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« Question Time poll | Main | Daily Mail: "Cameron backtracks on drugs downgrade" »



Oh for goodness sake! Most of the people who have posted comments on here seem to bluntly argue amongst themselves without recognising that both candidates do have positive points.

For what it's worth, I was a Cameron supporter and after watching the debate, I've decided to "wait and see" over the next few weeks. I still think I'll end up voting for DC, but a DD leadership doesn't worry me as much as it did before.

Personally, I think it was a shame that so many jumped on the Cameron bandwagon just because of one pretty good speech. There are problems with Cameron, and were before Blackpool - but people glossed over them in their desire to believe that Cameron was some kind of Tory Messiah.

Davis speaks a lot of common sense. He seemed competant. I felt it was very apparent that he attempted to thrust experience into the spotlight whenever he could. I don't think, as I did before, that he would be a disaster. I still think he'd go up against the country and lose due to lack of charisma, telegenity and appeal to the average swing voter. But he is a smart and capable politician and I hope he manages to contribute to Tory party politics for many successful years to come.

Which leads me on to Cameron. He didn't have the best debate, but I don't particularly think that this will lead to a dramatic loss of support. My main point in support of DC is that I do believe he is the man who can appeal to swing voters, at least in a way that Davis cannot.

But, I will say this. I think this contest has not been handled properly. Too much emphasis was placed on the Blackpool speeches, which gave David Cameron too much of an unchecked advantage for so long.


The James review didn't identify £38,000,000 of cuts.Even if it had I wasn't aware that Davis was commiting himself to those decisions on spending taken before the last election campaign. Am I wrong or was it just an example of spin?

James Maskell

Italic attack. James Hellyer Im looking at you!


Italic attacked repulsed by superhero editor - saviour of all plain texting on the blogosphere! Sleep easy in your beds tonight folks.

James Hellyer

Why me?

"The James review didn't identify £38,000,000 of cuts"

It identified savings that amounted to £35 billion by the end of this parliament.

"Even if it had I wasn't aware that Davis was commiting himself to those decisions on spending taken before the last election campaign."

I didn't say he was commited to them. I said there were cost saving identified that hadn't been implemented by the government.

"Am I wrong or was it just an example of spin?"

No, it was example of you being apparently incapable of reading the answer to your questions.

James Hellyer

Superhero editor? Has David Cameron put something in the water?!?

John Coulson

From the BBC website:

A Cameron campaign spokesman hit back at suggestions Mr Davis had got the better of his younger rival in the televised contest, saying "David Cameron beat him on most questions."

He claimed Mr Davis had come into the debate looking "hopeless" and "incompetent" and had targeted his message at core Conservative supporters, while Mr Cameron tried to speak to the wider electorate and a "new generation" of voters

That is just despicable. DC should be ashamed.

Ed R

It's also essentially true. Nobody was seriously predicting a Davis win (hopeless) and the Winter Gardens speech had proved a big detractor (incompetent). He did target his message at core supporters and Cameron is targeting a new generation. I'd rather it wasn't said in the interests of party unity but it's not like there's anything untrue.

James Maskell

The saviour in the blue comes and saves us all from the evil italics...Editor, Our Hero!


I can also report that at today's Winchester meeting DD specifically ruled out all-women short-lists. He believes that we can increase our female MPs by targeting and mentoring women. He also suggested widening out the selection process to include surgery work, community activities etc, which women excel at.

James Hellyer

"It's also essentially true. Nobody was seriously predicting a Davis win (hopeless) and the Winter Gardens speech had proved a big detractor (incompetent)."

That's untrue. A lot of people had thought Davis could turn it around at Question Time and later with Paxman.

I'd also dispute that the Conference speech was a sign of "incompetence". Davis isn't a very good platform speaker, but that's not the only skill a politician has to master.

I don't see you saying Cameron that is "incompetent" for not being much good at Q&A...

The Conservative Party in a No-Win situation, because if Cameron is elected on a mandate of away with the old and in with the new, it will give him no power what so ever over the parliamentary party. He will be indebted to too many and respected by too few, and will be forced to be at most a figure head for think tanks and in effect all that we shall have is a version of George Bush without the lust for power.
If on the other hand against all odds Davis is elected, then the reverse might well happen and we could expect a series of purges within the parliamentary party that would make Margaret Thatcher’s iron fisted rule seem like a holiday in comparison.
Personally I think that they deserve a kick up the arse rather than a reward for not doing their jobs properly.


I heard an interesting comment by Andrew Neil on the later show, that the Conservatives had tried to win in the past on the 'who governs Britain' argument and failed until the electorate had had enough in 1979. I think this could happen next time when people are finally sick and tired of all the lies, spin, sheer greed and the corruption of politics by this dreadful Government. Then they may be ready to listen to the traditional Conservative solutions again. I have nothing against David Cameron but last night confirmed my view that he is just too inexperienced and I do not think he reacted well to pressure. I doubt if anyone will want another Tony Blair next time. I just want some honesty, experience and a Government that will get off my back and out of my pocket. David Cameron may well be a good leader in time but, in my opinion, his time is not now. I don't want to see another promising young politician ruined as William Hague was by getting the leadership too soon.

This election is seriously damaging my sense of discerning truth & fiction. Remember the film “The Candidate” starring Robert Redford (1972). Although Bill McKay (Redford) starts off as a legal eagle do-gooder using his skills to help those less fortunate, but by film's end he is simply another adulterous politician seduced by the spotlight, unsure of how to proceed. Particularly memorable is the final scene and the helpless look on his face when he pulls Boyle (his advisor) to one side and asks, "What do we do now...?" after winning the election.

After last night I don't think that Davis should have DC in his Shadow Cabinet. DC has denigrated Davis throughout with the subliminal "I look down on you because I am upper class" John Cleese messages. Cameron is not a team player and should be thoroughly ashamed of himself for the grubby campaign he has run. Derek Conway may be a brute, but at least we know he is a brute. The brutes on DC's side are devilish. I have no time for him at all.

Anyway its nice to see that there is no more talk of the conspiracy by the press to denigrate Davis. The press seems finally to have warmed to him. Those hungry hacks love a good punch up. Particulary if the underdog carries on with broken nose.

Sally Rideout Baker

With Iain Duncan Smith we had a Leader who was basically honest – a small detail over his education perhaps, but apart from that he was and is the type of man the we need.

He was overthrown by the dishonest Howard and the blatant opportunist Davis.

David Cameron is honest, almost too honest.

In Thursday’s debate Davis played an evident tactic. He had a plant in the audience. One William Aitken, son of the disgraced Jonathan Aitken! And friend of David Davis.

Cameron was taken aback from his assertion that “he could not run a bath”. Aitken had not even asked a question, he just put across a very nasty assertion.

I think David Cameron did well in coping with this, but nonplussed with the realisation that dirty tricks were abroad.

The same dirty tricks that brought down IDS.

I would be far happier if all those associated with the downfall of Duncan Smith were kicked out of the Party. And that includes David Davis.

Mike Smithson

On the "live blogging" I think that you will find that Politicalbetting won by a long in terms of comments.


The accusations about William Aitkin are obviously concerning and one can only imagine Davis will get some of his own medicine if he was involved. But we have to accept that Cameron lost that debate because he was poorly prepared for some fairly obvious questions and inexplicably came out with the ecstasy comment. I hope Gove, Letwin & Osbourne went out and found the real David Cameron because his clone on newsnight was poor.

Come on Cameron we know you can do better than that.

As for Davis (now this isn't easy for me to say :-)), I do now for the first time begin to see him as being more than the election write-off I initially did, I was wrong about him....... but an on form Cameron is a better bet for leader..... but DC don't you dare rest on your laurals, Question Time was embarrassing for those who've backed you.


James I've just seen your answer to me from Friday evening.Why you choose to be so rude I've no idea.I would take it personally but you seem to be like this with most people who disagree with you.
I read some time ago that you wanted to become a parliamentary candidate.For your sake and the party's I hope you wouldn't be selected for a marginal seat.Despite the fact that you're both well informed and erudite you are also incredibly abrasive and I don't think capable of persuading anybody of voting for our party who is not already a committed Conservative.

James Hellyer

Perhaps, Malcolm, it's because you were being damned rude. Or do you consider accusing someone of hypocrisy for answering a question in a straightforward manner as being the height of good manners?


As I said James I don't take this personally you are unecessarily rude tomany people and often make completely unfounded accusations but carry on if it makes you happy.

James Hellyer

Time for a reality chack here, Malcolm. You are not in a position to lecture anyone on how they should conduct themselves, or have you forgotten how you've accused all and sundry of being "morons" or being "trolls" or making "moronic comments"?

Now you're complaining because I got annoyed when I was accused of hypocrisy, while you systematically responded to things I hadn't actually said!

One more thing,I do not make unfounded accusations. If asked I can always provide details of a source.

Now attend to the woodchip in your eye before lecturing others on their mote of dust.

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