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


James Hellyer

No but they are usually amusing.

It amused me.

The mere fact that over 50 MPs from all ages both sides of the political spectrum within the party are backing him must go some way to show the breadth of support for the man.

That merely illustrates that Davis has an efficient parliamentary campaign team, it doesn't show that his public campaign is somehow visionary or new. Indeed, the widespread comments in the press (and from Cornerstone) about his aping of Blairite language, would tend to indicate that this public campaign isn't offering anything new yet.

Jonathan Sheppard

The electorate arent the press. The electorate arent the public. The electorate are the members. Thats why criticism about how good the websites of the candiates are is a red herring. They wont influence hardly any members. BUT the good ones will allow the candidates to communicate with those who have a vote.

The first stage of this election is to come in the top two in the ballot of MPs. Davis is looking favourite to do that.

The next stage is to communicate your message to your electorate. That process is slowly starting.

There is absolutely no point in being the most popular weeks away from the final ballot - its a finely judged think but the smart candidate is the one who plays the long game.

James Hellyer

Maybe, but that doesn't support your assertion that his campaign is currently offering something new.

I think it really isn't. from the language to the slogans, it's all recycled from either 2001 or New Labour.

As Peter Oborne noted today, "the Davis machine has pursued its objective relentlessly, taking no risks. At no point has David Davis given a convincing account of what he would be like as national leader or, for that matter, why he wants the job. If he possesses a personal vision, thus far he has kept it secret...

"... He badly needs to show that he is more than an unusually plausible product of the whips’ office, and capable of becoming a national leader."

He'll have to do that next week, or else someone else could steal his conference thunder.

Jonathan Sheppard

I'm sure all will be revealed in the days ahead.


Re Richard Allens comment above - I don't expect 'Flash' from DD just 'Modern' which is what he is claiming he will bring to the party.

Jonathan Sheppard "I just dont think our members are influenced by modern press launches and websites."

Perhaps this is why the membership is so narrow a band of people. Newspapers are already complaining that websites are reducing their importance and circulation numbers. What other medium allows you to get your message out quickly to a wide variety of people and organisations faster than a website. The trick is to update it regularly, keep it interesting, make sure as many people as possible can find it, and make it easy to read (my biggest criticsim of DD's website is the text is too small).

Many members will not be influenced by websites but I will be. People ask me all the time what I think about Fox, Clarke etc. The more information I have at my fingertips the more I can pass on. e.g. It was useful DD reminding me that he 'scalped' Hughes and put pressure on Blunkett.

Jonathan Sheppard

I realise the potential of websites in campaigning - but we are still years behind their importance compared to places like the US.

My website address in the last election was published prominently on a quarter of a million pieces of literature which were distributed yet I probably have more hits on my current weblog. Those figures (to me) highlight the webs influence at the moment, though things will undoubtedly change.

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