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"Without that coalition Mr Davis’ frontrunner momentum may become unstoppable. "

As a Conservative who wants to be back in Government, that is the most depressing news.

James Hellyer

How much support has Davis actually got? Does anyone know?


Did anyone see the footage of Clarke, Davis and Oaten. Davis was outshone by Mark Oaten! And he is dead cert favourite to be our next leader. What a sorry state of affairs.

The Political Thinker

The major problem with Clarke is that he is a pronounced europhile. Having him as leader wouldn't necessarily be bad, and a positive is that he is liked by most of the public as opposed to the rest of potential leader candidates.

Although, for him to become leader, he would need to accept the fact that as a party, we're eurosceptic, and IMO he would also have to put forward a more pro-America agenda. It would be ridiculous to now claim that our relationship with Europe is more important than our relationship with the United States.

Unless he can do this, and I'm not sure he can, I don't think it'd be a good idea if he stands.

Did anyone see the footage of Clarke, Davis and Oaten. Davis was outshone by Mark Oaten! And he is dead cert favourite to be our next leader. What a sorry state of affairs.

Maybe he has been concentrating more on things such as the leadership election, as opposed to more important issues for the country? ;)

James Hellyer

"a positive is that he is liked by most of the public as opposed to the rest of potential leader candidates."

I don't think that's true. It's that Clarke is recognised while the other are not. That's hardly surprising as he's the only former Chancellor in the mix.


I think that you have to accept that Clarke is the most popular Tory in the county. The amount of people of all generations who tell me "I would vote Tory if Clarke was leader" is massive, nobody says the same about the other contenders. The polls also support this fact. Yes, he needs to accept that the Tory Party is predominantly eurosceptic and I think that his eye for the big prize is strong enough to allow him to do this. Without any doubt, he is the most charismatic and poppular of the candidates and the most likely to be able to trounce Blair or Brown at the despatch box or on the campaign trail.

I actually think that David Davis has done exceptionally well in the past two weeks as well and remains a very strong candidate.

James Hellyer

The thing is that the polls DON'T support the popularity of Ken Clarke. What they do say is that he's a Conservative that people RECOGNISE (and even then, that recognition is negligible in people under 30).


... and as much as Clarke is liked, that's a different thing to wanting him as PM. My perception is that people would warm to him, but not then go and vote for him - a good Oppositionist, when what we need is an alternative PM.

At any rate, is his wish to take on El Gordo simply a grudge because he lost his last Ministerial job to the man? Should we indulge such 'issues'?

(Seriously though: Ken's a Heathite managerialist. He doesn't believe in cracking down on crime. He doesn't believe in smaller government. He believes the postwar welfare state was badly implemented, but was about the right shape. He believes in Europe. Can somebody tell me where the upside is?)

James Hellyer

He's a bloke!

low taxes win elections

How refreshing it is to see that after 12 years, Ken Clarke now wishes to take on Gordon Brown. He's spent the last 8 years taking on the Conservative Party.


Ken Clarke - nice bloke - but could not lead the party. He has been rejected by the members - convincingly. The spectre of a Clarke leadership bid just might be enough to ensure that the National Convention vote to keep the vote of members.

Peter Woolcock

All the main contenders for the forthcoming leadership race are good in their own field and will prove to be excellent leaders of our party in time but lets be realistic and face the fact that the economy will be the real contentious issue for the next 2-3 years as it is slowing by the day. You only have to look in M & S and other high street main stores to see proof of this-so let Ken Clarke lead for the next 5-6 years and strengthen the team-their turn will come and it is only a short wait. we have to take on blair and brown with heavy weight pressure otherwise we will be back to square one! THE SUMS ARE NOT ADDING UP AND IT WILL GET WORSE--FURTHERMORE WE WILL END UP WITH A COALITION GOV.--THE LABOUR TEAM ARE COMPLETELY OUT OF THEIR DEPTH AND CONDITIONS WILL NOT IMPROVE. THE COUNTRY DESERVES OUR FULL SUPPORT FIRST--LETS PREPARE FOR IT!

Elaine O'Neill

I met Ken Clarke at Westminster yesterday and asked him about what he would plan to do if he won the leadership bid. His response was that he wanted to focus on the issues that the election campaign missed, such as health, and work at making the Tories seem credible as a potential party in government. His economic experience will prove useful against Brown, and while he is more left than a majority of the prominent Conservatives, that is necessary to strengthen an election campaign. After all, Blair took Labour to the right, and look what happened there.

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