I mentioned earlier that there was a spirit of determination amongst the Tories in Blackpool, and they certainly pulled together to produce the best possible conference. This spirit of the Alamo, as it were, has produced a spectacular bounce in the polls. They’re not ahead by any means, but one poll shows them dead level with Labour. In all probability, this bounce will fade slightly, and Labour will continue to lead, but the chances of a snap election have certainly receded. In the meantime, the third party, the Liberal Democrats have slipped to irrelevance, and would be reduced to a rump on current polling levels, indicating, as I suggested a while back, that Britain is returning to two-party politics.
How did Cameron and his team acheive this? First, the Conservative right has shown a commendable loyalty that was not displayed by the left when they unseated the tastefully-named Iain Duncan Smith. Secondly, Team Cameron has realized the visceral appeal of conservative economic policy. The announcement of an intention to abolish the British version of the death tax was extremely important, appealing to conservative values of inheritance and keeping the state out of people’s pockets. The excessive greenery has been tempered, if not abandoned. In that debate, it is quite clear that the leadership has now realized that the economy is politically more important than the environment and that moral worth can be measured by a commitment to progress and growth as much as by concern for the planet.
In short, traditional conservative values have prevailed thanks to the loyalty of those who profess them. As one might say, Semper Fi!