What was a very stage managed conference for the Conservatives generally went well. At the beginning of the week it looked as if there might be a damaging row over Europe, but this was averted. It wasn't possible to stop everyone drinking champagne, but the small touches generally went well: for example, Samantha's £60 Marks and Sparks dress compared with the £600 designer outfit worn by Gordon's wife.
The intention of Dave's speech (and that of George Osborne) was to provide the appearance of a 'government in waiting' and it that it largely succeeded. David Cameron was also able to establish a connection with a wider audience by talking with effective feeling about the death of his son. The personal truly is the political.
The speech was in general short on specifics and that was expected. There are a lot of policy gaps to be filled in and more will have to be said before the election if the Conservatives are to retain credibility. There are also fears that by applying the brakes too sharply they could bring the weakly recovering economy to a juddering halt and even send it into reverse.
Their fundamental problem remains that much of their poll lead is built on negative feelings about Labour rather than real enthusiasm for the Conservatives.