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Held just months after a surprise general election victory, and weeks after the Labour Party voted to dive down the policy rabbit hole, Conservative Party Conference 2015 was always going to be quite an event.

It didn’t disappoint. With Manchester basking in autumnal sunshine, delegates enjoyed a policy filled, clearly focused and noticeably busy conference.  Busy also for Bright Blue – we held a record 18 fringe events and 4 invitation-only roundtables with a range of panellists speaking to packed meetings. Topics under discussion included home ownership, in-work poverty, prison reform and the nature of blue collar conservatism – the full list can be found here. A huge thank you to all our speakers and all those who took part in the discussions.

As ever, our Drink Tank on the Monday night was extremely popular, with Justice Secretary Michael Gove joining Bright Blue Chair Matthew d’Ancona to talk about the challenges and opportunities facing liberal conservatism.

It was good to see one those opportunities grasped during Conference itself, with the Chancellor George Osborne announcing a key move to support older people balance working and supporting their family – extending parental leave to working grandparents. We recommended this in our 2014 report ‘Give and Take’.

For many however the abiding memory of Conference 2015 will be the Prime Minister’s speech – a passionate espousal the potential for policies secured by a Conservative Government to transform lives overshadowed by poverty and inequality. In the words of Bright Blue Director Ryan Shorthouse:

“Cameron captured the mood of the majority, rather than the angry clicktivists fuelling Corbynism: positive about their individual futures – especially with the economy and employment growing – and the state and direction of modern Britain.

But the speech was a pitch to the margins of society, not just the mainstream. In his final term, the PM is seeking a legacy – which is not just balancing the books, but also his original passion: social reform. He is seeking to implement reforms to the prisons, welfare and education systems based on conservative principles to successfully improve the lives of the most disadvantaged.’’

It’s a liberal conservative promise that Bright Blue will support in the months and years ahead.

Matt Browne is an Associate at Bright Blue and tweets @MattRCBrowne