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EDITIONS
Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Tories warm to 'quiet man' Duncan Smith
Pam Hawton and Jane Gartside
Pam Hawton and Jane Gartside went home happy

Iain Duncan Smith received the customary standing ovation in the conference hall at the end of his set piece conference speech in Bournemouth.

But what did the party faithful make of his attempt to relaunch the party and portray himself as the "quiet but determined" man of British politics?


Charisma isn't everything

Pam Hawton
James Fleming, 28, and Eric Bell, 69, who had travelled down for the conference from Chorley, Lancashire, were just grateful to have been given some ammunition to use on the doorstep.

Mr Bell said: "It was make or break for him and I think he pulled it off."

Mr Fleming said: "It was my first conference and I was very impressed. The new policies were welcome and he was right that the party has to change."

'Inspiring people'

Councilor Jane Gartside and Pam Hawton, of Rochdale, were impressed by Mr Duncan Smith's more caring image.

Walter Maddocks
Mr Maddocks 'underestimated; the Tory leader
Mrs Gartside said: "We are living in a new world and we are looking for different ways of dealing with things.

"He will do his absolute best for the poor and the vulnerable.

"And that is why we came into politics."

Mrs Hawton, of Rochdale, said: "At the end of day, charisma isn't everything, he has to inspire people to trust him and I think he is doing that."

'Underestimating'

Walter Maddocks, of West Oxforshire, said: "I think what he said 'never underestimate the determination of a quiet man', will go down as one of the all-time great quotes.

Jonny Bucknall and Mike Green
Mr Bucknall and Mr Green were impressed
"I think we have underestimated him. I think we have perhaps been trying to judge him by different standards than the ones he wants to be judged by."

Tiz Baskerville, of Norfolk, was also impressed by Mr Duncan Smith's quiet man quote.

"I think he summed it up with that. It was a good postive speech. The party has to be turned around."

Thelma Morgan, of Monmouth, was equally enthusiastic.

"Absolutely super. Don't underestimate a quiet man - that summed it up. He has all the makings of a very strong leader."

Councillor David Hale, of Ipswich, said: "I an convinced. It was a good speech."

'Brilliant speech'

Jonny Bucknall and Mike Green, of Hampstead and Highgate, thought Mr Duncan Smith had set good foundations for the next election.

Jonathan Farmer
Mr Farmer thought the Tory leader still has some work to do
"The new policies go back to the genuine Conservative values, giving rights to the individual, Mr Green said.

Richard Dollimore, the 21-year-old deputy chairman of the Nottinghamshire Conservative Future, said: "It was a brilliant speech."

'Still work to do'

But Jonathan Farmer, of North East Cambridge, was less convinced by Mr Duncan Smith.

"He seemed competent. The main audience is outside the conference hall anyway.

"He set out the party's priorities well. It is not just about rabble-rousing."

Asked if he had succeeded in convincing those who doubted his ability, Mr Farmer, who has been a party member since 1979, said: "I would say a qualified yes."

"It takes a while. He has to stamp his own authority on the party and I think we are into the stage where he is beginning to do this."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Jonathan Beale reports
"Today Iain Duncan Smith will have to give the performance of his life"

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See also:

09 Oct 02 | Politics
08 Oct 02 | Politics
10 Oct 02 | Politics
10 Oct 02 | Politics
10 Oct 02 | Politics
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