There is only one topic of conversation here in Brighton, the shrinking Tory poll lead. The optimistic take is that a poll suggesting Labour would be the largest party actually makes the prospect of five more years of Gordon Brown real to people and so lets the Tories emphasise that this election is choice between them and Labour. As Cameron’s spokesperson jokes, ‘Labour’s underdog strategy has been blown apart’
The poll does give David Cameron’s speech today a whole new level of significance. Cameron will reprise his walking and talking technique that served him so well in 2005 and 2007 today. He will speak ‘from the heart’ for about half an hour. I’m told there are no new policy announcements in the speech.
PS One group of people who still think the Tories will form the next government are the Socialist Workers Party members who are demonstrating outside the conference hotel. They were chanting ‘Tory scum off our streets’ but have now changed to ‘Eton boys off our street’. As one delegate said to me, ‘If they hate us, we must be doing something right.’