Now call me an ultra-loyalist if you want but I think that Michael Howard's performence in Harrogate this weekend was fantastic - just what the activists wanted to hear and, to be honest, Labour have got a long way to go to beat him.
Their original plan was to sell him as some kind of un-re-constructed Thatcherite vampire, but that hasn't worked. Next was the charge of being "Mr Poll Tax", but with the current Council Tax outrages that didn't go down too well either. Now comes the whole opportunism attack, which I believe will also fail. All this name calling from a so-called grown up political party. So dirty I don't believe it doesn't come straight from the Lib Dems!
The Parents and Patients Passports, plus the pledge to reverse cannabis laws, plus the tax efforts are really going down well on the doorsteps - people are looking at Michael Howard as the next PM.
Nobody denies that the maths makes it difficult for the Conservatives - they'd be mad not to target enough seats to have a working parliamentary majority, but I think they should also target enough Lib Dem MPs to put them back to the rump they deserve to be. I believe that the Conservatives can win back seats like Ludlow and North Norfolk in the same way they did the Isle of Wight and Taunton last time.
These Euro elections will be vital. I'm very disappointed that Mr Bandwagon himself - Martin Bell - is choosing to fight the Eastern Region. Didn't the voters of Brentwood give him the message last time? He doesn't even live in the region - and only pledges to move to either Norfolk or Suffolk if he wins. Like him, I hate this system of election, but there is no way he'll get my vote. Interestingly my neighbour said the same thing this morning - his desire to be elected is greater than his desire to serve. Not good enough, Mr Bell.