Aeddressing a capacity audince at the Overton home of Lady Portal, Sir George described the transformed mood of the Conservative Party - both in Parliament and in the constituencies he had visited since November 6th.
"That date may turn out to be the one which history marks as the turning point in the political fortunes of this country. It was the date when the Conservative Party unanimously elected a new Leader; the date when the simmering row between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor burst into the public domain; and the date when interest rates stopped falling and began to rise."
Sir George went on to say that simply changing the Leader was not of itself enough. "We have to convince people that we deserve to be elected, that we can run the country better than this Government and that we have policies that people identify with."
To do this, he said we needed to develop themes. "There are many people who do not regard themselves as Conservatives - but they will vote for us if they believe we have the right policies for them. Teachers, doctors, nurses and policemen, who cannot use their professional skills because they are constrained by over-prescription from Whitehall; people who live in the countryside and don't want to see it overdeveloped; people whose savings have been eroded by some of Gordon Brown's tax increases; people who are worried that Parliament is being marginalised by Government."
Attending the event were the Association Chairman Margaret Milner-Williams; and Captain Michael Boyle, the former Chairman of Hampshire County Council.