Remember Nixon-Kennedy from 1960
As I predicted on Tuesday David Davis, did much better than expectations and this is being seen as a big boost to his campaign. But how much better, will it help him and are there still betting possibilities? According to today’s YouGov poll in the Telegraph
Of those members who took part in the poll 57% had watched the debate.
Davis was rated by 51% as “having substance but not style” while 59% thought that if Cameron was leader the party could make a fresh start. A total of 24% said Cameron was “lightweight “compared with 9% for Davis. On who was the “man of the future” the survey split Cameron 67 to Davis 8.
In some ways this has echoes of first ever big TV political debate – Nixon and Kennedy in 1960 – which showed it is how candidates appear that matters – not whether they win debating points.
And on Thursday night Davis had those terrible bags under his eyes. He also appeared arrogant, over-agressive and not really able to engage with people. Like Gordon Brown, the likely Labour leader at the next General Election, Davis is not someone that people warm too.
To many Cameron, for all his inexperience which showed through on Thursday night, comes over as likable. After such a positive showing on his debating performance Davis might be disappointed not to have moved up much more in the leadership rating.
CampDavis did a great job getting their man prepared for Thursday. He clearly has had some elocution coaching as well as the reported debating preparation. He was breathing better and was stumbling over his words much less. But it will take a lot more for people to like him.
On Tuesday I said bet at 3/1 with Paddy Power against Cameron getting below 66% of the votes. That price has now slipped to 11/8 – but it is still great value.