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



Sean come to a truly working class City, like Durham and I'll show you how the Lib Dems have pushed the Conservatives not just into 3rd place, but to near extinction despite the populism of the last 8 years which is now being advocated by Davis.

Shouting the same message, but louder isn't the answer.


Where else will these voters go? We need to bank them and move on.

Sean Fear

Michael, I'm not the one who's writing off a quarter of the electorate as "rednecks".

We need to appeal across the board, not just to the upper middle classes.

Sean Fear

"Where else will these voters go?"

The sitting room, UKIP, BNP, Veritas, or some other organisation which doesn't patronise them.


I agree sean - but you do that by appealing to values not to specific sections of society with populist policies.

People see that sort of cloth cap conservatism as patronising and false.

Mike L

Very important to note the fieldwork dates:

YouGov poll of members (DC leading 68-32) - fieldwork Friday 4 Nov

New Populus poll of voters - fieldwork Friday 4 Nov to Sunday 6 Nov

Everyone is saying that Populus is a new poll but the fieldwork is almost simultaneous to YouGov. It is inconceivable that such a huge change could take place in such a tiny period of time (average one day).

The conclusion must be that members are voting for Cameron (probably because they think he can win a General Election) whilst at the same time Tory voters prefer Davis.


I don't want to go scrubbing around for votes with the BNP and their soul mates in Veritas. We don't need to anyway. The 'core vote' will vote for us to get Labour out. The swing vote needs to be persuaded that we're a better alternative.

Don't get so hung up on being 'patronising' Sean. I despise racism and racists. Hold your head up high and be proud to be more enlightened/better educated/more sophisticated. Go on, it's very liberating you know.


Good post about Bush and Gore Daniel, made me smile on a very boring (as usual) morning at the office.I remember being so happy when Bush was finally declared the victor....God,that seems such a long time ago now!

Barry Graham

As someone said earlier ... it's hardly a shock if Davis' core vote strategy is proving popular with the core vote.
The naive tax cut pledge was a last throw of the dice to appeal to the Tory electorate.
In other words, in a desperate attempt to win the leadership he has made the party a hostage to fortune in the event of him beating Cameron.
It makes me laugh when anti-Cameron posters trot out the tired old argument that DC is a shameless charlatan who will do anything to get elected when Davis is the man forsaking the bigger picture to appeal to Tory voters.
This strategy and the other findings of the populus poll merely confirm what we've been saying all along: namely, that only Cameron can win over the voters we need to triumph in a General Election.

Barbara Villiers

Gareth -

You said it all - you are a metropolitan liberal and you do not speak for the rest of the country of whom you so disdainfully speak. The Democrats on the East and West coasts of America learned that to their chagrin.

Of course our policies must meet the needs of those in our society but this means a cross section of our society, not just the metrosexuals.


'Metrosexuals'!? Do please explain Barbara. I can hardly wait.

Barbara Villiers

Surely you are being facetious?!


You're absolutely Barbara that I'm disdainful of racists and racism (and those prepared to pander to it). I'm disdainful of sexism and homophobia and those who peddle it. I'm disdainful of those who want to remove hard won freedoms like the right for women to control their own fertility. I'm disdainful of thse who want to see the death penalty restored and of those who think that prison is always the answer. I'm disdainful of those who lecture others about economic self-sufficiency but at the same time want to dictate who they can and can't sleep with.

And, go on Barbara, admit that you're disdainful of metroptolitan liberals like me. You hate everything we stand for.

Sean Fear

Gareth, are you really just an angry white male who's parodying the views of Conservative "modernisers"?

Jack Stone

The big news about this poll, as in most polls, isn`t the headline figures but in the details.
They show that the party can only win with David Cameron as leader.
At the end of the day members have a simple choice in this election. Victory with Cameron or defeat with Davis!

Daniel Vince-Archer

Well done on yet another thought-through insight Jack. One small point though, the poll indicates that David Cameron, even with the added advantage of an avalanche of media support, wouldn't beat Gordon Brown either. But I'm clearly a fool for expecting the facts to get in the way of another absurd pro-Cameron assertion.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"It makes me laugh when anti-Cameron posters trot out the tired old argument that DC is a shameless charlatan who will do anything to get elected when Davis is the man forsaking the bigger picture to appeal to Tory voters."

It makes me laugh when anti-Davis posters trot out the tired old argument that David Davis has nothing new to offer when Cameron is the man forsaking principles and policies to appear to the Blairite media.


DDs tax policy is bold, but is it such a mistake? He is saying that tax is too high and come what may he will cut it in the belief that it will stimulate growth and the tax take will still be maintained or quite likely go up. I understand that Ken Clarke had a similar policy, and it is what the US have also done. By setting out such a clear policy now, we would have plenty of time to make the case.

What has failed us in the past is making our policy all at the last minute, giving us no time to sound convincing. Davis is right to be bold, and he deserves credit for doing so.


Not being facetious at all, honestly.

I'm familiar with the term 'metrosexual' but I've never seen it used prejoratively before. It's normally confined to the fashion or relationship pages of Cosmo isn't it?

I'm sincerely interested in what you mean by 'metrosexual' and why you imply that I am one.

Mark Fulford

I whole-heartedly agree with Gareth's list of disdains - and not one of them contradicts Conservative values.

On Radio 4 this morning the Davis T-Shirt stunt was raised again as an issue. He brushed it off as a "sense of humour failure". When we're working to make the party more representative, it's sad that Davis can’t see the damage done by portraying Conservative women as decoration. He was also pretty quick to announce that he prefers blondes.

Mark, David Davis is proud to say he has never changed a nappy! Modern Conservative or what?!

Yet another Anon

David Cameron has been riding a bubble, he has little in the way of substance and although there would probably be a brief surge in his support if he won the leadership election and in the short term the Conservative Party might gain some supporters I don't think he would stand up to much scrutiny whereas under David Davis the Conservative Party could be pretty sure of making progress in terms of raising their profile and gaining seats even if he himself is never Prime Minister.

As for Conservative voters and members as I understand it members (who are a section of Conservative voters it is to be presumed) tend to be more in tune with the philosophy of the party as an organisation whereas Conservative voters include an admixture of floating voters and for people who support small party's but either don't have a candidate locally or don't think they can win - the same is true of Labour and Liberal Democrat voters in general in relation to their party's members.


While these Davis attitudes are not entirely as user-friendly as many of us would like, is not the more important issue Davis' policies and his plans to reform the party? This new poll showing him leading among Conservative voters seems to have encouraged some to focus on some very trivial aspects of the candidates.


I think a bubble is a very good way of describing how David Cameron has approached this election. On Question Time he came equipped to fight not the real David Davis but the caricature written off by London-based journalists. Question Time enabled Davis to talk over their heads directly to Conservative voters among whom he has a 13-point lead, according to the latest Populus poll. The Cameron election strategy is made for a short campaign that doesn't involve persuading the members of his case by revealing his agenda, and being asked unscripted, unknown questions by the Question Time audience or Jeremy Paxman. What does that strategy tell us about him, his campaign, and their ability to differentiate between media and voters?

Loyal, I think the trivial faults of Davis indicate a much bigger fundamental failing...he just hasn't got a popular touch. That's why these attempts to make him interesting...girls with big breasts, wristbands, the SAS at weekends, wandering round council estates all just look naff.

You've either got charisma or you haven't. David Davis hasn't.

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