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Page last updated at 05:56 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 06:56 UK
Cameron interviewed by Newsbeat listeners
By Rajini Vaidyanathan
Newsbeat politics reporter, in Newquay


Conservative leader David Cameron faces Radio 1 listeners in Newquay

Surfers on Newquay's Fistral Beach are just some of the hundreds of people who come to Cornwall every summer for their holidays.

This year Tory leader David Cameron is one of the many taking a summer break here too.

He's not donning a wetsuit and taking to a board, but you could say he's riding high on the crest of a wave - just a different sort.

"I want us to win because we deserve to. I think Gordon Brown has probably helped me by making bad decisions
David Cameron
While Gordon Brown and the Labour party come to terms with a battering at the polls in Glasgow East, it seems the Conservative leader can do no wrong.

But is his success down to Gordon Brown's troubles? What does he stand for? What would life be like under a Cameron premiership?

Just some of the questions our Radio 1 and 1Xtra listeners wanted answering.

We took a group to meet the Tory leader, who broke off from his time on the beach to answer their questions.

All five listeners weren't political anoraks, some had voted before but none of them had ever put a cross by the Conservative box.

As David Cameron sat down to meet the group he admitted he had his "work cut out" because of that.

The first question was from single mum-of-two Lauren from Gravesend in Kent.

Lauren Evans, 29, from Gravesend
Lauren Evans is a 29-year-old single mum from Gravesend, Kent
She asked the Tory leader whether he was a "bit smug" with his current standing in the polls.

In his reply he said: "I hope I'm not smug. Because I've said I don't want us to win just because Labour are failing.

"I want us to win because we deserve to. I think Gordon Brown has probably helped me by making bad decisions.

"I've still got a lot of work to do to convince people that I'm the right person."

And he did his best to convince our listeners as he fielded questions from them.

Fourteen-year-old Laura Barritt from Bangor, north Wales, asked the Tory leader what he'd do about underage drinking and whether his party would consider creating public areas for teenagers to drink in.

Laura Barritt, 14, from Bangor
Laura Barritt is a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Bangor, Gwynedd
Mr Cameron said: "Some of the friends I had, the ones who had the biggest problems, were the ones who were actually never able to drink anything at home.

"Whereas the ones who drink responsibly are the ones who, you know, were given a glass of wine, or a small glass of beer, or a shandy - just to get them to know, this is alcohol, this is what it does, you have to be careful.

"And I think that's the way to do it - in the home."

Asked what age he had first got drunk, Mr Cameron said: "I can't remember but yes, when I was a teenager, I did do some things I shouldn't have done - we all do."

Ross McKay, a labourer from Dunstable, wanted to know what David Cameron would do about Polish immigration.

Ross McKay, 26, from Dunstable
Ross McKay is a 26-year-old from Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Ross said: "I'm just worried about the amount of Polish that are undercutting everyone.

"My mates are getting laid off. The next week it gets opened full of the Polish."

The Conservative leader told Ross that "we do benefit from immigration, but we do need some controls".

The Tory leader admitted his hands were tied because of Britain's membership of the European Union.

He said it was "too late with Poland", and that "there is absolutely nothing we can do in terms of Poland. We can in terms of future countries that join so we don't make this mistake again".

Good impression

Lauren put David Cameron on the spot about his focus on families.

Under a Tory government would she not "be worth as much" because she's a lone parent?

Why does he want to bring in tax breaks for married couples?

The Conservative leader told Lauren that he thought "marriage is a good thing".

James Richards, Ross McKay, David Cameron, Laura Barritt, Shevell Bachelor and Lauren Evans
David Cameron is on a week-long holiday at Harlyn Bay, Cornwall
He added: "I think commitment is important and couples are a good thing and at the moment the tax and the benefits system send out a signal that these things aren't important at all."

David Cameron spent more than half an hour taking our listeners questions.

Overall their impression of him was favourable, but many felt he had more work to do.

Lauren thought David Cameron came over "very well" but "didn't give direct answers".

Ross said he liked what he heard: "Labour have had their chance, they've had their time, they've done alright - but now I just think it's time for some fresh ideas."

He did, however, remain slightly sceptical: "I'm just worried I've been fooled. I just hope he isn't just doing it to fool me but some of the things he was saying were quite good."

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