Yesterday evening we noted that 'The Right' was quite an unsatisfactory term but in the April survey of members we asked Tory members to vote for 'the most powerful voice of the Right' (a voice from within Parliament but not serving on the frontbench). We'll be unveiling the results for the frontbench tomorrow. This list of twelve followed a rudimentary shortlisting process on this page. The results represent the views of 1,657 Tory members.
1st: John Redwood MP: 27%
The man who, in 1995, resigned as Welsh Secretary to challenge John Major for the Conservative Party leadership is the most powerful parliamentary voice of 'the Right' according to just over a quarter of Tory members. David Cameron appointed Mr Redwood to run the party's policy group on economic competitiveness and his recommendation to abolish inheritance tax has (largely) been accepted by the party. His scepticism about green taxation and controls on development have also tended to prevail over the more restrictionist approach favoured by John Gummer's policy group. Mr Redwood has put forward his own ideas for a 'practical environmentalism'. Now blogging on a daily basis, ConservativeHome has previously paid tribute to the economic insight of his regular posts.
The former Tory Party Chairman and scourge of trade union barons was just 2% behind John Redwood as the leading right-of-centre voice. With Britain's first woman Prime Minister unable to make serious, public political interventions anymore Lord Tebbit is seen by many as the pre-eminent keeper of the Thatcherite flame. He was in the newspapers recently calling for the Conservative Party to focus on winning the support of the millions of voters who have stopped participating in the democratic process. Also recently, he attacked Michael Gove's views on Tony Blair and defended Tony Blair's decision to stop the probe into British Aerospace's arm sales to Saudi Arabia.
3rd: Iain Duncan Smith MP: 14%
Another policy group chief, Iain Duncan Smith, is third on the list. The former Conservative leader's social justice work has restored a reputation that took such a battering when he was leader. His Centre for Social Justice is hugely influential on Project Cameron and he now works closely with politicians from other parties. This cross-party character may have produced the large number of comments from readers as to whether IDS could still be thought of as "right-wing". The great strength of IDS' commitment to poverty-fighting is that it is based on an authentically conservative worldview. He sees the free institutions of civil society as central to defeating the poverty that has come to characterise too much of big state Britain.
4th: Dan Hannan MEP: 12%
Dan Hannan, who topped his regional list when MEPs were recently reselected, came fourth in the vote of members. One of the party's most Eurosceptic parliamentarians he has been a leading critic of the EPP and has also advocated leaving the EU altogether. His widely-read Telegraph blog keeps him in the public eye. Yesterday he posted about EU sleaze: "The truth is that MEPs are drawn into an intrinsically corrupting system: a system that tends, over time, to turn good people into crooks. From the moment you arrive, you are encouraged in a particular habit of thinking. You feel insulated from – even contemptuous of – public opinion." Dan Hannan, an opponent of the Iraq war, is probably the most libertarian of this top tier of 'voices of the Right'. He now backs Barack Obama for the US Presidency but has previously stated a preference for Ron Paul.
5th: Ann Widdecombe MP: 7%
In favour of the unborn child. Against fox hunting. In favour of marriage. Against the A-list. Ann Widdecombe is respected across the political spectrum for her authenticity. She'll be missed when she leaves the Commons at the next General Election.
6th: Michael Howard MP: 5%
2% behind Ann Widdecombe is Michael Howard. Perhaps like Iain Duncan Smith, Mr Howard isn't seen as being of 'the Right' in the same way after being leader. As Home Secretary he oversaw massive changes in the criminal justice system and a consequent and substantial reduction in the level of crime. David Cameron was Mr Howard's clear choice as his successor.
7th: Edward Leigh MP: 5%
A staunch opponent of the Iraq war. Eurosceptic. A tax cutter. A defender of the family. Edward Leigh - who, with John Hayes - founded the Cornerstone group of Tory MPs is now Chairman of the influential Public Accounts Committee. Only today Mr Leigh is in the press targeting the wastefulness of the BBC.
8th: Lord (Michael) Forsyth: 2%
George Osborne appointed the former Scottish Secretary to run his Tax Reform Commission. Lord Forsyth recommended £21bn of tax cuts and believes that the Tory Party should take a tougher approach to public spending if there really is to be a 'sharing of the proceeds of growth'. At the weekend he backed an early referendum on the Union for Scotland and England. He fears that a delayed vote will only play into the hands of SNP leader Alex Salmond.
9th: Lord (Nigel) Lawson: 1%
The former Chancellor has returned to prominence recently with his sceptical views on climate change. He has attacked biofuels as 'useless' and compared carbon offsetting to the indulgences of the medieval church.
Mr Brady hit the headlines nearly a year ago when he resigned from the frontbench over the leadership's grammar schools policy. A eurosceptic, free-marketeer he recently warned of the consequences for Britain's economic competitiveness of Labour's plan to tax the airlines industry.
11th: Michael Fallon MP: 1%
Mr Fallon - ConservativeHome's Parliamentarian of the Year - has become a champion of the party's small government wing. He has raised serious questions over George Osborne's approach to the taxation of non-doms. He also opposes the Tory decision to match Labour's spending growth.
12th: John Whittingdale MP: 0.5%
A former chief aide to Margaret Thatcher, Mr Whittingdale chairs the Culture, Media & Sport Select Cttee. His blueprint for BBC reform has hugely influenced the draft Tory policy of forcing the BBC to share the licence fee with other broadcasters. 'Whitto' is a leading candidate to succeed Sir Michael Spicer as Chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs.