Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Grant Shapps: Conservatives can win the 2015 general election

The new year is always a season of predictions. It’s a neat way of wrapping up the events of the past and looking forward to the year ahead. It’s tempting to use these moments to make forecasts, but as any weatherman will tell you, predicting the medium-term future can be a mug’s game.

We offer a controlled immigration policy that’s seen a quarter drop in net immigration, job creation that’s seen employment levels at an all-time high, and deficit reduction that’s seen a quarter slashed from the deficit. These are solid, hard-won achievements that we should be proud of, and that we must do more to promote.

We’re also making the case for a strong Britain in the global race. Things are changing fast in Europe and beyond. We live in a fast-paced, globalised society today. But that doesn’t mean we should roll over and let any outside power decide what’s best for our country. The Prime Minister’s use of the European veto demonstrates what it means to put Britain first. Today, Conservatives are protecting our national interest, just as our predecessors have done for centuries before us.

Contrast that with the empty rhetoric of the Labour Party. A chaotic policy review still leaves them with no policies or substance to speak of – deflecting a proper assessment of their prospects thus far.

There are some lessons to learn from the past. Mid-term governments often find the going tough. Ministers in the Thatcher administrations would have gladly exchanged our eight-point poll deficit for their far larger double-digit shortfalls – yet they still went on to return large working majorities at the following general elections. But I apply no more weight to these historical comparisons than to the claims of those who say we cannot win next time. We are operating in the present.

And in that present, there is a long and difficult road ahead. On the way to 2015, our fate will be as much determined by the journey as it is by the destination. There are challenges to come, but our objective is clear. For any commentator to claim that we won’t win the next election, or indeed for me to say that we will, is entirely presumptuous. In the end you, as a voter, and millions of others across this country, will determine who governs this nation.

Full story HERE: The Telegraph

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