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Cameron's sex appeal

By Paul Goodman

CAMERON-AS-SUPERDAVE Last November, six months after he became Prime Minister, I wrote that -

"For a politician, Cameron is extraordinarily uncomplex ("first class temperament" will surely have featured in his school reports).  He's middlebrow.  He is hands-on.  He grows vegetables, or did.  He can cook (a big mark in his favour).  He is affable and quick-witted.  I suspect that all this communicates itself to a certain tranche of voters, especially women, and when doubled-up with Nick Clegg, in their Richard Curtis chums routine, conveys an certain sunniness of nature (though note that none of the Tory MPs who've crossed him, the Mark Fields and the Patrick Mercers, have been rehabilitated).  This helps to explain why Labour's desired image of him as a sneering axe-man hasn't taken root.  As, more profoundly, does the distressing memory of Ivan Cameron.  I think that the death of the Prime Minister's son is deeply ingrained into the picture that many voters have gradually built up of him."

I see that according to YouGov, the Prime Minister's emerged as Britain's most popular politician, winning 20% per cent of the vote, and that the polling company notes that -

"David Cameron had a particularly strong showing among females with 28% saying he was their favourite, by far the most popular of the list."

True, 28% isn't exactly a landslide.  Miliband hasn't exactly made much of a mark yet.  And politicians are less well known than they were, leaving Cameron with little competition.  But YouGov's polling bolsters my sense that "out there" - among the kind of apolitical voters who don't follow politics at all - the Prime Minister's support is holding up reasonably well.

Unlike Nick Clegg - who I see didn't make the YouGov headline findings - Cameron isn't usually seen, among this group of voters, as a man who's gone back on his word.  As the New Year begins, the Prime Minister faces many difficulties, some of his own making.  But the day he's in serious political trouble will be the day in which his ratings among women voters tank.

* Image from The Sunday Times magazine of three or four years ago.


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