The Tories are gathered here in Cheltenham for their Spring Forum. They are unsurprisingly in confident mood but there is a real sense of worry about just what a mess they will inherit. The dire numbers in the Budget, which in reality are even worse, seems to have concentrated minds.
Caution, however, is still the order of the day. Today has been deliberatley low key. The press have even being barred from the main speeches. (Activists told me that Michael Gove’s speech on education, the area where the Tories have their most developed and best policies, went down extremely well.)
Tomorrow sees speeches from Cameron, Osborne and Ken Clarke. It’ll be fascinating to see if the Tories begin to be bolder about what they would do once they get into office. Given the polls Tory caution is understandable. But the more explicit they are now about what they would do in government, the more of a mandate they will have to do it once they are there.
PS Interestingly it is the prospect of speeches from Boris Johnson and Daniel Hannan that seem to be exciting people here most.