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Countdown to Gordon Brown

« Editorial: Dr Fox's extra mile compassion | Main | And the result is... »


Cllr Graham Smith

Those of us in the East Midlands also today await the decision of the European Parliamentary Party's Tribunal concerning Roger Helmer MEP.

Whatever he may have said or done to upset the political hierarchy, Roger is a bloody good constituency MEP and well-liked in this part of Lincolnshire.

I earnestly pray for two good decisions today. decisions that will start to unite the Party, enthuse the activists and help all of us who the public have trusted with their votes to bring renewed hope and encouragement to this Great Nation of ours.

Selsdon Man

Raymond Monbiot said yesterday (see BBCi) that 80% of the ballot papers had been returned. The proposals, I believe, need the support 66% of those eligible to vote (not just those that actually vote) to succeed. That looks virtually impossible unless there is a last minute rush in this morning's post.

James Maskell

So todays the big day...Ive said my piece so I wont bother repeating myself. BUT if the proposals do make it through and the rank and file are disenfranchised I will not renew my subscription. The Party will be setting itself up for a 4th election defeat already. Jean Searle hit the nail with her comments on the BBC. This is an issue which is a foundation of out country.

Im sorry, Cllr Smith, but Im not aware of the Helmer situation...are you able to let us know what the problem was?

I eagerly await the results.

James Hellyer

Helmer was suspended from the party on 26 May 2005 after voting against party instructions on a motion to censure the European Commission and openly criticising his party leader in a parliamentary debate.


Selsdon, you're not correct, the rules state that 66% of those actually voting must vote for the proposals, and the turnout must be at least 50% of those eligible to vote. There are two separate hurdles to overcome with the 66%; it must be 66% of the MPs voting and 66% of the members of the National Convention.


If the new rules are defeated then the financial situation won't be so bad, the 2001 election made a large amount of cash for the party as most voters put a fiver in the envelope with the ballot paper.

James Hellyer

Are you sure, Derek? I was under the impression that the two thirds of those eligible to vote had to support the motion before it could pass.

michael fishwick

was interested to hear Ann Widdecombe this morning stating that we sell membership on the fact members get a vote for Party leader. How many people join the Party on this basis?

James Maskell

Click on this link to see the Constitutional rules regarding changing the constitution. This'll clear it up.:

James Maskell

Looks like its 2/3s of those voting not those eligible to vote.

James Hellyer

Okay, I see where the confusion lies. 66% of the MPs eligible to vote have to approve the change. 66% of those voting in the National Convention have to approve then change (on a minimum 50% turnout).

James Maskell

The MPs vote will be in favour of the changes I reckon, but the NC vote I reckon will go against the changes. Its their votes that go. I know that its being given in exchange for a quicker election, so Fraude says but I really do struggle to see the justification for such dramatic change. The higher the turnout in the vote the better I think. This constitution is quite good. Designed not to be changed unless people really do want the change. Credit to Hague on this one.

James Hellyer

I actually think it will fail on the MPs' vote. Lat time 50 were against and a lot (was it 30?) abstained. Some of those abtstainees (e.g. Fox, Davis) have now come out against the the change. Similarly some MPs who voted for it have changed their mind (e.g. my MP, Geoffrey Cox).

Wat Tyler

What will Howard/Maode/Monbiot say to gloss their rejection? "A triumph for democracy?"

Come. Let us go forward together onto those broad sunlit uplands...


1. Who cares so long as we crack on and elect a leader?
2. Will members really leave the Party in droves if they haven't got a vote?

Wat Tyler

And another thing (OT- previous thread)...the shambolic way in which this vote has been conducted- leaving open the possibility of legal challenge- underlines how wary we should be of jumping into an open primaries system for selecting ppcs and future leadership candidates.

We just don't have the admin capability at present to handle anything like that without it degenerating into a shambles and being hijacked by undercover LibDems (many of whom routinely cruise this site, for example).

Let's keep that in mind.

James Hellyer

Undercover Lib Dems?!?


Wat, I think we have the makings of a poet in our midst!Shame you didn't finish the oration.Perhaps you should 'phone Maude this afternoon offering to write his speech.
Perhaps most members apart from James M won't leave the party (at least I hope not)Michael, but I wonder how many will be unable to go out delivering leaflets on a wet night or refuse to donate to the party.That I think will be the real problem if Maude gets his way.

James Maskell

Sorry everybody...Im the Undercover Lib Dem! :)

Adrian Sherman

Interesting. Ken Clarke is launching a campaign tomorrow aimed at Tory members, under the banner "it's time to win". Would he be doing this if he and his team thought the proposals would be accepted? I think not!

As a KC supporter, I hope desperately that these anti-democratic rule changes are defeated. Otherwise you might as well give it to that utter nonentity, Davis, now. KC wants it this time and he stands head and shoulders above the others, especially Davis and Cameron.

Selsdon Man

Davis is not a nonentity. A nonentity would have secured the support of so many MPs from both wings of the party.

James Maskell

Just read something thats come into my inbox. The ballot finishes in the next couple of minutes.

Selsdon Man

Oops - put "not" between "would" and "have" above!


That's what I'm wondering malcolm. People got wet before they had a vote and will do if it's taken away, beacause it's a leader with the prospect of power which motivates members. At least those who are concerned about delivering a Conservative Government above systems & processes, rights & priveliges.

Adrian Sherman

The fact that Davis has attracted support from his peers is, I'm afraid, a pretty sad reflection on the Party. Let's not forget that the MPs elected wee Willie Hague and put IDS in the members' run off; yeh, great calls, what a sophisticated electorate!!! Both disasters at the ballot box and elected solely because of Europe, which says a great deal.

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