Tories Try to Fight Off Early UK Election

Conservatives prepare for disaster, and some prefer Brown anyway
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2007 1:58 PM CDT
David Cameron, leader of Britain's Conservative Party, takes a walk on the North Pier in Blackpool, England, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2007. The annual Conservative Party conference, which runs for four days,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Britain's Conservatives are having their annual meeting this week, and the party is desperate to put on a brave face and scare Gordon Brown away from an early election. But as David Cameron, the Tories' 40-year-old modernizing leader, prepares for his make-or-break speech tomorrow, one columnist reports that in private the party is wondering if it would be better just to lose.

For Max Hastings, a former Telegraph editor writing in the Guardian, rumblings confirm that the Tories are "baying for blood" and eager to scapegoat Cameron. What's more, many seem to prefer the dour Brown to their own leader, whose love for bicycling and green taxes makes them cringe. Hastings confirms he'll vote Tory, though he says that for Cameron "the guillotine beckons." (Read more Conservative Party stories.)