"This seat and others like it are absolutely key to victory in this election and they are key if you want to bring real change to our country.
"Because our country is crying out for change. Just look at the problems that we face. Look at the challenges in our economy, where we’re mired in debt, where the recovery is so sluggish, where it’s so jobless as we saw through the forty three thousand increase in unemployment this week.
"We need change in our economy. Look at the state of our society and the social problems that we face, whether it’s crime or anti social behaviour, whether it’s family breakdown. We need change to bring the big society to build a stronger society.
"And look at the mess of our politics, where following the expenses scandal people are so downhearted, so disparaged, so cynical, so apathetic about our politics they want to be back in control and they want change in our politics.
"And I just ask you this, will we get change through another five years of Gordon Brown, another five years after thirteen years of failure? Of course we wouldn’t. And will be get change, real change, change you can count on from a hung Parliament? Change when politicians are just going to be bickering and horse trading and arguing?
"Well I know some people out there think that a hung Parliament might be a change. I would say this, there is one group of people who would love a hung Parliament. And that’s the politicians. They could sit in Westminster, they can haggle, I’ll have this job, you have that office, bit of pet spending on my project over here, bit of pet spending on your policy over there. The politicians would adore it. The people who would be let down are those people who want to keep interest rates low and get our economy going, those people who want proper strategy in Afghanistan so we sort that out, those people who want to see change in our societies.
"And we need to win this argument in this election campaign that a hung Parliament isn’t a change for the better, it would be a change for the worse and one of the things you couldn’t guarantee in a hung Parliament is you couldn’t guarantee that you didn’t wake up on May the 7th and find that Gordon Brown was still your Prime Minister for another five years. What sort of change is that?
"So we need to win the argument, that the change Britain needs, real change you can count on, would be change from a Conservative Government with a decisive majority, a Government that could actually take decisions for the long term, a Government that could get the economy moving, a Government that will tackle our social problems, a Government that will be able to take the bold steps to get this country back on track.
"And just think about the issues where we need this change and what a hung Parliament would mean. We need big change in our economy, a Conservative Government would get on, roll up its sleeves and start tackling the waste so we avoid Labour’s jobs tax. A Conservative Government would get to grips with our debt and our deficit that is hanging over our economy like a black cloud. A Conservative Government would, yes, have an emergency budget and it would be a budget about getting our economy moving, saying to new business take on ten people and you don’t have to pay any National Insurance, an emergency budget that says to small business we’re going to cut the rate of corporation tax you pay to get you investing, to get you growing. That’s the decisive change our economy needs.
"Think about the threat of a hung Parliament to our economy. A hung Parliament where there’s’ no agreement about getting on with dealing with the debt and deficit. A hung Parliament where there’s growing uncertainty about Britain’s economy future and our ability to pay our debts. That’s not a change for the better; it’s a change for the worse. And there’s no prospect in a hung Parliament of avoiding Labour’s job tax. Be in no doubt, this increase in National Insurance coming down the track is the biggest threat to our economy. It’s a jobs killer, it’s a recovery killer, it’s an economy killer. And what do the Liberal Democrats say about the National Insurance increase. Well when those one hundred business leaders, including the heads of Marks and Spencer’s and Sainsbury’s and Mothercare, when they all said that this was going to kill jobs in our economy the Liberal Democrats said that was nauseating. Now they say it’s their aspiration to get rid of the jobs tax. Have you ever hears of a political party going in to an election with a nauseating aspiration? That’s not the change that we need. Think of the big social problems we have and think of the decisive leadership a Conservative Government would bring.
"Now we’ve set out a big argument at this election, a big change at this election. We’ve said to people that your politicians have been taking you for mugs for too long by saying leave it all to us, we’ll just pass one more law, one more regulation, spend a bit more of your money and everything will be solved. We all know that’s not true. Real change comes when we all play our role in that change, when we break open the education monopoly and invite new schools in to give a first class education in the state sector for all our children.
"Real change comes in welfare when actually we say the old ways aren’t working and it’s not acceptable for people who can work but who refuse to work to go on claiming benefits, so we’re going to break open the system and get the private sector, get the voluntary section, get the experts in to help get Britain back to work.
"This is the big idea at the heart of our campaign. The way you get safer streets, the way you get better schools, the way you get better hospitals is not the old way of top down state control, it’s breaking open the system and recognising we’re all in this together to bring the change that we need.
"And would a hung Parliament lead us to solve these great problems? Take the crime situation. I don’t know about you but I don’t think our response to crime is tough enough. I think that if you go around carrying a knife you should be sent to prison. Now what change would we get from a hung Parliament? We could have a situation where you’ve got a Labour Government that actually released eighty thousand criminals early, helped by a Liberal Democrat Party that actually thinks we shouldn’t send people to prison for six months at all, and thinks that violent crime and burglars and others should be on our streets. Now is that a change for the better? Of course not, it’s a change for the worse.
"Think about the need to reform our immigration system where it’s only the Conservatives who are saying we need to have a cap on immigration, we need to grip this problem. In a hung Parliament you could have a situation where you’ve got a Labour Government that has failed to do this for thirteen years backed up by Liberal Democrats saying it’s time for an amnesty on illegal immigration that would make the system even worse. That’s not change for the better, that is change for the worse.
"So my friends we’ve got to get out there and we’ve got to win the argument that the way you get change, the way you are absolutely certain you don’t have Gordon Brown as your Prime Minister, the way you don’t have the paralysis of a hung Parliament is a decisive, Conservative victory.
"And just think about his last area of change. The area in our politics where we need change so decisively, where people are so angry about what happened over expenses. And it’s not just that people say to me I pay my taxes and I don’t expect my politicians to waste the money in the way you did, it’s that people feel they don’t have control of the political system. And we need to say that we will put the people in charge, not the politicians. We know in the Conservative Party that the people are the master, the politicians are the servant.
"Now would a hung Parliament be progress here? A bunch of politicians sitting around working out how they can change the electoral system so you the people will never have the chance to decisively throw a Government out of office again. That’s not change. The change we need is to put people in charge.
"So if you get a Conservative Government here’s what we’ll do to make sure you are in charge of your politicians and not the other way round. First when it comes to picking candidates we say let’s end the process of people in closed door, behind closed doors picking the candidates, let’s throw it open with open primaries and postal primaries, particularly in so called safe seats. That puts people in charge, that means that whether you vote Labour, whether you vote Liberal, whether you think all politicians are awful, you have the right to choose the next Conservative candidate. That puts people in charge. And let’s be clear, those Members of Parliament who misbehave, who do something wrong, if they are criticised in Parliament you, the people, should not have to wait for another General Election before you throw them out, you need the right of recall so you can throw them out between a General Election, and that’s the power that we’ll give you.
"And there’s one other, and there is one other vital change that we want to bring, and it’s this. For these last three years, we have had a Prime Minister who nobody ever voted for. Do you remember Tony Blair saying I’m going to serve a full third term and then suddenly a couple of years later we got Gordon Brown and boy have we had Gordon Brown.
"Well I say we change things like this, that in future if someone becomes Prime Minister in the middle of a Parliament within six months they have to hold an election. You should hold office because the people vote for you, not because your party says that’s (indistinct).
"But that, that is the sort of real change you’d get from a decisive Conservative Government. Would you ever get that change in a hung Parliament? In a hung Parliament you might end up with someone as Prime Minister who wasn’t even involved in those television debates. Is that change, is that democracy, is that progress? Of course it isn’t.
"So we say let us do everything we can in these last few days to win the decisive Conservative victory that will bring real change to our country. Real change because it’s the only way you can guarantee that you’ve got new leadership, a new team and a new direction on May the 7th. Any other result and you can be stuck with Gordon Brown and the same old team and the same old problems. Real change because we’re the ones with the ideas to get our economy moving, to solve our social problems, to get faith back in our politics and to put people back in charge.
"One last point, the other reason I’m standing here in Thurrock today asking for people to vote for the Conservative Party is this, this is a changed Conservative Party. In these last four and a half years we’ve become the party of the NHS, we’ve become the party that cares about tackling poverty. We’ve become the party that campaigns and acts and works to improve our environment. We have become a party for all of our country and to all of those people in Thurrock and in seats like Thurrock where Labour have been in power for so long, to people who feel let down by Labour I would say come with us. You have a dream of a country where opportunity is more equal, where we tackle poverty, where we get to grips with the deep social problems, where we stand up in the NHS, where we back Britain’s families, where we say if you do the right thing we’re with you, we’re behind you.
"You can now vote for the modern Conservative Party; we’re here for you. And to all those people who in the past have voted Liberal Democrat we can say to them as a modernised Conservative Party that if you care about the environment, if you want to scrap those identity cards, if you want to put our children’s’ education first, if you want a party and a Government that won’t trample on Britain’s civil liberties but treasures our civil liberties, come with us in the modern Conservative Party, we are here for you.
"So that, so that my friends is our message in these last few week, last two weeks of the election campaign. If you want real change, if you want change you can count on, if you want change that works, if you want a new team running your country, if you want a new Prime Minister, if you want to get our economy going, if you want to solve our social problems, it you want strong, decisive leadership to make this country great again it’s the Conservative Party here for you, we’re the people who can bring the change our country so badly needs."