What the Tory strategists call `Project Cameron' is seen as a winner, with modest but sustained poll leads to back it up.
So will it work? Let's look at three areas: elections, polls, and policy. In Bromley, Cameron's Tories had the opportunity to present the new face of Conservatism to the electorate in their own heartlands. There was an 11 per cent swing away from the Tories. If 300 people in Bromley had switched from Tory to Lib Dem, the Tories would have lost one of the safest seats, and Cameron's bandwagon would have crashed. Bromley was a real test of Cameron's appeal amongst Tory voters, and he failed it.
Second - the polls. Cameron's Conservatives have broken through Labour's decade-long lead in the opinion polls. They've been ahead by between 5 and 10 points for a few months. But let's not forget that opposition parties usually lead in the polls over government parties mid-term. Neil Kinnock and Michael Foot were ahead of Margaret Thatcher. Michael Howard was ahead of Tony Blair. But those poll leads were reversed at the general elections. So Cameron's poll leads do not indicate that the country is crying out for a Tory government. June's MORI polls puts Labour ahead of the Conservatives by 4 points.
Third - policy. Again, the strategy is clear: kick all the hard decisions into the long-grass by appointing `commissions' to deliberate until the election. By `travelling light' Cameron can refuse to be drawn on the big political decisions on tax, pensions, Europe or public services, and say `wait and see'. The Tories claim it is more important for Cameron to establish an `aroma' than come out with policy ideas which can be torn to pieces, as we did with his Patients' Passport in 2005. When Cameron does come out with a policy - for example, vouchers for starving people in Africa to swap for aid, tearing up the human rights act, or allowing milk floats to use bus lanes, he simply can't cut it. Today's big policy announcement is ripped to shreds, (often by his own side), and tomorrow it is quietly ditched.
Once you get past the photo-opportunities, the stunts, the celebrity endorsements, and the `aroma', you find that Cameron's appeal is gossamer thin. People are not stupid. They say to me: if he's prepared to change his mind on policy, then why should we trust him with our jobs and mortgages? A Bournemouth taxi driver the other day told me Cameron reminded him of an estate agent: full of smiles and chat, prepared to say anything to make the sale, but nowhere to be seen when the roof falls in.
And that's how we will fight back: Labour substance versus Conservative spin. Labour taking tough decisions versus Conservatives dodging the issues. Labour values versus Conservatives prepared to do and say anything to get power.
We may buy and sell our houses from estate agents - but would you put one in charge of the country?
Hazel Blears is MP for Salford and Chair of the Labour Party