James Forsyth

Tories plan Operation Tumbleweed for Labour conference 

Tories plan Operation Tumbleweed for Labour conference 
Text settings
Comments

Throughout Labour conference, the Tories will be trying to promote the message that the conference shows Labour is on the way out. Expect the Tories to pump out lots of statistics about how the number of delegates attending is down, how there are fewer commercial stands, lobbyists and the like. The other thing the Tories plan to do is constantly contrast it to John Major’s last conference, a sweet form of revenge for all those in the Tory party who worked for it during the Major years—a group that includes Cameron and Osborne. Tory researchers have been reading Major’s 1996 conference speech ready to point out parallels between it and the one that Brown will deliver on Tuesday. The Tories think this conference will be significantly less well attended than John Major’s last one and will try and use that to bolster their case that everyone now expects a Labour defeat. (To be fair, party conferences were better attended in general in the 1990s than they are now).