Not-Lord Ashcroft is not at all impressed with David Cameron.
The man who spent £5 million on partisan election propaganda to persuade the voters seems to be very upset that millions of voters, before they had to cast their votes, were also able to watch the three party leaders debate each other in the leaders' debates which energised the election campaign. Without that democratic distraction, Ashcroft believes his strategy would have won the Tories a majority.
The Observer can reveal that Lord Ashcroft, who pumped £5m into marginal seats, is furious with the Tory leader for having agreed to take part in television debates that he believes undid much of his work for the party.
Friends of Ashcroft also say the peer is angry because he believes Cameron failed to stand up for him properly in the row over his "non-dom" tax status, which harmed the Tories in the run-up to the election.
Though the billionaire feels let down on all fronts, that final grievance does seem enormously harsh on both Cameron and William Hague. After all, Tory leaders spent a decade being complicit in an evasive cover-up over Ashcroft's non-dom status, and would not disown him when all was revealed either.
Ashcroft did make a rare BBC television appearance in the early hours of Friday morning, talking to Andrew Neil on the BBC's election night boat, as The Observer notes.
"I think from the time the Conservatives were ahead, we then had the debates, which has quite obviously turned everything topsy-turvy and what were natural assumptions before those debates changed the whole of the playing field," he said. "This is the type of result we are now seeing as a consequence of those debates."
Taking "a pure strategic hindsight view" he said there was a "balanced argument" over whether David Cameron should have taken part.A friend of Ashcroft told the Observer that the peer held Cameron personally responsible for the emergence of Clegg as a genuine rival: "He believes it knocked several points off our poll ratings and that, without it, we would have won."
And do share your guesses as to who "the senior frontbencher" is who shared these comments with a Sunday newspaper even as his leader sought to negotiate the forming of a government:
"He ran his campaign from the back of his Jaguar with a smug, smarmy little clique – people like Osborne, [Oliver] Letwin and Michael Gove. He should get rid of all of them. The party will settle for nothing less."
UPDATE: Saturday's Mirror had a report on the Ashcroft BBC interview.
Another fascinating detail of the BBC interview was that Ashcroft revealed the party had carried out polling on whether his name generated negative sentiment. He claimed this showed the controversy was not a problem for the Tories, because Ashcroft had lower name recognition that a made-up name put into the mix, presumably as a control.