BIRMINGHAM (AFP) - Prime Minister David Cameron detailed his plan for winning the 2015 general election Wednesday with a raft of measures designed to help struggling Britons and shut down support for the UK Independence Party.
Closing his Conservative Party's annual conference, Mr Cameron unveiled a string of proposals on everything from cutting taxes to boosting employment which he said would "build a Britain that everyone is proud to call home".
While Mr Cameron made only passing reference to UKIP and its leader Nigel Farage, much of the address seemed designed to appeal to voters considering a switch to the arch-eurosceptics in the May 2015 election.
The conference in Birmingham, central England, has been overshadowed by fears of growing support for UKIP after the defection of two Conservative lawmakers to their side and rumours more could follow.
But in an apparent jibe at UKIP, Mr Cameron told delegates: "Other parties preach to you about a brave new world. We understand you have to start with the real world and make it better." The centre-right Conservatives, the main partners in a coalition government with the centrist Liberal Democrats, currently lag behind the main opposition Labour Party in most opinion polls by several points.
While most analysts predict UKIP could only peel off a handful of seats at the election, the Conservatives fear they could cost them thousands of votes, thereby potentially handing seats to centre-left Labour, led by Ed Miliband.
Referring to this concern, Mr Cameron joked that voters that they could "go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Miliband" on the night after the election and painted the poll as a straight fight between Labour and the Conservatives.
On tax, Mr Cameron vowed to change the system so that people working 30 hours a week on the minimum wage of £6.50 (S$13.40) an hour would pay no income tax.
For those on higher incomes, he unveiled plans to raise the threshold at which people pay tax at 40 per cent from £41,900 to £50,000.
Combined, the measures will affect some 30 million people.
Mr Cameron also vowed to put controlling immigration "at the heart of" his plans to renegotiate Britain's relationship with the European Union ahead of a planned referendum on it leaving the bloc in 2017.
He pledged that the Conservatives would scrap Britain's Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights to assert the British parliament's supremacy over the European Court of Human Rights.
In addition, there was a pledge to bring "full employment" to Britain if the Conservatives win the general election in seven months' time.
Mr Cameron's speech in front of more than 2,000 people brought the curtain down on the four-day Conservative convention, the party's last before the election.