Saturday, November 05, 2005

Davis Coming Back

This morning's YouGov poll of Tory members shows that DD has cut DC's lead by 18 percentage points over the past ten days.

The main factor seems to have been the QT debate, with 27% saying it had made them more inclined to vote for Davis, against only 2% for DC (BBC take note).

The poll also shows that the "style vs substance" choice has registered strongly. DD scored well on substance and policy, but much less well on "style". In contrast 40% of members reckon DC has style but not much substance, 24% even saying he "seems lightweight".

So at last- after a month of battering- that momentum thing is moving back in DD's favour.

It's obviously not enough yet, but next week brings a series of head-to-head TV interviews for both candidates. Naturally the most keenly awaited will be "ordeal by Paxman", who despite his own immaculate coiffure, is not a known respecter of style politicos. It's the kind of test our new leader must be able to pass. Let's hope both candidates are up for it, and that reports of DC wimping out are wrong.

As the ever polite Mr Heffer says today:

"DC's Question Time performance showed how weak he is when confronted by members of the public in search of hard policies. More to the point - and as a PR man himself he will understand the truth of what I am about to say - if someone who is not a natural television performer, like David Davis, gets the better of him in a rather friendly and well-mannered debate, then the emergency services will have to be called out when Tony Blair and his machine get their hands on him.

Tories need to scrutinise him more closely - though since he has, unlike Mr Davis, so far refused to be grilled by Jeremy Paxman next week, I am afraid our chances to find out more might be severely limited."


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