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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 October 2005, 20:04 GMT
Davis dismisses Cameron poll lead
David Cameron and David Davis
Tory party members can begin voting next week
Three-quarters of Conservative party members plan to vote for David Cameron in the party's leadership election, a new BBC poll suggests.

In an ICM poll of 215 party members, Mr Cameron had the support of 76% of those revealing their intentions, with 24% planning to back rival David Davis.

The campaign has five weeks left to run but ballot papers go out next week.

Mr Davis's camp brushed off the survey, pointing out that a quarter of those polled had not decided whom to endorse.

Key ally Damian Green said that while Mr Davis would not win an election today, the battle still had "a long way to run".

People want to see politicians believe in something and stand for something
David Davis

And Mr Davis told Sky News he was the "what you see is what you get" candidate, adding: "The era of spin is coming to an end...Principles matter more than media manipulation.

"People want to see politicians believe in something and stand for something. That will become very apparent."

Mr Cameron has outperformed Mr Davis in a number of opinion polls but Mr Davis says his campaign is on track.

He put education at the forefront of his campaign on Saturday with a pledge to "revolutionise" inner city education by creating 20 new grammar schools if he becomes prime minister.

The disappearance of grammar schools was preventing poorer children from succeeding, he said in a speech to party members.

"I want to create an opportunity society," he said.

"To make that a reality we need people who start near the bottom of the pile to be able to make it to the top."

But Mr Cameron later said it was preferable to have a "greater choice" for parents.

He said: "Schools should have the freedom to decide their own culture and ethos, determine their approach to discipline, own their land and buildings and decide their own admissions policy.

"Rather than just a binary choice between grammar schools for some and secondary modern for others, it is far better to have wider diversity in schools and greater choice for parents."

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