Conservative Diary

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What do we want voters to say at the end of the election debates?

Here's my suggestion: David Cameron looked like a Prime Minister tonight.

I write that after reviewing various reports of yesterday's debate between Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Tony Abbott. Immediate reaction polls suggest 79% of voters gave the debate to Rudd. Rudd was sobre, focused on the substance. Abbott was more negative, more personal, less policy-orientated. Sky News has a video report below which shows very clearly how voters are turned off by partisanship. ABC News' Barrie Cassidy summed it up: "Kevin Rudd looked like a prime minister and Tony Abbott behaved like an opposition leader."

The Tories also need a strategy for managing expectations. LibDemVoice recently reviewed the polls which expect Cameron to easily win the debates. Those expectations need to be managed downwards.

Tim Montgomerie


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