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DAVID Cameron’s nightmare isn’t about losing. It’s about winning — but not well enough to govern properly.

Britain’s weird electoral system tends to deliver two outcomes. A strong PM, or a hamstrung PM at the mercy of his party.

Our poll suggests Cameron risks the latter — with a majority of just 38 seats.

The unfair Westminster voting system means the Tories could win FIVE MILLION more votes, but still barely control parliament.

The poll shows that, in the all-important marginal seats, Tory supporters outnumber Labour supporters three to two

But it doesn’t matter how much the Tory vote goes up in seats that the Tories don’t actually take.

Result? Cameron looks set to pull off the biggest pro-Tory swing since 1935 — yet may still barely have enough MPs to pass laws.

A majority of 38 means it would take just 20 disgruntled Tories to defeat the government. Or hold Cam to ransom.

Labour is a fairly loyal party. Just look at their hilarious inability to get rid of their voter-repelling leader, Gordon Brown.

The Tories, by contrast, excel at disloyalty: It’s an Olympic sport for them. And Cam might find this out very soon.

Take defence. There is a huge anger amongst Tories right now about George Osborne’s plans to cull the defence budget.

As I revealed last week, the current plan would involve transferring £5 million away from troops and to international aid.

This has incensed very many Tory MPs — many of whom feel it is their duty to protect the military for as long as we’re at war.

One senior Tory put it this way: "People are staying quiet now, until the election. But afterwards, the anger will explode."

And they mean it. Many Tories have zero interest in becoming ministers. They are quite prepared to be career rebels.

It could well be that Cam has to get into bed with Nick ‘no more than 30 lovers’ Clegg — who has been giving the Tories the eye.

Problem is that Clegg may well have no more than 30 LibDem MPs to lead. Our poll suggests he’ll end up with just 28 (down from today’s 67).

And then, these coalitions never work out. You’d need to have another election to sort it all out, as Harold Wilson did in 1974.

What’s more, Cam’s mission is to apply radical surgery: The most savage cuts in education, policing, defence and transport in UK history. Will the LibDems help him do that? Not likely.

They’ll join hands with Labour and hope the Tories are booted out after one term.

You do feel sorry for Cam. Our poll shows he has the biggest lead of any opposition leader, apart from Tony Blair.

But it also shows people STILL don’t think he’d be any better on taxes, the recession, terrorism or the Afghan war.

Crucially, most voters worry about Cam’s abject lack of experience.

Just look at America to see what happens to charming young leaders who offer "change" and inspire optimism — but achieve nothing.

Barack Obama has done precious little since his election. Last week, voters in the Democrat heartland of Massachusetts turned on him.

The election of a conservative senator, in an ultra-left wing seat, shows just how little patience voters have.

Cameron will be expected to deliver results — and FAST. Labour will lose the next election, nothing surer. But our poll shows how much of a gap the Tories must jump to govern properly.

Cameron is terrified of being caught in that gap. In office, but not in power — just like John Major. Winning big, but not big enough.

Our poll shows that he’s right to be worried. Because only after the election will his battle really begin.



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