I made it to the hustings in Cambridge this evening.
Both men are well reheased by this point in the campaign so there was nothing new, but the discernible difference between the two men in effort, fluency and appeal was very clear.
I liked that both men had space to answer why they were taking the views they do, on health, education, drugs, crime, etc. Davis continues to appeal to the Tories. Cameron is speaking over the top of the Tories to the rest of the country. Davis perceives a battle to be fought and won, Cameron sees an electorate needing to be persuaded and won over. At this point in time, leading the party is pointless unless you are going to lead the country.
Cameron has an interesting view on drugs, as I have commented on previously, and he is going to have to work hard to win the argument. But why does miss out the third pillar of the required strategy. Education, good; rehab, super. But where is the ruthless pursuit of dealers and their supply chain.
It was the same with the Bradford shooting question. Both said we mustn't make policy in the aftermath and both wanted proper sentencing, but why did neither pledge to hunt down and remove illegal guns from our society.
Anyway, apart from making me keener than ever be on that platform, the upshot of it all is that I believe that only one of them will lead a team, make the team work effectively, speak a language that ordinary people warm to rather than run from, and stand firmly on the centre ground, which coincidentally is where the majority of the electorate are currently standing.
I appreciate that Cameron does not have it all and may not yet have all the policies and detail that we need, but I have heard enough to believe that a) he will allow talent to flourish, b) that they will be policies that challenge the way the party has been seen for so long and c) that he has the ability to communicate and persuade agreement with whatever idea the Party and policy makers decide needs to be promoted.
Most importantly, I am voting positively i.e. I am voting for the person I want as leader rather than against the person I don't. I hope that Davis will remain on the scene, but I suspect it won't happen.
I have now looked him straight in the eye, shaken his hand and voted - for David Cameron.