It is perhaps a sign of the weakness in the Tory's current position that the conference is opended by the phrase "the great Conservative fight back". I cannnot see how the launch of a "fightback" ties in with speculation that this conference sits on the verge of an election. It just feels all wrong tactically from their perspective. Surely they should be sitting on top of a curve, hammering the government, and with the public sweeping in behind.
It is the absence of these forces that must make an election very attractive for Gordon Brown.