WITH the British Airways account now safely under its belt, will New Saatchi now take the deal which brought fame and fortune to Charles and Maurice all those years ago - advertising for the Conservative Party? The Tories have just appointed a new head of communications, the quietly-spoken Hugh Colver, once head of PR at the Ministry of Defence and later at British Aerospace. He will have to decide who is going to handle the party's advertising account, which has been linked to Saatchi and Saatchi since 1978 when it created the campaign which helped bring Margaret Thatcher to power. It is an account closely linked to Maurice Saatchi and the senior managers who left the company with him in January to form New Saatchi. Conservative Central Office insiders said a move to the new agency had been discussed, although Old Saatchi - now called Cordiant - was still owed money from the last general election and, until that was paid, the account would be going nowhere. Tory Party debts are running at an estimated GBP15 million ($187.5 million), so advertising at the next election may differ from the highly successful campaigns orchestrated by Hong Kong's now-governor, Chris Patten, when he was party chairman in 1992. Of course, winning business from the Tories will not match, even in prestige, landing the huge GBP60-million British Airways account, which has really set Maurice Saatchi back on track after last December's run in with the agency he founded. Bartle Bogle Hegarty also pitched but came a close second, followed by J. Walter Thompson and the old Saatchi and Saatchi - which had held the account for 13 years. 'Symbolically, it's a very important campaign,' said John Tylee, associate editor at Campaign, the advertising industry's magazine. 'It establishes Maurice as a major international player and changes his perception with other big clients.' Maurice Saatchi has strong support. Days before his departure, he received a boost from Sir Colin Marshall, chairman of British Airways, who warned the board of Saatchi and Saatchi that it would be wrong to force its founder out. 'He has been the driving force and the linchpin behind our relationship,' he said. 'In the event that Maurice should no longer be in a position to direct our advertising, we would have to consider our position.' New Saatchi has already taken accounts at Dixons - the British electrical retailer, Silk Cut cigarettes, the Mirror Group (including the Independent account) and PPP (Private Patients Plan). The BA deal has already been followed by success with Qantas (worth GBP28 million). Yet it may not be a landslide for Maurice Saatchi. The BA board was split over its choice and senior members of the firm's marketing department have protested over the way the New Saatchi agency was chosen. They are understood to have preferred Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Jennifer Laing, advertising chairman at the old Saatchi and Saatchi, has vowed to regain the account for 1996. Nonetheless, Maurice Saatchi, who has already organised his new Hong Kong branch as well as branches in New York and Sydney, is very much back at the top.