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« David Lidington MP: The Case for David Willetts MP | Main | New campaign launched to defend party democracy »



don't you think the OMOV thing has gone far enough?

The new system being proposed gives MPs the final vote whilst associations get to have a visible and quantifyable role in consultation.

Chairmen have to call an executive council to give 2 names that they then present to the convention. At which point no-hopers like Ken Clarke and Andrew Landsley will probably drop out, giving the MPs a choice of the most acceptable candidates.

Most activits seem to think that the leader is the captain of the team in westminster so that is where he or she should be chosen.

Better than having a vote between someone you don't know and someone you don't like.

James Hellyer

On issue 2)

Remember the deadline for submitting feedback on "A 21st Century Party" is 31 JULY.

Your comments can be sent by e-mail to

[email protected]


A good summary. I think perhaps David Cameron deserved a little more credit in the summing up. While we have distinct modernisers such as Lansley & Clarke and the right wingers such as Davis & Fox. Cameron seems to be able to gain support from both sides. It is true that David Davis has had some backers from the more moderate side of the party, but I simply can't see DD offering anything new, and his presentation is unlikely to appeal to the large numbers of female voters of middle England who used to vote Conservative. Cameron has already made major strides in his short time in the limelight. Of the realistic contenders he strikes me as the most likely future Prime Minister.

Simon C

The big event is the dog that hasn't yet barked in the night.

As the Editor points out, there hasn't been a break-through moment yet. When John Smith died, it quickly became clear that Blair was the likely winner, and events soon gathered momentum behind him.

Thus far, nobody had broken into a clear lead, or demonstrated that they can gather and build any momentum.

That is particularly a problem for Davis and Cameron. Both have enjoyed lots of favourable media coverage, yet neither has managed to make a convincing case.
There is a real opportunity still for another candidate to make ground up on these two.

I hope that Liam Fox will manage to do that. I'm looking forward to Stephen O'Brien's endorsement & hope that he makes a better fist of it so far than the supporters of Davis Rifkind & Willetts have managed for their men.


Interesting suggestion about Fox. Although ideally (for reasons posted on other threads) I would like to see Willetts come through the field, that has always been a remote possibility and I think Fox could be the man to watch. DD and Cameron both have rather obvious achilles heels and Fox has several obvious advantages: (1) good media performer - manages to convey conservative arguments without sounding strident; (2) loyal track record serving under Hague, IDS and Howard; (3) modest background; (4) although labelled as a "rightwinger" his excellent Let Freedom Reign speech and subsequent utterances on mending society, human rights, etc, demonstrate a capacity for thinking outside that particular box. Again, though, the key question will be: is he a potential prime minister? There is also a clear need for someone to bridge the positions of the likes of Duncan on the one hand and the Cornerstone Group on the other. Neither Davis nor Cameron seem to have given this much thought.


Also, since when has Ken Clarke been a moderniser? His contribution to developing a conservative philosophy for the 21st century seems to have got lost in the cigar smoke ...


You have a fair point, maybe moderniser isn't the right word for Ken Clarke. I must say it is interesting reading the pro-Liam Fox comments. While I'm not sure he is PM material I would find him considerably more preferable than David Davis. I think it is a shame Theresa May doesn't appear to have enough support, I felt she had some good leadership qualities. As is clear from my earlier post I'm backing Cameron.

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