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« Social justice at the heart of the '48 hour push' | Main | Fill The Empty Chair campaign »


Henry Cook

It is also worth mentioning the voting intention figures under each of the two possible leaders -

DC vs GB: Con=35, Lab=37 LD=?

DD vs GB: Con=32, Lab=43, LD=?

Quite a telling result, in spite of reported view of Conservative supporters. 11 point lead or 2 point lead? Take your pick.

Mike Smithson

As I say on Politicalbetting this morning this is a severe blow to David Cameron.

But what I find very odd about the poll is that yesterday's Times had the same survey showing Labour 40 to Tory 32. Yet the very same people when asked how they would vote if it was GB-DC only give a 2% lead to Labour.

So Cameron does much better against Brown than current General Election voting intention. Whereas with Davis it is Labour by 43-32.

These finding seem inconsistent and I hope that the boss of Populus, Andrew Cooper will join in discussions today.


"Populus' reputation has never fully recovered since."

Fair enough, but it doesn't matter about a few per cent either way here. This is a BIG story. A BIG change.

And it confirm the ICM poll at the weekend which shows that Cameron is NOT a vote winner except in the minds of the swooners.

Even the Tory Swooners might be having second thoughts now. Except they've probably all voted already. Is it all too late?

Oberon Houston

This is a very strange poll. The results do not seem consistent, only Populus can answer as to why.

Wat Tyler

It will be interesting to see what Anthony Wells makes of this poll and the general credibility of Populus- he's clearly unbiased.

But meantime, what can we say? Other than Rejoice! Rejoice!

The Big Mo is clearly back with DD as we Tories take a more measured view of their respective strengths and weaknesses (not something the broader electorate will have been focusing on since the Blackpool frenzy).

And as for the Times DC endorsement, it's hardly a surprise. And they've clearly been rattled into coming out today by their own poll-, yes, I think the word really is delicious.

Plus, all they can come up with is "DC? Yeah, sure he's ludicrously inexperienced, and no, we have no idea what he stands for...but, hell, why not give him a whirl? How hard can it be?"

You know what? I somehow think we need to make up our own minds.


Bux: "They've probably all voted already. Is it all too late?"

Not necessarily. I understand that 50% or so vote more or less immediately and a third to 40% wait until near the end of the contest.

The crucial thing, however, is that those who wait are the undecideds. The money must still be with DC but how will he cope with this new pressure?

He didn't perform well under pressure on QT last week.

If he accepts the Paxman invite it might be the making of him... or disaster!

DD is really in his stride. If only he had campaigned like this from day one he wouldn't be in such dangerous waters now.

Hat tip - as Guido says - to my friend Nick Wood who has helped transform the campaign.


True about Nick Wood. It just shows what a bunch of losers those Mitchell, Conway etc bods really were. Will DD now promise to get rid of them if he wins? Because if they stay, it can only mean more disasters ahead.


This poll confirms that David Davis's core vote strategy appeals to erm...the CORE VOTE!

Davis appeals to 50% of 33% of those who vote Conservative already.

The same poll shows that David Cameron is seen as more likely to win a General Election by 45% to 11%!!!

this is a huge test for Party members - can we elect a leader with charisma and broader appeal or do we elect someone who appeals to ourselves.

Please vote for David Cameron.


I've not been holding much sway by polls, I never believed Cameron was 35% ahead as some where saying.

Still however inaccurate this poll is (and populus are not normally as accurate as YouGov or CommunicateResearch) it still represents a shift in momentum to Davis.

I remain confident that Cameron will rise to the challenge.

Ian Sider

The Populus result will need to be replicated elsewhere. But if it is...


There are still things which DD has not done which would help his campaign. His website does not have enough on it, no diary of where he has been or where he is going for example, no Q & A section. Those who are waiting to vote will still be looking at the websites so it is still not too late.

I agree that it is not too late, the poll is intereting, and surprising. I think the voters are very uncertain and are influenced by what they last see.


Core vote strategy appeals to core vote...There's a shock!

Among all voters, Davis is now less popular than he was in June, when he had a lower profile!

The more voters see him, the less they like him.

Mark Fulford

What can I say? The poll doesn't fit with the views I hear and I hope it's wrong.

The Question Time ecstasy comment was a faux-pas but, even so, the case for Cameron (even within this poll) is very compelling and I'll be depressed if we miss this opportunity to win the next election.

James Hellyer

"Among all voters, Davis is now less popular than he was in June, when he had a lower profile!"

Perhaps because in June, Davis hadn't been subjected to a couple of months of the press making negative comparisons between him and Cameron.


While this is undoubtedly bad news for Cameron it does seem the poll is somewhat confused.

The following are the voting intentions with different leaders against Brown and Kennedy:

With Cameron Lab37 Con35 Lib20
With Davis Lab43 Con32 Lib18

Why on earth do the Lib Dems lose out almost as much as us with Davis as our leader? If anything Cameron seems to appeal more to floating Lib Dem voters so you would expect this switch to be the other way around.

On the face of it this poll also seems to suggest that Davis is supported by people who don't actually want the Conservative party to win! They seem to support him even though they think Cameron has a better chance of winning. I suppose this could be due to the Ecstasy issue but it seems strange that Tory voters would prefer a more left leaning Brown Labour government to a firmly right of centre Tory one which is a bit wooly on drug classification.

As I said, this isn't good news for Cameron but the poll does look a bit suspect.

Dr Watson

Hmmm - how do we explain this significant turnaround?

In the last few weeks DD has made speeches explaining his low tax policy, his new grammar schools policy, his opposition to Prescott's housebuilding on the Green Belt, his approach to social justice, the promise of a referendum on Europe, and internal party democracy.

Cameron has said he would like lower taxes (provided it doesn't involve tax cuts) and he would like to declassify ecstasy (but, like, y'know, not as an actual policy).

I can't think why there's been a turnaround. Send for Sherlock Holmes.

henry curteis

Lies damned lies and statistics? Maybe.

But Cameron had better wake up. Although he has most of the key eurosceptics suporting him including Roger Helmer MEP who is the main Conservative MEP holding out against the EPP and all its works, Cameron's euroscepticism has got lost amongst all his 'the party must change' window dressing.

Cameron must remember that it is Conservative members who will vote on who will lead - not the public at large - he must remember that euroscepticism has been and still is the key area that will swing votes with the membership. even more than tax cuts.

If his euroscepticism is genuine and one can only believe that it is, given that he has Daniel Hannan MEP, Chris Heaton Harris and Roger Helmer MEP on board not to mention Douglas Carswell MP and Michael Gove MP - and most of them = Cameron must respond to David Davis' offer of a referendum on repatriation of powers as a matter of urgency. He must at least match it or his leadership hopes will sink fast.

He deos not have to give it total profile but he has to 'dog-whistle' his eurosceptic message to the membership urgently.

Davis is not all that credible on Europe as he has promised ex-Clark suporters that he will keep the Conservatives inside the EPP for two more years.


There is simply no point winning the leadership eelction at the price of losing the general election. Referenda on eccentric aspects of European policy are the way to do just that.

Cameron should hold his nerve, stick to the centre ground and resist the siren voices who advocate a march to the right-wing wilderness in order to win the leadership election.

Jonathan Sheppard

Come on Gareth - who in the party is advocating a march to the right?

Guido Fawkes

I don't know about Populus poll, but I havetaken the opportunity to lay my 8/1 bet on DD @ 7/2.

These odds seem more realistic in a two horse race.


Hear, hear Gareth - completely agree. Clearly DD has improved himself a lot recently and it can only be a good thing to have a real contest.

Having said that, I am not sure this isn't the press trying to keep the contest interesting.

This morning's Times headline and first 2 parragraphs are nearly hysterical, before the article admits lower down that it is not tory members who were polled, but people who voted tory. And it was written by Peter Riddell, normally a voice of reason.

It would not be the first time the press had over-reacted during this contest!



What about this?

"Cameron must respond to David Davis' offer of a referendum on repatriation of powers as a matter of urgency. He must at least match it or his leadership hopes will sink fast."

Davis has abandoned his earlier centre ground stance and marched firmly to the right. There will be those who say DC should do the same.

Interestingly, during the 2000 primaries, when things went badly for Bush at the start, he also abandoned his centrist stance and pandered to Republican die hards. His ratings amongst Repubicans improved at the same rate that his support amongst voters declined. DC should not make the same error.


Well said Gareth! Cameron has resisted the easy populist hits and I've got enough faith in Party members that they'll recognise this and elect him on Dec 6th.

Keep the faith!:

A poll in today's Times reports that David Cameron is ahead of David Davis on almost every measure.

Among Conservative voters, David Cameron is ahead:
by 45 to 11 on who would be most likely to win a General Election;
by 42 to 15 on who would be 'more in touch with ordinary people';
by 36 to 12 on who would unite the Party;
by 33 to 14 on 'bold, compelling policies on tax, economy and public services'.

Jonathan Sheppard

We have two good candidates - and we dont need to run one down to promote the positives of the other.

I dont accept Davis has lurched to the right - appealing to the bottom 25% of society is hardly a right wing agenda - just as Cameron's policy on CSR issues isnt either.


Jonathan, I do think Davis has been populist and the populus poll shows the effect on die hard Conservative voters.

But the core vote strategy is simply one which will result in the Party losing the next Election.

Furthermore, I strongly believe that Davis himself is less likely to appeal beyond the core vote, because he just doesn't have a charisma which a leader needs.

It's a bit like the artist and the art critic - both might know what makes fine art - but only one has the talent to produce the painting.

Davis talks about reaching out - but I honestly believe he hasn't the ability to do it.

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