Sir George with James Provan MEP (left) and Andrew Tyrie, MP for Chichester (right).
Speaking at the Churchill Club in Chichester, Sir George said two conditions needed to be met if an Opposition was to defeat the Government in a General Election.
“First, the country has to be disillusioned with the Government; and, second, it has to have confidence in the Opposition. Labour did not win in 1992 because the second condition was not filled. We did not win in 2001 because the first condition was not met. In 1979 and 1997, both conditions were met.”
“Looking ahead to 2005 or 2006, the first condition may well be met. It will be difficult for the Government to live up to the high expectation that are held on public services. The truth is that there is not a lot an Opposition can do about the first. But it can do a lot about the second. What Iain Duncan Smith has tried to do since becoming the Leader is to make the Party more relevant – the theme at the conference was not tax cuts, but quality public services. His action against the Monday Club shows how anxious he is to that the Party should not be seen as extreme.”