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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 04:35 GMT
Tories draw hope from Canada poll
Stephen Harper makes his victory speech
Can the Tories mirror Stephen Harper's success
The victory of Conservatives in Canada's general election is a good sign for British Conservatives, Michael Howard has suggested.

The ex-Tory leader welcomed news that Canadian Conservative Stephen Harper has ended 12 years of Liberal rule.

"We are seeing a recognition across the world of the failure of the centre-left to deliver," said Mr Howard.

There were also parallels between outgoing Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Gordon Brown, he said.

"The defeated prime minister is someone who was finance minister for a very long time, wanted to take over the top job much earlier than he was allowed to and, when he got the top job, proved to be a long way short of a success in it," Mr Howard told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Cross-country echoes?

The Canadian result follows in the wake of Angela Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrats' success in Germany.

"I believe we will see it in other countries, and I hope that this will be one of them," said Mr Howard.

He likened Mr Harper's decision to ditch some of his party's traditional policies to the tactics employed by new Tory leader David Cameron.

The Canadian party had "set out to look at itself and look at what the country needed and showed that it was able to offer a clear and convincing alternative to a failing government," said Mr Howard.

"I think you will readily see that that resonates here."

The British Conservatives have tried to learn from their Canadian counterparts in the past.

William Hague's 1999 slogan, "the Common Sense Revolution", was used in 1995 by the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party when took control of the provincial government.

But it failed to prevent the Tories slipping to a landslide defeat in 2001.




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