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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 December 2005, 15:06 GMT
Q&A: New Tory leader
David Cameron has been chosen as the new Conservative leader, beating David Davis to the job. Here is our guide to the end of the leadership race.

What was the result?

Just over 253,000 Conservative Party members across the UK were eligible to vote. Turnout was close to 80%. David Cameron got 134,446 votes, David Davis got 64,398.

How important is being Conservative leader?

The new Conservative leader will be leader of the Opposition in a Parliament where Labour's majority has been cut to 66 and Prime Minister Tony Blair faces opposition from some Labour MPs over reform plans. The political landscape is also changing, with Mr Blair set to stand down before the next election. it would require a huge turnaround for the Tories to win the next election, but the party is more hopeful than at any time since before 1997.

Who is David Cameron?

The 39-year-old shadow education secretary and Witney MP only entered Parliament in 2001 but was the Tories' campaign coordinator in the general election. The Old Etonian previously worked as a communications' director for Carlton and in the 1990s was special adviser to Home Secretary Michael Howard and Chancellor Norman Lamont.

Who is David Davis?

The shadow home secretary is a former SAS soldier in the Territorial Army who grew up as the son of a single mother on a south London council estate. The 56-year-old Haltemprice and Howden MP entered Parliament in 1987 and served as Europe minister in John Major's government. In opposition, he has been party chairman and shadow to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

What was the difference between their agendas?

Both want lower taxes but Mr Davis wanted to go further, saying he could provide 38bn of tax cuts by the election. Mr Cameron says specific tax pledges cannot be made so far from an election. Mr Davis also objected to Mr Cameron's desire to downgrade ecstasy as a class A drugs - something his rival says is part of a realistic approach to drugs. There were style differences too, with Mr Davis saying he preferred substance to style. Mr Cameron was dubbed "Tory" Blair early in the campaign. He said the Tories must move beyond their traditional core issues and present an optimistic image.

Who are Cameron's key backers?

His campaign manager has been shadow chancellor George Osborne and his campaign has also been endorsed recently by former leaders William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith, as well as rival leadership contender Liam Fox. Long-time backers include shadow cabinet minister Oliver Letwin, Boris Johnson, new MPs Michael Gove and Ed Vaizey and carpets' millionaire Lord Harris of Peckham.

Who were key Davis backers?

His campaign has been run by shadow international development secretary Andrew Mitchell, with frontbenchers David Willetts, Julie Kirkbride and Dominic Grieve among his backers. Former shadow education secretary Damian Green has also been an important campaign adviser.

What about their wives?

Mr Cameron is married to Samantha, 34, the daughter of Old Etonian Lincolnshire landowner Sir Reginald Sheffield. The former arts student is now a director of Bond Street stationery firm Smythson. Mr Davis' wife Doreen has been more reluctant about appearing in public. A graduate, she gave up teaching to look after their three children and runs Mr Davis' constituency office from their Yorkshire farmhouse.

How did the leadership race unfold?

Michael Howard announced after the general election in May he would stand down. A large number of Tory MPs pondered standing, and Mr Davis was the overwhelming favourite. But he slipped back after a lacklustre speech at the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool. His place as favourite was taken by Mr Cameron after he delivered a note-free speech. When official nominations came in there were four candidates - with Ken Clarke and Liam Fox knocked out in two rounds of MPs voting. Davis had more support in the first round of the MPs' vote, but Cameron topped the second round. The past six weeks have seen the two candidates touring the country at hustings and in media events as they sought to win over the party's 253,600 voting members across the country.

Was the leadership contest a success?

The Conservatives certainly think so. There are differences between the two contenders but none of the rancour and bitterness seen between rival camps in the 2001 run-off between Ken Clarke and Iain Duncan Smith. The race has brought young Tories to greater prominence, although critics complain there has been little "meat" on policy, especially from Mr Cameron.


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