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« David Cameron accuses David Davis of "mistakes of the past" | Main | Question 1: Is youth or experience most important? »



by the sounds of it David Davis did fairly well but it also sounds like Cameron didnt make any mistakes and put in a solid perdormance-i think it was over-hyped and it wont have much effect on the final outcome of the vote-it was most likely a draw in terms of points-a bit of a waste of time realy! lol

Adrian Owens

What a fantastic platform for Conservatism. Thank goodness we preserved a vote for members otherwise this opportunity would not have arisen.

Great to hear issues debated and a real help in starting to form my opinion on who to vote for.

James Hellyer

I'd been a lukewarm supporter of Davis until tonight. I opted for him because I really don't like what I've seen of Cameron (his drugs policy, for example, is dangerous and wrong). But Davis's confident and relaxed performace tonight confirmed that he has what it takes to be the leader. He was sound on the issues and came over very well. I can't say the same for "Dave".

Daniel Vince-Archer

I thoroughly enjoyed that. The Cameronites will also be delighted that I'm revising my opinion that Cameron is Blair-lite. He's more like Hewitt-lite.


Excellent program, I enjoyed it. DD's experience shone through which I was pleased about, he also looked relaxed which considering the pressure he was under today was superb.

DC also put on a good show it will be interesting to see how the media write this up tomorrow.


Putting policy to one side, I think the different skills of the candidates were on show tonight. One, DC, is clearly a superior speech-giver, as shown by the conference. The other, DD, is a better question-answerer (though I'm still not sure DC gave a good account of himself: he can do better). DD cacme across as charming, witty, relaxed, comfortable. And he could do things like patronise (in the non pejorative aspect of the word) DC by playing on his experience. He also played the event very well - he'd clearly been looking for an opportunity to drop in that bit about DC being the 'Tory Blair' and, from a presentation point of view, he did so masterfully. He also put questions to DC whereas DC didn't throw many to DD. In short, DD seemed in control. DC seemed a bit moralistic and a bit earnest (cf. a certain IDS), which is his biggest problem media wise and one not many people picked up on at the conference.

The question is, which is more important? A speech-giver or a question-answerer? I'd suggest the former. I'd also suggest that DC has room for improvement whereas I think that's as good as Davis can get (his practice obviously paid off).

On the negative side, Labour must be laughing: in the week in which Blunkett goes and Blair's govt. is supposed to be in turmoil, the conservatives go face-to-face and start arguing amongst themselves...


It made me think twice but I'll still be voting for Cameron.

Ian Sider

I'm probably still going to vote for Cameron, but Davis won tonight. Neither was good enough, I'm not full of hope.

James Hellyer

Daniel, your being very unkind to the Secretary of State. She's better than that!

James Maskell

I dont think Labour will be that happy. DD got a very good crowd reaction and to be honest that crowd enjoyed this. I think they might be quite worried. Tonight was successful and basically says to Blair "They can do it...why cant you?"

Tonight has been very good in making me think twice about where my support would go. Ill declare the week before the result.

One last comment though...the old lady (She was a Clarke supporter! Profile on BBC as panelist) and the old man were great entertainment. Bring them back next week!

Henry Cook

Looking forward to Paxman - that could be crucial. Hopefully there'll be an ITV debate too. I'm not surprised DD is deemed to have won - he had absolutely nothing to lose.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Of course James, apologies to Patricia!

Anyone listening to Radio Five Live? General opinion seems to be that Davis 'won'. They're running a text poll that is currently 60-40 that Davis gave the better performance. George Jones, Political Editor for the Telegraph, declared Davis the winner on points.

James Hellyer

"Looking forward to Paxman - that could be crucial."

That will involve questions and interuptions. Cameron doesn't do questions or interuptions.

Ian Sider

Just about all the criticisms of DC's performance are valid. Not his finest hour. Intellectually, DD was not only coherent, but also principled. On delivery, DD edged it, but that's not saying much for either of them. However, I just don't think that he'll connect. It's a shame the audience was so heavily Conservative. A more representative audience would have provided stronger evidence, but my impression was that Cameron was capable of connecting with the non-Tories.

Mag Linders

QT: Davis, hands down. MUCH to my surprise.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Looking forward to Paxman - that could be crucial."

When will this be taking place? Is it going to be head-to-head like last night's QT or one-at-a-time like the pre-GE QT featuring Blair, Michael Howard and Kennedy?

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