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« Question 2: Is 90 days too long to be held without trial? | Main | Question 4: Does it make sense to set out tax policy four years before an election? »



I am a DC supporter, but DC is doing VERY badly. He looks nervous and uncomfortable, and Davis is relaxed and more substantive.

I really hope that DC is going to improve his game, because this way Gordon Brown is going to have him for lunch...(obviously this leadership race is over already and DC will win, the question is merely by what margin)


DD is more confident and relaxed, DC looks to be more on the back foot.

James Hellyer

Comedy moment of the evening: David Cameron's preening expression when congratulated on his conference speech then falling when he was told he "couldn't run a bath".

Cameron looks and sounds nervous and defensive. His neck is getting redder by the minute. His body language and posture are uncomfortable, and he's parroting excerpts from past speeches. If he can't cope with this, how would he manage as PM?

Why the hell did he carry on with the "proceeds of growth" line when it became obvious Davis had the IFS quote in the wings? There's no spontaneity...


Again I speak as a DC supporter: but looking at this, it might not be a bad thing for DC to get clobbered in the media tomorrow and for DD to make this into something of a race. Because these trite cut-and-pastes from his speeches are really disappointing. DD both sounds and looks like someone with ideas. DC looks out of place. Strange. PS: He wasn't very convincing again Ruth Kelly at the despatch box the other week either...


Have to agree. Am watching on line as a DC supporter but he ain't looking good. Perhaps DD's practice paid off?

Fair play to DC for agreeing to do Question Time, esp. as he's the front runner with everything to lose, but I reckon it's certainly backfiring...

Daniel Vince-Archer

Cameron's stroppy, foot-stamping, Toys (out-of-the-pram) R Us moment - "I'll answer this my way!" was also particularly amusing, as was the response of the audience.


Cameron's standing listening to Davis with his fists clenched - clearly nervous and worried. Davis leaning forward over his podium, chatty manner and very much at ease. Cameron is going to have to get a grip on himself.


Jamie: Well, some adversity is good for people, actually. If DC doesn't have to go through a bit of fire he will never be ready for the Labour boys. But Blair and Brown will have him for lunch if he doesn't improve, so let him get a bit nervous. I am still convinced he's going to win.

Although, to be fair, the media owes it to DD to write up tonight's debate like the wrote up the conference speeches!


I;m a devastated Cameron supporter. I just want the ground to open up beneath me and be swallowed up.

Oh how I wish David Davis was leader. Is it too late for me to repent?

James Hellyer

I find it very worrying that Cameron seems to just repeat his speeches and articles verbatim. There's no sign of intellectual nimbleness. The impression given is that he's an actor rather than someone with convictions.

I think this is what Dennis Skinner was getting at when he criticised Cameron's scripted performance in the education debate.


This is turning into a bloodbath....Hm...perhaps we have a race on our hands after all!

The press obviously doesn't like anything as much as a comeback is that this thing will be decided in the next 2 weeks, so Davis better make optimal use of this momentum.

Expect massive signs of Buyer's Remorse tomorrow....conservatives, like me, are obviously supporting DC because we want a winner NOT because we agree with his wish-washy centrism.

Daniel Vince-Archer

I know people will be expecting me to talk up Davis but I genuinely think he's coming across really well - relaxed, personable, unruffled. Will the media report this? Will they hell. They've already decided that Cameron will be the next leader and nothing will get in the way of that. I also doubt they'll highlight that Cameron seems uptight, patronising, robotic and flustered. Is it just me or is he a male version of Patricia Hewitt?

Henry Cook

Hmmm... I'm suspicious about these new bloggers who've suddenly appeared as DC supporters suddenly hating what he's saying. (especially as one of them's URL is

Interestingly DD has already started shortening on - down from 9/1 to 6.6/1.

IMHO its pretty equal, DD performing as well as DD can, DC perfoming not as well as DC can. Doesn't mean (for me) that DD's winning overall.

"I find it very worrying that Cameron seems to just repeat his speeches and articles verbatim."

Just read this at the exact moment that he started off repeating his scripted point about caring just as much as about Sub Suharan Africa... Thanks Dave, but give us something new.


Daniel: no the media just likes a good story. Cameron wins debat is boring. Davis makes a comeback is exciting. The media is biased yes, but primarily biased in favor of their self-constructred narratives

James Hellyer

Nice cheap shot, Henry. Do you honestly think that DD campaign plants would use the campaign url? As an excuse that's a laughable as Cameron's hissy fit!

Henry Cook

Aint an excuse James - I helpfully pointed the betting figures out for you. But who are these people who've suddenly appeared - I could post as someone else if I wanted.

No excuses. I've already said I think DD's doing well.

Audience member: "We're sick of all the spin"

DC nods in agreement.

Second comedy moment?

James Hellyer

I think you're right there, Goldie. Lord Bell said at Conference that the story of the week was always going to be "Davis bad speech, Cameron or Clarke good speech," because destroying the favourite was a good media narrative. Similarly this will add some excitement to what seemed a one sided campaign story.

Simon Heffer must be delighted :=)


Henry: oh please. I told you and was, from the very start, and continue to be a DC supporter, but our man really will start to get A LOT better at debating, because he's simply awful tonight.


Henry, if it's any help, I read this blog daily, post very rarely but think this evening is extremely important. My first choice for leader was Liam Fox, and I switched to Davis when Fox was knocked out. I was in the hall for Cameron's speech at conference and was not impressed. Davis' performance at conference was not good (understatement) but the content was.

Henry Cook

I can understand James and co not liking DC's performance, but if you enjoyed his conference speech and campaign launch, I can't see how you can call him 'simply awful tonight'.


Simply really Henry. I want a winner. I backed DC because I --two years ago-- identified him as a potential winner. But a winner needs to be able to defly dispose of someone like Davis in a debate. I'm afraid I don't see DC doing that this evening. I expect that DD will get a boost out of this, and that's good because --per ardua ad astra. Let DC sweat a little. He'd better get used to it! (Of course, barring some scandal, DC is, regardless, going to win this election...)


Poor little Cameron. looking out of his depth. Gordon Brown would shrivel him up!

James Hellyer

He was "simply awful tonight", Henry. It's therefore easy to describe his performance thus!

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