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« Who is backing who? (4) | Main | The Old Europeans target Cameron and Willetts for Clarke »


James Hellyer

I'd say Dr Fox isn't waiting two weeks before launching his campaign.

Good on him!

James Maskell

I dont know a lot but I know the basics...if I understand it right, each location (say constituency association in this case) would vote and whichever candidate got the most votes in each association would get a certain number of votes based on number of people in the association and all the votes from the associations would be toted up to come to a final decision. Would that sound right?

It might not hurt for someone to quickly run through the idea of an electoral college. Im pretty new to this idea.


How did Liam vote when the MPs voted on the change?


I have it on good authority that there will be an article in one of the Sunday papers suggesting that Michael Howard has or will threat to quite early in mid-October if the new rules aren't settled by party conference.

Surely the party can't be left without someone to lead it?

James Maskell

I will be shocked if he does that. His attempt to force the hand of those who would refuse the proposed amendments? I think that will be a very bad idea for him and would ruin his legacy as a leader who brought a party through a General Election and gained a number of seats. It would look like hes just being a spoilt brat. I think the best thing for him to do is accept whatever result happens and go by what the Party says, not his own views, much though hed like to do his own thing.

Anything is possible I guess. Itd be a strange set of affairs, no doubt.

James Hellyer

"How did Liam vote when the MPs voted on the change?"

Dr Fox abstained, however he backed an electoral college. Now he is more open...


If he publically backed an electerol college ahead of that vote that does make this position more credible. Otherwise it would give the impression that if he can't make up his mind on a decision like this ahead of a vote, how could be be considered a sound PM.

btw can I also echo the comments on a quick explanation on how the electoral collage vote would work?


Jules, this party already lacks a leader. I'd rather a state of anarchy than Howard and Maude, two people who are turning everything into predictable disaster.

In fact, now I think about it, a period of anarchy would be really great. I can't see us carefully rebuilding credibility. Maybe we need a bit of creative chaos before we regain some identity and purpose.


What I really loathe about the party just now is that most of its MPs talk as if the single purpose of the Conservative Party is to help them fulfil their personal ambitions. Therefore it must be adapted to whatever they think will most help them. There is no play of ideas beyond this. There is no exploration of principles.

The whole Populus analysis is: you have to be like inner-London in order to be elected - even if this were true (which I doubt), why is being elected is the essential first step? Having a reason to be elected should be the first step.

I have no objection to personal ambition - indeed, it is the single most powerful driver; nor do I object to electoral realism. I only object to these two being the sole drivers. But if they are not harnessed to a greater purpose, they are destructive.


Another Nick and James Maskell asked about the make-up of an electoral college...

There are enormous possibilities...

Most MPs who I've spoken to about this, however, favour a weighted coalition where they get a majority of the votes - something like 60:40.

As for the 40% or so that members get... constituency chairmen could be the college members - voting for one candidate on the back of how their associations had already voted or, more desirably, the members' side of the college could reflect one-member-one-vote.

Selsdon Man

Michael Howard had the opportunity to change the rules before the election. Why wait until now?

We should have a new leader by now and be focusing our attacks on Labour.


Thank you Mr Editor. I'd hope the members side does reflect one member one vote.

As a Cameron supporter I do realise that the membership retaining the vote may not be good news in this election for my preference. However, the principle at stake is an important one, we should not be drawing back from democracy. MPs are all too quick to blame the members for the IDS years, but we had a straight choice between him and Ken. The MPs should look at themselves and make sure they give us two strong candidates to avoid having a vote for / against the 'one you know' which allowed the lesser known IDS to win. Portillo v Clarke would have been a choice between two potential PMs. The principle of members having a say is good, just because it came up with the wrong answer once does not mean it is broken and in need of repair.

Richard Allen

"Surely the party can't be left without someone to lead it?"

I would have thought that in the event of Howard stepping down before a new leader is elected the Deputy Leader (Michael Ancram) would take temporary charge.

James Hellyer

...and a leadership election would be triggered under the existing rules.

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