Boris Johnson says 2015 election win 'within grasp'
Boris Johnson has said a Conservative election victory next year is "within our grasp" as he rallied activists in his annual turn at the conference.
The Mayor of London said the Tories could see off the threat from Labour and "eat UKIP for breakfast".
He brandished a brick on stage to emphasise the Tories' record on building new homes and home ownership.
And he joked that David Cameron had "permission to purr" about Scotland remaining within the UK.
Shortly before Mr Johnson spoke in Birmingham, it emerged that his friend and former deputy mayor Richard Barnes had become the latest Tory to join UKIP.
But comparing the successful fight against Scottish independence with the imminent by-election battles to retain the seats given up by defecting MPs Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, Mr Johnson said: "That's our new fisheries policy, folks.
"First chuck Salmond overboard and then eat the 'Kippers' for breakfast. We will fight them on the beaches of Clacton and of Rochester and Strood as well."
Mr Johnson, who has been tipped by some as a future Conservative leader, is seeking to return to Parliament as MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip next year and the Tories have said he will play a prominent role in the general election campaign.
Only the Tories, Mr Johnson argued, could deliver reform to the UK's relationship with the European Union and an in-out referendum on its membership.
He praised David Cameron's "natural authority", while having a joke at his rival's expense over comments the PM made about the Queen's reaction to the Scottish referendum result.
"At this conference we can say with pride that London does not just remain the capital of England... but it is the capital of Britain and the capital of the UK and will remain so for the rest of the lifetimes....You have permission to purr, if you so choose, Dave."
Mr Johnson suggested it was a "fantastic time" to be a Conservative.
"Just in the last few months we have seen the beginning of the end of the tapioca-like consensus that Ed Miliband could somehow osmotically infiltrate or inveigle himself into power by pandering to his core vote and relying on the gross unfairness of the electoral system," he said.
"The light is dawning, scales falling. Across the country the chattering classes are waking up to the reality that victory is within our grasp in the next eight months."