Page last updated at 00:15 GMT, Saturday, 27 February 2010

Conservatives to fight general election on 'change'

Conservative leader David Cameron
David Cameron is preparing to fight his first general election as Tory leader

The Conservatives will fight the coming general election under the slogan "vote for change", the party has revealed on the eve of its spring conference.

Leader David Cameron is expected to tell delegates at the two-day event starting in Brighton on Saturday that the party can offer people real change.

Recent polls have suggested that its lead over Labour may be narrowing.

The conference begins a week after Gordon Brown revealed Labour's election slogan of "a future fair for all".

This weekend, Labour is releasing more pre-election campaign material. An image of shadow chancellor George Osborne is accompanied by the slogan "Chancer not Chancellor".

The election must be held by June but is expected to take place on 6 May.

Mr Cameron is likely to use his conference speech to inspire activists ahead of the upcoming campaign but also to set out the extent of the economic challenges facing the next government.

BBC political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue said: "This weekend's spring conference will see little in the way of new policy announcements.

'Choice'

"[It] will attempt to persuade the voters that a modernised Conservative party is not just able to deliver change, but represents change in its own right."

An Ipsos/Mori poll for the Daily Telegraph, published on Friday, suggested the Tory lead over Labour was five points - down from 28 points in September 2008.

It put the Conservatives on 37%, compared with Labour's 32% and 19% for the Lib Dems.

Our correspondent said some analysts put this down to the recent focus falling on the Tory party itself, rather than the choice between Mr Cameron and Mr Brown as prime minister.

"So expect choice to join change among the most uttered words on Tory lips in the next few weeks," he added.

Party advertising

The party fought the 2005 general election with the slogan "are you thinking what we are thinking", alongside scribbled phrases such as "it's not racist to impose limits on immigration".

They changed it in the final week of campaigning to "taking a stand on the issues that matter".

Advertising posters are also likely to play a part in this year's election. Hoardings warning voters against "Labour's tax bombshell" were credited with helping the Tories to their last general election success under John Major in 1992.

The "Labour isn't working" campaign helped sweep Margaret Thatcher into power in 1979.



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