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This election is a choice between a party leader who is honest about the tough economic choices facing Britain and one who is fundamentally dishonest

Truth Last night Cleethorpes Rock left this comment on one of ConHome's threads:

"DC is at his best when he's being passionate and brutally honest- "I'm not going to soft soap you"/ "I'm sorry, tuition fees will have to stay"/ "Face facts- there's no money". More please."

On leadership qualities, Cameron is seen as much more likeable than Brown (an advantage that will have grown after Sunday night's Trevor McDonald programme) but CCHQ are determined to lift up his 'strength numbers'. It's hard for a Leader of the Opposition to prove that he is strong and too many polls have him down as a lightweight.

Attempting to address this, Cameron has up until now tended to major on his record of party management - particularly in changing candidate selection. Over the next few weeks we'll see a different approach. Yesterday, Cameron met voters "in the raw". He took part in a "lively" and quite confrontational Q&A with young people in Lewisham. There was heckling and aggresive questions. The Tory leader handled it very well and the session ended with applause. He told his audience things they didn't want to hear and he is convinced that this 'levelling with voters' is what the country wants after the Brown/Blair years of spinning. More of these "raw" events will take place throughout the campaign.

These "Cameron Raw" events are the most visible manifestation of the overall strategy which is to tell voters the truth about the nation's challenges, particularly the economic challenges. George Osborne told yesterday morning's Today programme that the economic debate "will come down to honesty versus dishonesty". At last night's party rally (photographs here) David Cameron said Gordon Brown was treating voters like fools, being "dishonest" about the tough choices that lie ahead. 

6a00d83451b31c69e201310fa099b7970c-500wi I've argued that the Tories need to spell out the pound, shillings and pence consequences of ducking the tough choices on the deficit (right). My understanding is that CCHQ are testing ways of doing this.

Last night's opinion polls were encouraging but the boost that the LibDems received from their weekend conference shows that there will be a lot of froth and movement in the opinion polls - particularly after the election debates. The encouraging thing, as far as I'm concerned, is that the Tory election campaign now appears focused after a jittery couple of months. Hard-hitting attacks are Labour's dependence upon the unions are in the pipeline. The aim will be to present Brown as in the pockets of interests who will oppose public sector reforms. The bottom line of the campaign appears to be this, though; This election is a choice between a party leader who is honest about the tough economic choices facing Britain and one who is fundamentally dishonest.

Tim Montgomerie


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