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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 12:59 GMT
Cameron preparing for snap poll
Conservative leader David Cameron
Conservative leader David Cameron has been in the job for one year
Conservative leader David Cameron says his party is preparing in case Gordon Brown calls a snap election if he becomes Labour leader in 2007.

"I expect there is a strong chance of an early election... that could be one of his strategies, were he to take over," he told a media briefing.

The Liberal Democrats have already said they are preparing for a snap election.

Labour's chairman has asked activists to be ready for a poll within 16 months. An election is due by May 2010.

It is up to the prime minister of the day to decide the date for a general election.

We will show over the coming months that we are fired up with the fresh ideas our country badly needs
David Cameron
Conservative leader

Mr Cameron said the year ahead would see the party "setting out our plans for changing the country", including in education, health, the environment and security, both nationally and internationally.

He added: "Gordon Brown doesn't have any big ideas unless he is saving something for his first 100 days.

"We will show over the coming months that we are fired up with the fresh ideas our country badly needs."

'Talent pool'

Mr Cameron also said the increase in the number of women candidates in winnable seats had vindicated his controversial A-list.

Mr Cameron said criticism that the list could not be implemented without compulsion had been wrong.

He said 10% of Tory MPs were female, but in the past year 38% of those seats selecting candidates had chosen women.

"Since September, the figure for women candidates is 43% and over the last few days, five out of seven constituencies selecting candidates have selected women candidates," he said.

Mr Cameron said the party would be working with Operation Black Vote to encourage more ethnic minority candidates, conceding progress had not been in line with his hopes.

This would include the "talent pool" available to the Tories at councillor level.

Mr Cameron said: "There are good black candidates coming forward within the Conservative Party - not enough, not as many as I would like.

"We need to encourage more to come forward. We need to do more, no doubt about it."


SEE ALSO
Cameron's first end of year report
05 Dec 06 |  UK Politics
Verdicts on Cameron's first year
06 Dec 06 |  UK Politics
A-list 'not snubbing' NE England
20 Oct 06 |  UK Politics
Tories vow to learn over A-list
31 May 06 |  UK Politics
Cameron aims for more women MPs
12 Dec 05 |  UK Politics

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