WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: Arnie fails to spur Tory ‘fightback’

The spectre of Gordon Brown and a snap general election loomed over the Conservative conference this week and overshadowed David Cameron’s promise it would be the start of the ‘great Conservative fightback’.

Despite strong speeches by Tory ‘big beasts’ Michael Heseltine and William Hague (who gave Brown a good handbagging over his recent photo-op with Margaret Thatcher), it was shadow chancellor George Osborne’s promise to raise the inheritance tax threshold that grabbed the headlines. Described by The Times’ political editor Philip Webster as a ‘clever yet harmless coup’ (1 October), it signalled that the Tories would make ‘tax cuts with a difference’ (The Daily Telegraph, 1 October).

After glitches in the sound system gave the conference a ‘stuttering, soundless start’ (The Guardian, 1 October), California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a videolink appearance. Cameron introduced Arnie as ‘someone who knows about fighting back’ (BBC News, 1 October).

But behind in the polls, none of the press gave Cameron much hope in the event of a snap election. Even the grass roots think he is ‘doomed to defeat’, according to a Daily Mirror poll of 300 local Tory party chairmen (30 September).

 

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

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