James Forsyth

Meeting real people, the staple of campaigning

Meeting real people, the staple of campaigning
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David Cameron is visiting Hampshire today, hitting both Labour and Lib Dem held seats. In a visit to Southampton University, he was confronted by a feisty Lib Dem supporting student who accused him of planning changes that would make it more difficult for working class kids like her to go to university. Cameron dealt with the question well. He said that the Tories would keep bursaries and that there simply isn’t the money to abolish tuition fees. He also pointed out that currently only 40 odd children on free school meals go to Oxford and that Tory plans to bust open the state monopoly in the provision of education would improve the quality of state education and thus social mobility.

Exchanges like the one Cameron had just now are one of the staples of genuine campaigning. The student who challenged him told the press afterwards that she was unconvinced by Cameron’s answer. But I suspect that if this incident makes the news tonight, most people will be impressed by Cameron’s answer.