How did 43-year-old David Cameron become the youngest PM in nearly two centuries?
David Cameron is the son of stockbroker Ian Donald Cameron and his wife, Mary Fleur Mount, a daughter of Sir William Mount, 2nd Baronet.
He is a direct descendant of King William IV and his mistress Dorothea Jordan, with whom he sired up to ten illegitimate children.
After attending Eton, Cameron read philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, gaining a first class honours degree.
Following graduation he joined the Conservative Research Department becoming special adviser to Norman Lamont, then Chancellor of the Exchequer. The following year he took up the same post to Michael Howard, Home Secretary at the time.
Cameron joined the media company Carlton Communications in 1994 as director of corporate affairs, where he stayed until entering Parliament in 2001 as MP for Witney in Oxfordshire.
Quickly gaining notice as a young and dynamic candidate just two years into his stint as an MP, Cameron was appointed to the front bench, making him a leading Conservative spokesman in the House of Commons.
In 2004 Howard, by then party leader, appointed Cameron to the post of head of policy coordination, placing Cameron in charge of preparing the Conservatives' 2005 election manifesto. However, the party suffered a heavy defeat at the polls, provoking Howard's resignation.
Cameron's profile rose once again following a stellar speech at the party's annual conference in October 2005 and he was subsequently elected Conservative leader.
Seeking to modernize the party and shed its right-wing image, he announced economic stability and strong public services would take precedence over tax cuts in the next Conservative government.
Under his leadership, the party has grown considerably in popularity and placed first in the 2006 local elections; the Conservatives' best showing at the polls in 15 years.