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« Crispin Blunt MP: David Davis fears Rifkind | Main | Compassionate Cameron launches change campaign »


James Hellyer

The site is a bit high on waffle and soundbites and low on anything new.

I wouldn't condemn it for the photo mix ups though. does the same by giving loads of people Charles Hendy's face!

Anyway, the interesting thing is the level of detail the "support" feature asks for. While Fox, Cameron and Clarke all invite supporters to contact them, they don't ask as much. I guess they aren't as confident of getting to the final two.

James Hellyer

And am I the only one who thinks Mod Cons is an unfortunate diminutive...


Good point about the level of detail in the support feature, James. That degree of data collection does suggest some sophistication of operation.

James Hellyer

I'd say it indicates they are all but certain of getting through to the final two, so while the other candidates slog it out for parliamentary support for second place, the Davis team will be busy assembling its constituency campaign teams. It says on there that they're after local managers, people willing to give public endorsments, and attend meetings.


Your Charles Hendry comment, James, led me to revisit Ken Clarke's site and I hadn't realised it had been redesigned. Much better than that first very green effort. I've added a new easy-access 'list of campaign' websites to the top of the right hand column.


Nice smiley friendly photo
Lots of info to get stuck into, not had chance to read everything yet - but I shall.
Typeface too small ! Not user friendly size text (or is it just my eyesight?)

Jack Stone

I just can`t make out why David Davis is the front runner.
His prospectus is the same prospectus that as been tryed in the last two elections and failed and unfortunatly I think he just doesn`t have the charisma or personality that the party will be able to sell to the public.
I personally find him the lest impressive of any of the contenders and fear that if elected his leadership like the previous three leaderships will end in tears.

Jonathan Sheppard

Jack - his campaign is hours old and you say he is the least impressive of all contenders? Is this based on hsi parliamentary performances over the past two parliaments? One of the other contenders has only just returned to the green benches - and one has sat on the back benches since 1997 with no shadow ministerial or committee role to speak of.

You say he doesn't have the charisma - well that's a subjective opinion - but I think actually all the contenders come above Gordon Brown in charisma stakes - and I personally find Davis extremely engaging and charismatic.

If his manifeesto is just more of the same - why is he attracting support from across the spectrum of Conservative beliefs?

My week at Labour Conference (with work) has firmed my beliefs that we need a go getter like David to take the fight to Labour!

Mike Smithson

Your link on the betting is giving a grossly distorted view of what is going on because it just covers one bookmakers. There is a wide range of odds available and the best way of showing this is by looking at what is the best price on each candidate.

Try this link to my site


What an awful website. I support David Davis over David Cameron, but judging by websites, it's night and day. If this is supposed to show the shape of things to come from DD, we might as well give up.

Jonathan, it's disengenuous to say "his campaign is hours old" - that's true only in a very narrow technical sense. He's been going full steam for months.

I think the DD website inadvertently says it all: a candidate with a real chance to win for the Conservatives, if only he could get professional like DC!

James Maskell

A very poor website indeed. That yellow blue "logo" reminds me a lot of the "50/50" logo used for the childrens show of the same name. The lists of supporters isnt really the best way to use the does confirm my MPs suport though.

Jonathan Sheppard

Im sorry but Im not going to judge any of the candidates on the quality or not of their website. Actually I think the comments about the sophistication of logging supporters names and addresses highlights the "professionalism" of the Davis campaign.

I was one of the first candidates in the last election to have movie clips on my website - but you know what - it made absolutely no difference - its policies that win votes, not flash websites.

The people who are voting in this election are Cnservative party members and Im sure may people who use this blog, who are active in Associations will be the first to admit (and I dont say it as if its a good thing) that the majority of Conservative members won't even own a computer - let alone use the Internet.

Simon C

Didn't DD also call his 2001 leadership bid website Modern Conservatives? Does that mean his thinking hasn't moved on since then? ;)

More seriously, his launch today wasn't very encouraging. An old panelled Tory establishment room in the middle of Westminster. When he was being interviewed by Nick Robinson he was set against dark panels and shadowy lighting - making him look like a creature of the night (if that's not too Widdecombe-esque). This in an environment his team chose and controlled.

There was no sense of a new vision or fresh language - in fact as the BBC rather cruelly pointed out, quite a lot of it was borrowed from Blair.

The campaign period represents a real chance for DD to challenge people's conception of what it means to be a Conservative. This isn't doing it. Instead, he appears to be content to follow a cautious risk-averse strategy. He may think that approach is OK whilst he's the front-runnner. But it doesn't give him momentum or fresh appeal, and it is emphatically not the strategy we will need from our next leader.

Jonathan Sheppard

John Piennar commented, "David Davis' was a timeless piece of traditional campaigning: a room crowded with supporters, a speech peppered with catchy slogans. He's a front-runner and he looked like it."

I have no doubt the moment behind the Davis campaign will increase in the days ahead.

We now have party conference to look forward where the candidates can really show us more of what they have to offer.

James Hellyer

On the same bbci webpage, Quentin Letts said

"The David Davis launch was a rather stolid affair. It felt a bit like a Rotary Club meeting, of the older generation but quite solid.

"You felt that he had a real chance of gaining power.

"David Cameron's was much more London, more advertising world and groovy, but he spoke well.

"He was very much like a young Tony Blair. There's not much between Mr Blair and Mr Cameron in terms of presentation and style.

David Davis has got to present himself as a younger, groovier man. He needs to inject a bit more into presentation.

"It felt a bit like a Tory party meeting 20 years ago and he needs somehow to polish that up."

Simon C

"a timeless piece of traditional campaigning"

That's kind of my point.

Jonathan Sheppard

Yes - but who is his electorate? Thats my point.

If I was standing for leader I just dont think whizz bang internet sites and drinking smoothies is necessarily what appeals to the majority of those who can vote (whether we like it or not).

It is just like the difference between getting selected for a seat and getting elected. Do you think talking about e-campaigning and the like actually works with our members? Let me tell you I have had first hand experience of glazed eyes and a confused look as if they were saying "What's this bloke talking about this T'internet thing".

Lets not damn any of our candidates for the leadership for being smart enough to start (and it is a start) a campaign ina traditional way.

James Hellyer

It wasn't the start. It was the official launch. Davis has been campaigning for months.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"He was very much like a young Tony Blair. There's not much between Mr Blair and Mr Cameron in terms of presentation and style."

As usual, I couldn't agree more with Quentin, except I think he meant his comments to be viewed positively, whereas I see Cameron's constant attempts to dress himself up as Tory Blair as a damning indictment.

Quentin's a bit harsh on Davis as well.

Jonathan Sheppard

It was the start of his campaign. He hadnt announced he was standing (but lets not get bogged down by that).

The fact is that the electorate is traditional its the 300,000 members - many aged 65 plus who get to vote. I just dont think our members are influenced by modern press launches and websites.

Now having said that - whose website has the most effective way of logging supporters details? Seems like a smart move to me

James Hellyer

Jonathan, it's extremely disingeneous to claim that was the start of Davis's campaign. Do you think all those supporters recruited themselves? Or the newspaper interviews about his narrative occured by chance?

Jonathan Sheppard

James - its not the important point though is it? OK he "launched" his campaign today. I still suggest that the importance of a website is minimal. That the majority of our members will not look at any of the candidates websites. That where they launched their campaigns will have little to no influence on members and that there is still a long way to go.


What DD had to say was alright but very poor delivery.I fear that Blair would probably beat him up at PMQ's on this sort of performance.A big improvement

James Hellyer

James - its not the important point though is it?

Then why keep making it?


I agree with Malcolm, Cameron seemed very well rehearsed because of this he seemed to be speaking his own thoughts. I really like David Davis but agree with comments above that his launch seemed gloomy. Although I thought he answered the 'you're copying Blair' claim very well. The Labour Party are even talking about 'all talk and no action' now as though they came up with that slogan, they are poachers and Davis did well to remind people of that.

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