By Tim Montgomerie
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Douglas Carswell recently claimed on ConservativeHome that his "small state" brand of Tory politics was more potent than David Cameron's "wind turbine" variety. The Mail on Sunday has followed up on the slapdown that David Cameron gave to Mr Carswell at last Wednesday's PMQs by commissioning a special opinion poll from the Survation organisation to evaluate whether the Clacton MP's brand of Conservatism is indeed more popular than the PM's brand.
Mr Carswell wins on 7 of the 10 propositions that Survation tested.
69%, for example, agree with Carswell that "a straight In/Out referendum on whether the UK should leave the EU". Only 31% agree with Cameron's belief that there should only be a referendum "if more powers are to be transferred from the UK to the EU". Carswell also wins, among other causes, on EU bailouts, immigration caps, longer prison sentences for hardened criminals and the power to recall errant MPs mid-term. Voters give Cameron the advantage on the pace of spending cuts and the scale of cutbacks in red tape. See full results at Survation.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday (scroll down this page) Mr Carswell takes the opportunity of another moment in the sun to complain about the pace of change across Whitehall:
"Several Ministers have complained to me that every time they want to get anything changed, their own departments put more effort into explaining why it cannot be done rather than making it happen. It must be maddening to have all those Sir Humphreys quash your proposals for change. It must be infuriating to see the pace of change slowed by permanent officials who, unlike MPs, will not have to face the electorate in 2015. And it is no doubt even more galling to have this pointed out to you on the floor of the House."