WRAPUP 4-After TV win, Cameron tries to win UK voters’ trust

* TV debate win gives Conservative Cameron new momentum

* Hits campaign trail hard, says takes nothing for granted

* Markets buoyed by greater chance of Conservative majority

(Recasts with new Cameron quotes, Blair appearance, details)

By Estelle Shirbon

LONDON, April 30 (BestGrowthStock) – Energised by a clear win in a
final TV debate, Conservative leader David Cameron sought on
Friday to convince waverers in a tight election race they could
trust him with Britain’s future.

With a week to go before an election, snap viewer polls
judged Cameron, 43, the victor of the third and final TV debate
on Thursday night. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, 43, was
second while Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown, 59, came last.

“This election is far from over. We are now entering the
most energetic and the most important stage of this campaign …
I’m taking nothing for granted,” Cameron said during an upbeat
campaign stop at a school in Derby in central England.

His centre-right Conservatives are battling to oust
centre-left Labour from power after 13 years, but their
once-commanding opinion poll lead has shrunk in recent weeks.

Most polls suggest the May 6 election will produce a “hung
parliament”, one in which no party has an overall majority. That
could deprive the Conservatives of a chance to govern alone,
forcing them to seek Liberal Democrat support.

The TV debates, a novelty in Britain, raised the previously
little-known Clegg’s profile and catapulted his centrist Liberal
Democrats past Labour in many polls.


For a graphic on opinion polls, see:



Surveys suggest that while many voters are fed up with
Brown, they are not sure they can trust Cameron, a slick former
public relations executive from an ultra privileged background.

With the wind in his sails after the debate, Cameron tried
to build on that trust by launching a “contract with voters”
that lists key Conservative policies on cleaning up politics,
fostering economic growth and tackling social problems.

“This contract will set out our side of the bargain, what
we’re going to do, and I urge people to read it, to hold us to
it, to make sure we deliver it,” he said.

This was immediately dismissed by Labour as a “con trick”.
But the Labour campaign was still struggling to overcome the
fallout from a disastrous gaffe by Brown on Wednesday, when he
was caught branding a Labour voter “bigoted”.


Labour drafted in Brown’s predecessor as prime minister,
Tony Blair, who went out campaigning in London. [ID:nLDE63T0KL]

The charismatic Blair won a record three successive
elections for Labour from 1997, but it was unsure whether many
voters would be happy to see him again. He was unpopular when he
stepped down in 2007, mostly because of the war in Iraq.

“Labour has got every chance of succeeding. But we will
succeed best…if the focus is on policy,” Blair said.

Many in financial markets have expressed fears that a hung
parliament could lead to political deadlock and delay tough
calls on the deficit, which has ballooned in the economic
downturn to about 11 percent of Gross Domestic Product.

“The market remains concerned about a hung parliament and
with Cameron looking to have come first in the last TV debate,
this offers a little bit of hope,” said Audrey Childe-Freeman,
currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman.

Gilt futures rallied more than a quarter of a point in early
trade on Friday, while sterling strengthened against the dollar.

While many in the markets favour the Conservatives, there
has been concern about Cameron’s choice of the youthful George
Osborne as the likely chancellor (finance minister) in his
government. But Cameron strongly defended Osborne on Friday.

“George is an excellent shadow chancellor,” he said, using
Osborne’s official title as chief opposition finance spokesman.

“I think he’d make a great Chancellor of the Exchequer. I
think he has shown that steel and that judgment.”

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(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

WRAPUP 4-After TV win, Cameron tries to win UK voters’ trust