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Since the Conservative party conference in Manchester, much ink has been spent and airtime filled poring over the speeches of Messrs Cameron, Osborne and Johnson. Among the Westminster cognoscenti, some relatively clear conclusions have emerged.

The Prime Minister is “at the height of his powers”, we read, his speech “shifting his party to the centre-ground, like Blair but from the opposite direction”. The Chancellor is “a safe pair of hands” and “assured”, the political sketch-writers tell us, clearly “the leader-in-waiting”. As for the London Mayor, he remains “good at telling jokes” but “will have to show more than humour if he’s to launch a genuine bid for Number 10”.
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