Memberspanel_1 The two posts below – on overall satisfaction with David Cameron and concerns over his education and candidates’ policies – summarise the main message of the latest ConservativeHome Members’ Panel survey.  Selected findings are reported in today’s Observer.

How does the survey work?

This poll was conducted on ConservativeHome’s website between 19 and 21 January 2006. We report today the results for the 1,351 Conservative Party members who participated. We emphasise that the data has been weighted to a control group of respondents from a previous ConservativeHome poll taken in the days leading up to the leadership election.  The proportion of Cameron/ Davis supporters has been matched to the actual outcome of that election. We are therefore confident that this first CH Tracker Poll fairly reflects the views of active Conservative Party members, and will continue to do so in all future tracker polls.

Here’s how it works:

Email addresses for DD and DC voters were retained.

The new poll also required email addresses. We found out how the previous DD/DC respondents voted in each of the options of the first question (‘satisfied with DC’). The options were then weighted so that there was the correct proportion of DD to DC voters in all – and all other questions weighted accordingly.

In fact, all this made less than 1% difference.

However, it does mean that in future, if one set of respondents becomes less enthusiastic in taking part than others, we will still be able to produce robust tracking data.

Why are we doing the survey?

During the leadership election became the place where party members met up to discuss the qualities of the candidates.  The site also helped to lead the fight against the outrageous attempts by the party’s high-ups to take away the members’ vote in that election.  Many journalists and MPs visited on a daily basis to check the party’s pulse – including the Tory Chairman, Francis Maude.  Mr Maude described the site as a "goldmine".  It was, he said, the "only way of finding out what’s going on".

We intend for ConservativeHome to stay the place for party members to meet up, share ideas and record their thinking.

Every month we’ll track members’ views on the issues of the day and on the performance of the people that speak in their name.  Gone are the days when CCO can purport to speak on behalf of members to the press without fear of contradiction.

Over coming months ConservativeHome is planning an explosion of campaigning activity.  We may have very different politics from Howard Dean but his ‘you have the power’ message to his WebRoots supporters was ‘on the money’.  His insurgent campaign failed for all sorts of reasons but the power unleashed by the internet will transform politics and Britain’s political leaders have hardly begun to appreciate how.  The ConservativeHome Members’ Panel is one small but important part of the looming revolution.