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« David Davis and IDS promote 'compassionate conservatism' | Main | Andrew Lansley proposes name change for the Tories »


James Hellyer

Well, the proposed system leaked in The Sunday Telegraph was awful, but not for the reasons they said.

Far from creating a situation where a losing candidate could lay claim to support from the grass roots, it would leave neither candidate was able to claim that support.

It's true that one candidate might have the support of the constituency chairmen, but that's very different from support by the grass roots.

In my opinion, The Daily Telegraph is almost as far from the mark with its insistence that the MPs have the final say (so the members could all vote one way and then be ignored - that would inspire their loyalty to the leadership).

William Rees-Mogg is right on the money. The judgment of out elected representatives, and indeed Michael Howard, is questionable. The fear must be that they will pick a candidate for whom they aren't (again) rather than for whom they are (as in with Major, Hague and Howard).

That means of selection didn't work out too well last time did it? Perhaps this time they should let the member choose who they want to lead them rather the antithesis of who they don't want (in best anyone but Clarke style).


I think the biggest problems last time were twofold. Firstly the grass roots were given a choice of just IDS and Clarke.

Secondly Conservative supporters are obsessed by Europe meaning that the best candidate was deemed unsuitable because of his stance on Europe, which is not really very important.

We may not be able to do anything about the second issue but we could solve the first one very simply. Any candidate with the support of 10% of the MPs goes on the ballot paper. Job done.

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