It's worth wheeling out Geoffrey Howe's quote from 1981 that the then Tory government's policy on Merseyside should be one of "managed decline". The reason for doing so is that Cameron's Tories are trying to attract university students in Liverpool, or so the Daily Post claims (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2008/11/03/students-targeted-in-tory-bid-for-city-64375-22169911/ ).
"Neil Wilson, Conservative Future's area chairman for Merseyside, said: 'It's about involving young people in politics in a city where they are starting to look around them and wonder just what the Lib-Dems and Labour have really done for them.' "
Wilson's clumsy syntax aside, it doesn't really work as a rallying call for the Cameroons, does it? Er, hi, guys, do you, erm, want to, you know, talk about the council and stuff? Cue a dismissive shrug of many a shoulder.
The Tories claim to have recruited some students, but it's worth noting that at least half those at uni won't stay in the city after graduation. Therefore it seems that pitching an appeal to the city's students as a way of rebuilding their moribund base in Liverpool is inherently flawed.
Moreover, Wilson may want students to consider the record of the Lib-Dems & Labour, but they only have to ask their parents & grandparents about the Tories to get a rounded picture, particularly those from Merseyside.
The article also quotes Chris Grayling, the Tories' "shadow minister for Merseyside", as he's risibly described by Tory central office. He enthuses:
"I've always said winning seats in Liverpool is a long-haul task, but the situation is beginning to change.
"In Woolton, we reduced the Lib-Dem majority from 1,200 to 500."
This is whistling in the wind stuff, isn't it, Chris? Cameron may well appeal to people in Woolton, but only because it is the most affluent part of the city. There may be one or two other middle class pockets of support in the south end of the city (Mossley Hill, Allerton, perhaps), but that won't be sufficient to significantly increase the Tory vote in the city. As for the chances of actually winning a seat in any Liverpool seat, dream on.
Cameron will probably win the next election (expect Crosby, or Sefton Central, as it will be known, to go Tory), but the Liverpool seats will remain generally unchanged.