BLACKPOOL, October 21, 2005 ( – Britain’s beleaguered Conservatives are holding their leadership conference in Blackpool this week and early reports are pointing to overwhelming support for the youngest candidate, David Cameron, MP for Witney in West Oxfordshire. The Australian called Cameron a “Tory Blair,” and he is looking like the British Conservative Party’s best hope for electoral success in the next election.

The subtitle of Irwin M. Stelzer’s article in this week’s edition of the Weekly Standard –“Tories Meet to Select Labour’s Next Victim”– highlights the larger problem for the British Tories that is similar to that of their Canadian counterparts. Blair and his New Labour have won three consecutive elections and have left the once-mighty Tories with little realistic hope of electoral success. The Conservatives saw their total vote sink from 14 million in 1992 to 9 million earlier this year.

Last night Cameron made the front runner for his party’s leadership with support from 90 of the party’s 198 MP’s with David Davis coming up a distant second with 57 votes. Now the fight must be taken to the 300,000 Tory members who will vote in the next six weeks.

While often criticized for his lack of solid policy positions, The Weekly Standard article quotes Cameron on his support for the family saying that “marriage is a great institution,” and that the family is best able to provide the “stable, loving home ” that children need.

“I think the biggest risk for the Conservative Party, though, is not to change. If we don’t change we don’t win, it’s as simple as that,” said Cameron.

While few followers of the Tories would disagree that change is essential, few expected to hear the phrase, “modern compassionate conservatism,” coming from a British contender for office. But, as Stelzer points out, the new wave of young Conservative MPs are ardent trans-Atlantic followers of the new conservative movement already well established in the US.

Indeed, Stelzer comments, the new Tories that Cameron represents are determined to begin the “hard work” of establishing a cultural presence for true conservatism, a project that was started in the US in the late 1970’s by conservative think tanks and magazines. This project created the base from which Reagan and then George W. Bush were able to draw and has created an environment in which social conservatives have taken up the fight first for the unborn and now for the family.

Cameron, the Eton and Oxford-educated up-and-comer, has served the Tory opposition as shadow education minister and rose from long-shot outsider to front runner in the leadership race thanks to a single 15-minute speech October 4.

A YouGov poll of Conservative activists in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph gave Cameron 59 percent support while Davis trailed on 15 per cent.