Read Michael Gove's unbearably smug Tory conference speech

Michael Gove struck a triumphalist note at the Conservative Party conference when he criticised opponents who mistook social-media popularity as an indication of who would win the general election.

The justice secretary told delegates in Manchester on Sunday:

David [Cameron] won a famous victory and he deserved to win a famous victory and all those who doubted, who denigrated, who disagreed, were proved wrong.

The Twitterati, the Guardianistas, the pollsters, all those who mistook a trend on social media as the settled will of the British people, who thought a retweeted hashtag was a democratic mandate, who believed that Russell Brand, Jeremy Hardy and Charlotte Church were the voices of the silent majority.

Mr Gove at the Conservative party conference on Sunday (Picture: Getty)

To applause, Mr Gove added:

They were proved totally, completely, tragically - and yet marvellously and hilariously - wrong.

Because the comfortable millionaires who flaunt those opinions, appear on those shows and lay down the law live in a cosseted bubble of shared assumptions and sneering condescension, where they rarely meet and they never understand the people who make this country great.

He acknowledged that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was "a genial soul" but said:

For the sake of decency and our democracy, we must ensure that Labour's new leader never has the chance to speak for this country.

Michael Gove admitted he has "a soft spot for the BBC" and recalled the "pleasure" provided by David Dimbleby when he announced the exit-poll result in May.

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