James Forsyth

The election speculation has given Cameron an opening

The election speculation has given Cameron an opening
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Tory spring forum gives David Cameron a chance to regain the momentum. The media will be there in numbers and I suspect that the rumours of an early election mean that it will get more attention than it otherwise would have done.

Cameron’s speech is a real chance to show what the Tories are going to fight the election on. The speech isn’t as important as the one he gave at the 2007 conference when Brown appeared set to call an election, but Cameron would be well advised to reprise a couple of tricks from it. He should speak without a text—Cameron is just such a better speaker that way. He also needs to show—as he did in that 2007 speech—that he is up for an election. (Just watch the last couple of minutes of the 2007 speech to remind yourself how forcefully Cameron delivered the ‘we will fight. Britain will win’ line)

The Tories have had a bad start to the year. But a Tory government remains vastly preferable to the prospect of either five more years of Brown or the chaos of a hung parliament. Cameron’s speech at Spring Forum should set out the grounds on which the Tories want to fight the election. If it can do that, then the Tories will be on the road to recovery.