actually quite likes them. It would help too if he did.