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



I don't think posts like this really 'sell' the benefits of electing Ken Clarke to non supporters on this blog Adrian.
Davis to his credit is probably the only? candidate who has refrained from disparaging his fellows which is I think a sensible strategy they all should follow.

Adrian Sherman

Well Malcolm, perhaps you're right. Last week however, a senior member of Davis' team was quite openly making some highly disparaging and personalized attacks on Clarke to an group of young Tories.

Besides which, what have I said that's not correct? Both Wee Willie and IDS were electoral disasters and were elected beacause of Clarke's European views, or do you think I'm wrong with my analysis?

Selsdon Man

The rules say

92) In relation to any proposed change to Parts III (Leadership), IV (The Board of the Conservative Party), XII (Ethics, Conduct and Standards) and XIII (Changes to the Constitution) of this Constitution and the Schedules only to the extent that relate thereto, this Constitution may only be amended if approved by

i.) not less than 50% of those members of the Constitutional College eligible to vote and
ii.) not less than 66% of Members of Parliament voting; and
iii.) not less than 66% of Members of the National Conservative Convention voting.

I am not sure how i) fits with ii) and iii).

James Maskell

Selsdon Man, James H made it clearer earlier in the thread. "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). "

Sean Fear

Regardless of who we favour as leader, I think virtually all of us here will be delighted if the proposed disenfranchisement is voted down.

Selsdon Man

"66% of the MPs eligible to vote have to approve the change."

James, that is not what the constition says - "not less than 66% of Members of Parliament voting".

Mark Fulford

Current Tory MPs are, by definition, from safe seats. They, and the safe constituencies they represent, do not seem to understand that to win marginal seats you need broader appeal. There is only one Tory MP who has broad appeal and we all know who he is. Since everything is irrelevant until we can win elections, I oppose anything that stands between here and electing a leader that is capable of attracting votes from the electorate-at-large. Ask any Labour support who they fear as Tory leader and you'll only get one answer...


Mark, accepting that Ken Clarke has appeal, how should he use it in terms of strategy?


I am sorry to hear that a senior Davis supporter was disparaging about Ken Clarke Adrian.Hague was an electoral disaster you're right,but I wonder if anyone could have led us to victory in 2001.IDS, we will never know will we?The only election fought under his leadership was the Euros where we did quite well.
I voted for IDS against my better instincts in 2001,mainly because Ken refused point blank to moderate his Europhile views and I felt to elect him would prolong the agony of our party for years.I hope that he has learned his lesson now and that he will curb his euro-enthusiasms, display his many other qualities and lead us to victory at the next election.


"Undercover LibDems" "hijacking" Tory Party caucuses/primaries? If the party is so weak that its caucuses could be hijacked by the LibDems, it's not going to win elections anyway. Besides, the real world experience of Tory caucuses in Canada shows that their caucuses were never hijacked by the Canadian Liberals, a much more formidable and unscrupulous foe.


More unscrupulous than a Lib Dem? I guess the Canadian Liberals could probably claim that, though not many others...

James Maskell

Breaking News...the proposed change to leadership rules were defeated! The BBC has reported it on their site.

James Hellyer

Who fancies acting on Wat's suggestion in an earlier thread, and taking up posting in Lib Dem blogs and forums to help promote discord between Orage Bookers and the Kennedy brigade?

John H

James Maskell called the result correctly. Full report is here:

So now all this carries on into the new year? Give me strength...

James Hellyer

Looks like some MPs didn't bother to vote:

The result of the ballot was as follows:

Ballots issued: 1,141
Ballots returned: 1,001 (87.7%)
Number in favour of the proposal: 611 (61.0%)
Number against the proposal: 389 (38.9%)
Number of MPs in favour of the proposal: 132 (71.4%)
Number of MPs against the proposal: 53 (28.6%)
Number of volunteers in favour of the proposal: 446 (58.4%)
Number of volunteers against the proposal: 317 (41.5%)
Number of Peers and MEPs in favour of the proposal: 33 (63.5%)
Number of Peers and MEPs against the proposal: 19 (36.5%)
Number of void papers: 1

James Maskell

Thats the hard part over now, now we can get on with the actual contest. Hopefully we'll have this done before the Second Coming.


Fantastic news.I'm sorry that so many MPs were foolish enough to vote for these proposals.


Now the challenge is for MPs so show activists decisively who THEY want as leader. If they can show one candidate to be the clear favourite of the Parliamentary, the voluntary should back that candidate from the final two. Democracy has won today, but I sincerely hope unity will be the ultimate winner.


The above states that 185 MPs voted on the changes, 132 for, 53 against. That means that 14 MPs (7%) refused to vote or didn't bother to vote. Isn't that pretty pathetic? Or maybe it's symptomatic--if they don't care about voting themselves, why should they care about the member's right to vote?


What a glorious day for democracy. It is a pity that so many MP's seem to regard the members as the enemy within. It's no wonder we have been in opposition for so long. Now lets elect a new leader and unite behind him or her. No more in-fighting, backstabbing and take overs. AMEN


As the man saıd, ıt ıs magnıfıcent but ıt ıs not war.

James Maskell

I do feel that Monbiot and Maude need to step down, sooner rather than later. They made the wrong call and they should have to face the consequences for it.

John H

I'd be interested to see whether those 14 non-votes from MPs were just no-shows or spoiled ballot papers.

I seem to recall in previous ballots of Tory MPs (eg leadership elections) there have been cases of MPs putting a cross against each option so they can say they voted in favour of whichever side was the victor.

Mind you, the best one was when Sir Anthony Meyer stood against Mrs T for the leadership, and one of the reported "abstentions" was in fact an MP who had been so extravagant in his loyalty towards the Prime Minister that he *signed* his ballot paper - thus spoiling his paper and increasing Meyer's apparent support.

Adrian Owens

Fantastic news. I think I need to get in the bath and cry "Rejoice"

Mark Fulford

Replying to Michael's question (sorry for long post):

The big strategy decision for any prospective leader is how to handle the contentious issues of Europe and immigration, which is where Conservative policy is reviled from outside the party. For example, last election’s immigration theme won a few votes, but did huge damage by alienating moderate voters who are repulsed by such rhetoric. And there’s no need to engage in that rhetoric. There are plenty of other issues (e.g. taxation, education, healthcare, small government) where true Tory values have cross-party appeal.

So the strategy I’d adopt for Europe and immigration is to promise to continue the existing Labour policies at least for the next 4 years. This is exactly the strategy that New Labour used so well for taxation when they were seeking power and, with all the other work to do, there wouldn’t be time in the next government to handle them anyway. That leaves decks clear to get the taxation, education, healthcare, small government message across.

Once in power, I’d seek to have a really informed and sensible national debate, and possibly even a referendum, on our future in Europe – with everyone accepting that policy is decided by the outcome.

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