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Last Updated: Friday, 21 October 2005, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK
Cameron and Davis go head-to-head
David Cameron and David Davis
The candidates will embark on a series of hustings
Tory leadership contenders David Cameron and David Davis are taking their campaigns to the country after winning through the final MPs' vote.

Mr Cameron topped the poll, which saw Liam Fox eliminated. The 300,000 Tory members will now make the final choice.

On Friday, Mr Cameron said he had set a clear direction but it was not the time to produce a full policy manifesto.

Mr Davis said a key test of any Tory policy had to be what it would do for the least well-off in society.

The two rivals will battle over the next six weeks to be named leader when the results are announced on 6 December.

Economy

David Cameron, 39, will begin his campaigning on Friday with a visit to a community-run radio station in Brent South.

His first day on the nationwide campaign trail will also include a meeting with party workers in his Oxfordshire constituency of Witney and an internet webcast.

He said he wanted to share the proceeds of economic growth between keeping taxes down and improving public services.

REACTION IN VIDEO
David Cameron, speaking to the media moments after the result was announced
Each candidate gave a response following the announcement

That was different from Mr Davis' policy of always keeping public spending below growth in the economy, he said.

But it would not be wise to write the Tory manifesto for the 2009 election now, Mr Cameron argued.

Drugs question

David Davis, 56, will be heading to the Midlands to visit the University of Warwick, in Coventry, which he himself once attended.

He said he wanted to follow George Bush's strategy by recognising that "people want to vote for a party that is good for themselves and good for their neighbour".

In a sign that the drugs question that has dogged his campaign is not about to go away, Mr Cameron was pressed on Thursday, in an interview on Channel 4 News, into confirming he had never taken cocaine as an MP.

Mr Cameron has previously refused to answer questions about drug use, saying he had a "right to a private life before politics".

Mr Davis denies trying to put pressure on his rival over the drugs issue. He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he will not answer any questions about drugs use or policy for the rest of the leadership campaign.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
Friday - candidates meet party officials to finalise rules for campaign
October to December - 11 hustings held around UK
4 November - ballots sent out to Conservative members
6 December - final result announced

Critics of Mr Cameron say he is too inexperienced.

Veteran MP Sir Nicholas Winterton said he was worried for his party that Mr Cameron could be "eaten alive" by Tony Blair or Gordon Brown.

"I say this, a lot can happen in six weeks, a lot can be revealed, a balloon can burst with a pin-prick," argued Sir Nicholas.

Thursday's final ballot of MPs saw Mr Cameron win 90 votes, Mr Davis 57 and Dr Fox 51.

Dr Fox admitted he was disappointed not to get through then congratulated his rivals, but refused to endorse either.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
The final two candidates face intense scrutiny



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