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« Question 3: (How) Will you take powers back from Europe? | Main | Question 5: What will the candidates do to honour family and change tax system to help marriage? »


James Hellyer

DC made a huge mistake here. DD cited the IFS response to Cameron's growth formulation, and then Cameron repeated the point leaving himself wide open...

I thought he was meant to be good at presentation?


DC seems shocked that the audience isn't swooning over him. He is showing a rather arrogant streak. Very ineffective.

Martin Curtis

Overall, so far DD is shading it. But - if DD can only shade it, with DC only having 4 years in Parliament - doesn't that show where we can be in 4 years time when he has doubled his experience?


have you realised there have been no hostile questions to DD, he ahs been given no brainers wheras DC has been hounded somewhat.

Daniel Vince-Archer

Oh look, Cameronites rolling out spin and excuses already! Excuse me for a second whilst I faint with shock. Ok I'm done.

James Hellyer

DC has been "hounded" because he's a political bimbo. Looks good, but there's not much going on upstairs!


The audience, for some reason, quickly turned against Cameron, esp. after his arrogant "I'll make my point the way I want to make it".


Also, DC seems to have gained weight. He looks much better when he's "lean".

James Hellyer

And let's face it, we've seen Davis hounded for weeks. Now we've seen Cameron under pressure and he can't hack it. He's gone red. He's clenched his fists. He's had a hissy fit. It's not a good performance.

Martin Curtis

The "I'll say it the way I want to" got a round of applause - it wasn't seen as arrogant at all?

And I've been honest about DD shading it so far - how is that Spin? And if you knew anything about me you would know I despise Spin - I run a Weblog dedicated to it (linked to this site)!!

James Hellyer

A round of applause? With added hecking and sighing, maybe.


DC isn't doing badly, but DD is doing better.

There is one clear explanation...DD has experience to help his situation..DC does not.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"There is one clear explanation...DD has experience to help his situation..DC does not."

Newsflash: Gordon Brown is even more experienced than David Davis.

James Hellyer

Surely the object lesson here is that being able to speak without notes for twenty minutes, and make a mean smoothie, are not in themselves skills that qualify someone as a leader.


Seemed like a definate win for Davis overall. Don't think Cameron did himself any favours. He didn't come across very well and came closest to losing his temper a few times.

I don't think he was helped by Dimbleby though. He interrupted Cameron at least twice yet seemed to allow Davis to speak without any interruption.

My vote (if I had one) would still go to Cameron. But I could see floating voters seeing this programme being won over a little more by Davis (especially as they now know they'll be getting a Shadow Cabinet with Cameron in it either way!). Davis'll be happier tonite.


Newsflash... I switched off when David Davis spoke... Gordon Brown is worse...he fails to connect with people by using over complicated sentence structures...

DC is genuine and is suggesting things that modern people actually CARE about. David Davis...same old same old...Almost every single tory leader has suggested what he has suggest in the past and failed.


I as a Cameron supporter before this evening, and I remain one after. Everyone in politics has their bad days and makes bad decisions, and Cameron will recover from this not so great performance.

I must admit at times Dimbelby did seem less than impartial in directing the questions, conveniently forgetting it was Cameron's turn to answer first on some of the major questions. I'm sure I'm not alone in noticing that whichever of the candidates answered a question first came off best for that question. We are presented with two very strong candidates here, but in my mind we should take the strong candidate who not only has the best policies (and as we've seen tonight both contenders have similar policies) but can appeal to the electorate as a whole, and that is clearly David Cameron.

James Hellyer

Jaz, you're in cloud cuckoo land. Cameron didn't say anything that connected with anyone - as the audience reaction showed.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"I switched off when David Davis spoke..."

And yet you say Davis did better? Amazing.

James Hellyer

"I don't think he was helped by Dimbleby though. He interrupted Cameron at least twice..."

Then how will Cameron fare against Humphrys, or Paxman, or at question time against Blair or Brown? Badly would be my guess. This programme was an easy ride compared to some of the ones named above.

Cameron did turn down the post of Shadow Chancellor for a reason...

James Hellyer

"... but can appeal to the electorate as a whole, and that is clearly David Cameron."

Only if you ignore this programme, where Cameron was very cooly received.


this is the point. DC put in a bad performance, his strategy was one of soundbites, he was rehashing past speeches word for word, i found that it lacked spontaneity. he actually looked edgy from the start, very strange.
The constant jibe, from DD as well, that he is lacking substance and policy anouncements is ridiculous, i think he is absolutely right on that issue.
DD who looked quite relaxed (he has nothing to lose) and put in a confident performance, however, he still demonstrated why he is the wrong candidate, he is dull, he is for sure my 3rd or 4th choice out of the last 3 leaders. how anyone thinks he would gain us one more vote is beyond me, a competent junior minister maybe, leader of the party? PM?.


ooh it was like tennis, when DD broke DC's first serve on Q6 and took control of the match.

At the end of the day policy and substance is important to people and repeating the same soundbites gets boring after a while.

I don't think he was dull either - it is not a beauty contest or talent show, the substance and policies of each of these candidates should they win the next general election will dictate the quality of your life for upto five years.


"Only if you ignore this programme, where Cameron was very cooly received."

I agree as I said earlier that DC put himself forward badly tis evning. However if you'd read the newspapers over the last few weeks you'd have seen that practically every publication relating to politics in some manner whether it's a Murdoch rag or The Spectator has declared their enthusiastic support for Cameron.

DD and Dimbleby wrongly accussed DC of being the "Heir to Blair" because he intended to use spin to get the Tory's into power. The reason he is compared to Blair is because he has the charisma, determination and ideas to transform the Tory party into a party that can win elections much as Kinnock, Smith and Blair did for Labour.

DC has had a bad day and the media will seize this, and many have critiscised DC for his handling this evening. If you want an example of how DC can handle the media well, take the drugs issue. Until someone decided to stir the issue up this evening the whole drug taking issue had been practically forgotten, in effect DC had fought the media and won.

"Then how will Cameron fare against Humphrys, or Paxman, or at question time against Blair or Brown? Badly would be my guess."

Fair point, although not an answer to the point I was making. The fact is that this is was a programme that was generally conducted in good spirits which was designed to give the two candidates a chance to give their views. The fact that the chair decided to act differently to one candidate than the other is, for me, not entirely fair.

You can draw a conclusion from tonight's programme that Cameron wouldn't cope well with a grilling from an interviewer yet we can't say the same about Davis, as he didn't revieve one.

Also consider that, if up against Paxman or Humphrys, Cameron would be better prepared. Its reasonable to assume he wouldn't have expected it tonight.

And I don't believe he turned down the Shadow Chancellor job because he is scared of Brown. It is more likely because up against Brown the (strangely popular)Chancellor it is difficult to land a hit quickly and easily. Brown the Prime Minister will be a different matter.

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