The Independent Live from the Conservative Conference - Live coverage - The Independent

The Independent Live from the Conservative Conference

Live blog from The Independent fringe: How do the Conservatives win the next election. With guest speakers Steve Richards, Michael Fallon, Ian Birrell and Anne McElvoy

  • 17.43 Welcome to The Independent fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference which is due to start in a few minutes
    9/30/2013 4:39:30 PM
  • We'll be hearing from the Energy Minister - and close ally of the Prime Minister - Michael Fallon along with Ian Birrell - who advised Mr Cameron in the run up to 2010. Steve Richards, chief political commentator at The Independent and Anne McElvoy of The Economist are also on the panel.
    9/30/2013 4:45:46 PM
  • 17.55 We're off. Ian Birrell warns that the Conservatives must revive its modernising agenda if it wants to win in 2015. He makes the point that there is a danger that if they go after the Ukip vote they will lose the centre ground.
    9/30/2013 4:53:49 PM
  • 18.00 Anne McElvoy says she think Ukip will peak at the European Elections. But warns that even at three or four per cent they present a threat to the Conservatives. It is worth pointing out that it has been decades since a Government in power has grown its share of the vote following a stint in power. That is the big challenge for the Conservatives
    9/30/2013 4:56:58 PM
  • 18.05 Now we're moving on to the roll of newspapers in 2015. Will they be as important they were in previous elections. Birrell says that they will still "frame the debate" but will be less important than they have been in the past. That is good news for Miliband who is clearly going to be attacked by the right wing press in a way that Blair and Brown never were
    9/30/2013 5:01:32 PM
  • 18.55 Final questions before we wrap up. Should Cameron do the TV debates and how can the Tories win with declining membership? Fallon says Cameron should not take part in the debates if Farrage is included. It should only be the three main party leaders. On membership he says it is not a Tory only problem. And says it needs to look at other ways of getting to people,
    9/30/2013 5:53:07 PM
  • 19.02 Steve Richards asks Michael Fallon whether he could stomach another five years with Vince Cable. "I really hope not," he says. "Too many of them are of the left". And that's where it ends.
    9/30/2013 5:57:42 PM
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