Lord Ashcroft reckons that with some clear direction, the Tories can see off the UKIP threat. I doubt it.
The reason that many people have left the Tory Party to join UKIP is because of Cameron himself. Because he turns people off. Why? He is a Prime Minister without direction underpinned by a lack of ideological backbone.
Just look at the EU. Cameron talks about referendums and Euroscepticism in opposition, but then delivers a government that whips its MEPs to vote for things like the European External Action Service. Similarly Cameron rolled over on increasing the EU's budget. Most recently we have the pathetic case of Abu Qatada who should just be deported, no matter what some unelected foreigners in Strasbourg have to say. Cameron lacks grit or an intellectual honesty that would reach out to people. He plays things by the bureaucratic book. It is unimaginative and uninspiring.
Look for further evidence on the issue of immigration. The government runs around claiming that it will control immigration and brings number down. But it seeks to mug the British public by rarely mentioning that when it says "immigration controls" none of them apply to the Polish or Romanians coming over. And so under Cameron net migration has increased. His dishonesty cannot hide the facts on this one.
Neither can it on the matter of the defence budget as we spend £3 billion on aircraft carrier without any aircraft, something which may be a dire mistake as Argentina eyes up another Falklands conflict. Disgustingly, servicemen and women were laid off from our Armed Forces by text message. All under the watchful eye of a Prime Minister who talks tough on defence and looking after our boys but turning his back where it matters, on cold hard cash.
The truth is that the only 'direction' I have seen Cameron give the Tory Party is one towards the hallowed 'centre ground' of hugging hoodies, tree logos, foolish foreign intervention and the giving of foreign aid at a time when so many of our own are feeling the squeeze.
On the crux issues: the EU, immigration, the London riots, defence, Cameron hasn't and will not deliver what UKIP's increasing number of supporters want. Lord Ashcroft and many others will be hoping that some direction is found and that Cameron can rally back support. But the rise of UKIP I don't believe can be thwarted by a man who does not seem to have a truly conservative bone in his body.