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BBC TwoThe Daily Politics


Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Perception Panel: David Cameron
Daily Politics Perception Panel

The Perception Panel measures how you the viewers react to the big conference speeches - in real time! We're the first TV programme in the world to do this, and we want you to get involved: call 0800 666 808 for more details, or read on...

We've brought back the Perception Panel that proved popular during last year's conference and PMQs - so popular, in fact, that you pushed the system to its very limits - and then some!

This year, we're ready for you, and we're interested in how you're responding to three of the men who would be PM - and the one who is.

The speeches in question are Menzies Campbell's (Sept 21st), Gordon Brown's (Sept 25th), Tony Blair's (Sept 26th) and David Cameron's (Oct 4th).

From the comfort of your armchair you can tell us whether you're loving or hating what the big guns are saying -- as they're saying it.

How does it work?

About ten minutes before the speech, we'll ask you to use your landline telephone to ring the freephone number 0800 666 808. Then Jenny will ask you a few questions - but she'll go easier on you than she does on our guests!

Which buttons do I press?
Daily Politics Perception Panel
If you like what's said: 5
If you dislike what's said: 8
You tell us a little bit about yourself and then stay on the line. While you watch the speeches, you push numbers on your telephone keypad to tell us if you're feeling negative or positive about what is being said.

We then frantically crunch the numbers and before the end of the programme, our snazzy graphs show what you made of the exchange.

David Cameron
Wednesday October 4th: David Cameron

Our final Perception Panel of the season asked for your real-time responses to David Cameron's first conference speech as party leader.

It came after several days of persuading his party and the public that the Tories have really changed, with a new image and a new tone for the party. There would be no up-front tax cuts before economic stability, and a new focus on social responsibility.

Mr Cameron also said it was too early to commit to specific policies, but he did say that the health service would be his key priority.

Perception Panel
"I can do mine in three letters"

So first, we examined the passage where Mr Cameron mentioned the NHS.

"Tony Blair once told us that his priority could be explained in three words: education, education, education.

I can do mine in three letters: N H S.

You can see support from Conservative supporters and also from the Lib Dems. But with the NHS so important to Labour, what's interesting is that there's almost as much negative as positive, cancelling out any effect he might have in wooing Labour voters. They clearly don't quite believe Mr Cameron.

Perception Panel
"That is the British way."

Response to Mr Cameron's speech was less divided than for the other speeches, with broad support across different age groups and both genders. We chose his words on law and order as an example.

They are bringing in new offences that aren't being used. But they haven't changed the law so that wiretap evidence can be used to prosecute terror suspects in court.

People who threaten our security should be arrested, charged, put in front of a court, tried and imprisoned.

That is the British way.

This response - with men closely mirroring women - went on throughout the speech as a whole.

Perception Panel
"The issues are incredibly complicated"

One issue that did prove divisive was education. Mr Cameron introduced the issue as something that Tony Blair had concentrated on. We looked at your response to his words on the controversial issue of faith schools, a subject Mr Cameron thought was important in many people's hearts and minds.

"The Conservative Party must address these issues. Real substance means addressing them openly and frankly.

The issues are incredibly complicated. They will need sensitive handling.

And I can't think of anyone better to do it than our Shadow Education Secretary, David Willetts.

Everyone began responding more in this section. We saw a lot of negative responses in the South, and even moreso in the North. The latter is a key area for Mr Cameron, and one which doesn't feel that the Tories are the ones to trust when it comes to education.

Stay in touch

What else do you have to say about Mr Cameron's speech - or about the Conferences in general.

If you have anything to tell us about the Perception Panel, or any other aspect of The Daily Politics, please do email us at daily.politics@bbc.co.uk or use the form below.

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Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all emails will be published.

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