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Cameron tells Conservatives he's ready to rul -

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SHANE MCLEOD: The man widely tipped to become Britain's next prime minister has been addressing his
supporters at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

A general election needs to be called in the UK before May next year and David Cameron is firming
as the favourite to be the next resident at Number 10 Downing Street.

The Conservative leader told the crowd at the conference that he was ready to lead the party to
victory, pledging to take the tough decisions needed to fix a broken Britain.

Europe correspondent Emma Alberici reports.

EMMA ALBERICI: After four years as Opposition Leader David Cameron remains a bit of an enigma to
the British public.

(Music and cheering)

He got a rock star's welcome at the Tory Party conference. He's determined to prove that he's the
right man to lead the country.

He listed a troop surge in Afghanistan as his top priority and vowed to get the UK out of its
economic shambles.

One in five young people are out of work and Britain's budget deficit stands at $310 billion - the
highest in the developed world.

DAVID CAMERON: None of this will be easy. We will be tested. I will be tested. I'm ready for that
and so, I believe, are the British people. So yes there is a steep climb ahead but I tell you this:
the view from the summit will be worth it.

EMMA ALBERICI: But for all the tough talk about savage cuts in public spending the only reference
to that in the Tory leader's speech was a freeze in parliamentary salaries.

Under 12 years of Labour and its big government philosophy, Mr Cameron said that people in Britain
no longer knew how to take responsibility for themselves.

DAVID CAMERON: I won't promise things that I cannot deliver. But I can look you in the eye and tell
you that in a Conservative Britain if you strive to earn a wage you will be better off. If you save
throughout your life you will be rewarded. If you start your own business we will be right behind


EMMA ALBERICI: David Cameron calls his style of politics compassionate and progressive

Simon Hoggart has been watching these conference speeches for the past 20 years. He's The Guardian
newspaper's parliamentary columnist. He thought it all sounded strangely familiar.

SIMON HOGGART: He's learnt the lesson from pollsters that only optimists win elections. And what he
was saying was we've got a tough mountain to climb but when we get up there the view will be
fantastic. It's wonderfully vague. He's become exactly like Tony Blair.

EMMA ALBERICI: He claims to have learned the lessons of Tony Blair.

SIMON HOGGART: I'm sure he has. But you've got to remember that he, David Cameron, the Tory Leader,
was the guy who stood up, led the House of Commons in a standing ovation when Tony Blair finally
quit as prime minister two and a bit years ago. So this is a man who really, really admired Tony
Blair whatever he now says.

EMMA ALBERICI: Given we're only months away from a general election, given also the state of the
polls, it would seem that this really is an election now for David Cameron to lose.

SIMON HOGGART: Absolutely. But the one thing they are scared of is that all their polling shows and
all the public polling shows that people dislike the Labour Government very much indeed but they
don't really love the Tories at all.

EMMA ALBERICI: David and Samantha Cameron left Manchester looking quietly confident that by May
next year they could well be the new first couple of Britain.

This is Emma Alberici in Manchester for The World Today.