Forget the need for a watertight manifesto or for a hi-tech get-out-the-vote operation. No need for a shadow cabinet of all the talents or a leader who can perform in parliament. All floating voters want is an attractive appearance. I exaggerate, of course, but a Stirling University study quoted in The Sunday Times does suggest that recent outcomes of elections could be predicted by a superficial beauty contest. Once the faces of respective party leaders had been ‘anonymised’ the participants in the Stirling University experiment chose Major over Kinnock, Blair over Hague and Bush over Kerry. The study also found that voters prefer "well-scrubbed" Cameron to "rumpled" Brown.
If appearance is king it’s probably time to go the whole way and install David Beckham as Tory leader… or are there limits to this theory? I hope so!