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« Editorial: David Davis should fear a Cameron-Fox ticket | Main | 'Comeback kid' Davis will relaunch this week »


Samuel Coates

Good lesson on perseverance against the odds eh?!

James Hellyer

Well, it's hardly surprising given that the poll was surveyed after the conference speeches. The people questioned were clearly informed both by the speeches and their press coverage.

Before the conference, few of those polled knew who Cameron was. Now they do - but only based on one well recieved "vision" speech and some media hagiographies.

As this is based on such superficial knowledge, it's not surprising the poll has seen a big swing and I wouldn't be surprised of there was another one, as even more is known about the candidates

Adrian Sherman

Look, things are never as good or as bad as they first seem.

Even though I'm not a huge fan od DD, he could use last week to his advantage, rather as Bush did against Mcain, after the New Hampshire primary in '00.



I took part in this poll and am rather surprised by the result, what a fickle lot we are!
I am staying with Davis as I cannot now remember one word Cameron said and I have listened to Davis over a long period.I am afraid Cameron just strikes me as Blair lite especially with his group of young ambitious friends and the media on his side. Support from the BBC, Guardian etc. scares me a bit as they are obviously building him up. No Party should choose a leader on the basis of one good, or bad speech. Davis should do 'Dave Allen' type speeches as he comes across better in a less formal setting. I have no idea exactly what Cameron stands for and will watch with interest but I will not vote for him.


The McCain versus Bush parallel is a good one Adrian. Whoever emerges from this process will be stronger because of it. Better that DD is tested now and improved, for example, by DC than be tested by GB in three years' time and be found wanting. Equally DC must now be tested thoroughly to see if he is 'the real thing'.

christopher owen

Interesting. Not least if it is a Clarke vs Davis finale.

James Hellyer

I am staying with Davis as I cannot now remember one word Cameron said

As Lord Bell quipped, Cameron's speech was like a Chinese Meal: nice at the time, but half an hour later it leaves you feeling empty.

Samuel Coates

Isn't democracy great :)


Meant to add the coming weeks will be a good test of both facing very different problems. Can Cameron keep it up? the media will do their best. Can David recoup his lost momentum with grace and humour. Should be very interesting.

James Hellyer

Can Cameron keep it up? the media will do their best.

Will they? Even Michael Crick offered a hagiography rather his usual hatchet job.

Adrian Sherman

Better that DD wobbled last week as opposed to in 10 days time. It's all about peaking at the right time, and guess who's slipped under the radar? Yes, Ken Clarke. I reckon he'll peak just at the right time, setting up a DD v KC finale. Remember public declarations aren't the be all and end all.

Love the Bell quote, James!

Fascinating contest.

So you're Davis, and you apparently have enough support to guarantee you a place in the final two.

You probably have no chance against Cameron, so who do you lend some votes to, to get the best chance in the run off?

The poll says Fox, but surely his best chance is to go up against Clarke and try his hardest to make Europe the issue?

Adrian Sherman

I feel the last poster is correct. Davis only has a chance against Clarke, now.


IF, IF, IF DD still has the surplus votes to lend...

Cllr Iain Lindley

Davis's chances against Clarke depend on whether those on the right who dislike or don't rate DD (and there seem to be a fair few of them) dislike him enough to swallow Clarke's views on Europe.


Exactly Editor. Still, if I were David Davis, with a comfortable lead amongst MPs, I know who I'd rather go up against...


Will there not be open revolt in the wider party if Cameron doesn't get on the ballot?

James Hellyer

I've said it before and I'll sayn it again: if Davis doesn't perform strongly in the first ballot, he could easily do "a Portillo" and not gain any new votes from the eliminated candidates.

A lot of Davis's support and publicity came from being the "frontrunner" and "bookie's favourite". That's changed now.

Adrian Sherman

No Greg, there won't. Most Tory members are like blindly subservient zombies. There may be more of a stink if KC doesn't make it, but not much more.

Adrian Sherman

Possibly, James. Though I reckon he's a in a slightly stronger position than Portaloo was in '01. IMHO, he'll make it into the final round.....just.

And because of the closeness, he can't try and rig the ballot by getting 5 or so of his closest supporters to keep X of the ballot paper, like he was going to do with KC a couple of weeks ago.

James Hellyer

I'd agree with Adrian. I'd also add that the fuss around Cameron is largely the resultm of the Conference and the subsequent media frenzy. That won't last until December. Unless Cameron is capable of creating and maintaining his own momentum, he'll be just like any other unsuccessful candidate.


It all depends on how the ballot goes. If Cameron gains the support of a great number of MPs for the first couple of ballots, Davis probably won't be able to manipulate the final ballot in favour of Clarke.

If, however, the 80 MPs are still 80 (that's very unlikely) or DD attracts a few more Parliamentary supporters (possible, especially with the Terrorism Bill around the corner) he may be in a position to attempt to get Clarke on the ballot.

James Hellyer

I don't think ballot manipulation will happen. Last time Roger gale and five of his friends voted tactically for Clarke to shut Portillo out, but in the protest almost cost IDS the final MPs ballot. It's too high risk a gambit.

James Maskell

I didnt even know about that (Gale voting tactically). Could you fill me in?

Richard Hames

Oh for flip's sake people - YouGov! Am I the only one who remembers their polling of their 'Tory party members' that had the leadership election rules being easily passed by the National Convention? YouGov are worthless when it comnes to internal party issues, and have no track record worth speaking of. I've just pointed to an example where YouGov got it completely wrong: can any YouGov apologist actually point to an internal Tory ballot where YouGov called it right?

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