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Tory conference blog- Economic team take to the stage

3pm: I am sitting in the conference hall watching a platform composed of seven – yes seven frontbenchers all making speeches.

It includes George Osborne, Ken Clarke, Teresa May. Michael Gove, David Willetts and Sayeeda Warsi and David Freud.

What a line up and a rather unusual conference format. It seems designed to enable short speeches and sound bite politics.

But this is the Conservatives introducing their top economic team.

But with a new intake of Tory MPs set to adorn the green benches – it will be interesting to see just who makes it to the Cabinet table – and Cameron plans a smaller cabinet table.

Osborne and Gove will be there but who else will be on the team.

Let’s keep watching…

David Cameron is now on stage in a surprise appearance to launch his
Get Britain Working Campaign.

But the story that the Tories are back seems to be powerfully shown by the fact the corporates are coming back to the Tories again.

A video shows CEOs from Travelodge Friends Reunited ASDA
Microsoft McDonald and a former Apprentice winner.

Business is placing its bets before the voters.

11am: The party conference circuit has moved onto Manchester. Its a bit colder up here – but the mood is certainly more bouyant than last week with Labour.

But is this conference about jobs or Europe? It is difficult to say.

The Conservative leadership is keen to get its message about jobs jobs jobs out there and what the Tories can do to support people into employment – but the voters of Ireland have rather changed the script – the headlines are also running about Europe Europe Europe in the first ful day of the Manchester conference.

Of course the leadershio is not really being helped by a range of big Conservative figures from Daniel Hannan MEP to Boris all taking to the airwaves to stoke the Europe debate.

This is the BIG week for the Tories – in many ways David Cameron may wish that this week would have been cancelled – for he is ahead in the polls and there is only the opportunity for things to go awry in this last pre election conference.

Last night I went to a Tory event at Old Trafford – needless to say Labour supporting Sir Alex Ferguson was nowehere to be seen. However the briefing focused on the need for Cameron to ‘seal the deal’ with the British public this week.

With a current prediction of a 70 seat Tory majority in May next year – Cameron and his front bench team need to work hard to get a real mandate – and this week is crucial. The Tory leader needs a ‘tv moment’ to quote Tim Montgomerie from the blog Conservative Home – something that captures the imagination of the British public and seals the deal – but he probably only has 20 seconds in his speech on Thursday to do it.

Just as I finish I hear Boris is back on his Europe bashing mantra – but at least this time he is defending the financial services industry.

More later….



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