Britain's Boy Wonder

David Cameron, the Consevatives' telegenic leader, has given the Tories something they haven't had in years: optimism

Murdo Macleod for TIME

Conservative leader David Cameron on a visit to Scotland, January 18, 2007

Britain's leader of the opposition isn't a typical alpha male. He's the kind of guy who pauses before biting into a muffin. "I really shouldn't," he says during a day of campaigning in Scotland. "I'm fat." That's not true, but like many an Englishman who ingested stodgy food at boarding school, David Cameron, 40, the leader of Britain's Conservative Party, lacks sharp angles. His telegenic appeal has propelled the Tories to a consistent lead in opinion polls for the first time since Tony Blair's 1997 victory. That has infused Britain's Conservatives with a sensation so unfamiliar, they barely recognize it: optimism....

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