Tory leader David Cameron arrived in Blackpool to find an uncomfortable message waiting for him on the front page of the local newspaper.
On the eve of the Tory conference, The Gazette had carried out a major survey to gauge the political climate of the seaside resort.
Using both an online and in-paper questionnaire readers were asked their views on which party should hold power and what they believed were the pressing national and local issues.
And as the party faithful took their seats in the Winter Gardens on Monday, The Gazette led with its message to Cameron – “You’ve got it all to do Dave” – leaving him with no doubt about the monumental task ahead if he was to sway the voters.
More than half the respondents to the paper’s Your Vote survey wanted a snap general election and 55 per cent said Gordon Brown was the leader they trusted most.
The new Tory leader actually emerged as weaker than his predecessor Michael Howard with 43 per cent feeling the Conservatives were less credible under Cameron.
Despite Blackpool’s iconic Tower transformed into a blue pillar light during the tenure of conference – and despite the town returning to Tory rule in the past local elections – Gazette readers gave Labour an 11-point lead in the opinion poll and half the respondents said Gordon Brown’s party was the one that had impressed most since the general election of 2005.
And if Cameron is listening to what Blackpool wants – law and order and immigration are the priority issues nationally with a supercasino for the resort being the biggest vote winner among Gazette readers.
If Monday’s Gazette did not make easy reading for the Tories, they will find little let-up as the paper continues with its analysis of their exclusive poll with results published both in-paper and online from Monday to Wednesday when conference closes.