Tony Caldiera: Conservative Party conference 2012 diary - Day one
Welcome to the Conservative Party Conference diary for the 2012 where for the next four days local Conservatives hope to bring you our account of the events as they unfold here at the ICC in Birmingham.
The Tory conference comes just days after the "Goldilocks" conference of the Labour Party in Manchester. "Goldilocks" because Ed Miliband did enough to convince the Labour Party to keep him but not enough to convince the voters to vote for him!
Miliband's desperately poor performance on the Today programme the day after the Labour conference showed the real Ed Miliband - Clumsy, awkward and unsuitable for the job of leadership! Good old "Red"!
On arrival in Birmingham the feeling amongst the Tory faithful is that half way through this
parliament there has been a lot of hard work done but there is still a lot more hard work left to do.
The conference starts with the convention, an event for key activists. Just as the meeting starts the Prime Minister arrives in upbeat mood. He is clearly proud of the record of his government listing some of its achievements to date.
He talks about the deficit being reduced by a quarter already, about two million people no longer having to pay tax, about the largest ever increase in the state pension, about capping welfare, reducing immigration and securing funding for the NHS. The Prime Minister is keen to talk up the record of his two and a half years in office. David Cameron is on the offensive!
Then the new Party Chairman addresses the convention and Grant Shapps already has one eye on the general election of 2015, letting the delegates know that his countdown clock has been installed at Conservative Central Office.
He also highlighted the freezing of council tax for a third successive year and the 10p a litre less motorists have to pay for fuel (with the scrapping of Labours fuel duty rises), examples of how the government is helping bring down the cost of living for everyone in Britain.
The tone had already been set by lunchtime on Sunday - positive on the government's record, with a focus on winning the general election in 2015.
In keeping with this theme the most popular fringe event of the day is hosted by Conservative Home and featured Chris Grayling and David Davis. Called "A Plan to Win the Next General Election", this high quality event was jam-packed and included a debate with contributions from pollsters, the Fabian Society and the floor.
The main conference also featured an interactive afternoon session on the same subject, this time with Grant Shapps and Andrew Feldman. One thing is clear - the Conservatives are committed to being in government without their Liberal Democrat coalition colleagues in 2015. The preparation for the 2015 general election campaign starts here!
Then for me it's some media, with clips for Monday's Today programme and of course this diary. Thanks to the Post and Echo for keeping their Party conference coverage balanced.
Tony Caldeira is president of the City of Liverpool Conservatives.