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« Who's backing who? (rolling update 2) | Main | What is 'one nation conservatism'? »



TALK of that slew has been around for some time James!

James Hellyer

So has TALK of rolling thunder throughout September. I've only heard one distant boom.


What rubbish to term Ken 'doveish on terror' if this is purely based on his opposition to the Iraq conflict - the war in Iraq has played straight into Al Qaeda's hands. The war on terror is a battle that absolutly needs to be fought and fought hard, but Iraq in a 'traditional battle' was a stupid move. Don't imply that being against the invasion of Iraq means someone is weak on the terrorist threat.

Interesting that despite all the talk of Cameron being overtaken, the much better known Fox is still not ahead of him according to a number of the polls.

James Hellyer

Fox overtook Cameron in the Sunday Times YouGov poll (and polled far more strongly with women and people in the 18 to 34 bracket). He also came second in the Telegraph straw poll of MPs last week.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"We are only talking about a couple of MPs difference at the moment. That could soon change. I understand the Fox team are working on delivering a slew of endorsements at the moment..."

I hope so James. Being overtaken by Fox would hopefully kill off the twitching corpse that is Cameron's plastic campaign. The thought of the Blair clone turning the Conservatives into New Labour 'B' makes my stomach turn.

Simon C

"Edward Leigh?"

As a fellow Lincolnshire Tory, I would urge Edward to lay aside his first preference (if that be himself) in favour of another.


Editor,I think you need to be fair here.Why did you give so much prominence to speeches by Davis & Fox and none at all to speeches by Clarke and Rifkind?
Davis & Fox speeches were alright but massively lacking in detail and if I may say so rather predictable.I simply do not understand why they should be regarded in any way above speeches made by their rivals.


With the exception of KC's speech of this crowded week I think I have given ample coverage to KC in recent weeks, Malcolm. You are right, however, to say I've been less generous to Sir Malcolm. Part of my problem is that this site is a hobby rather than a job and I can only do so much! Given that KC, DD, DC and LF are the leading candidates it seems right to give them the lion's share of the limited time I have. I'll try and do better, though, Malcolm...

Wat Tyler

Picking up Simon C's comment (about 10 inches up): 'If the MPs decide that Davis is the man, it could be all over very quickly and the Party Conference could become a Coronation.'

I've wondered about this myself- Howard-style coronations avoid a lot of public blood-letting.

But the problem is that this contest has already been so protracted that only a proper bout up there in the ring will really do. Queensberry rules, certainly, and the two main contenders only. But this is not 1963. Fixing it all in some smoke-filled Blackpool bedroom would rob us of a necessary catharsis, and it just isn't the way modern democratic parties should operate.


Ed - don't apologise you give people (are you listening Malcolm) an opportunity to point out candidates speeches and interesting articles you may have missed every day. I think you're doing a fine job and the website is looking good since your enhancements, I think that we're maybe taking you a bit for granted seven days a week - at least you know some of us appreciate your efforts.


James, the You Gov poll mentioned on this site shows the following:
David Davis gets 28%; David Cameron 17%; Liam Fox 8%; and Sir Malcolm Rifkind 4%.

Cameron comfortably ahead of Fox (I'll confess I don't understand why Fox is doing so badly, but he has been a front bencher for a long time and it appears the electorate do not care for him as this and other surveys have shown.)

James Hellyer

No, I meant the one after that (the 11th in the Sunday Times, rather than the 9th in the Telegtraph):

The preferred candidate amongst Conservative voters was Ken Clarke (36%), followed by David Davis (24%), but Liam Fox is quite a good third place with 11%.

Selsdon Man

I forgot to answer the Ed's question. Cameron is more likely to do a deal with Fox than Clarke because their views on the key issues of Europe, Iraq and social policy are closer. They are closer in age - as are most`of their supporters - and share an interest in modernising the branding and campaigning of the Party. It may have to wait the MPs ballot. That should set off some debate!


YouGov .... Paul Baverstock .... Clarke campaign .... Paul Baverstock .... CCO .... YouGov [Read backwards, it makes more sense that way]


It makes no sense to me 'REalist'.


Nor me Editor.Perhaps REalist was on the drugs that Cameron wants to legalise.
I wanted to let you know Editor that I appreciate everything you do with this site which I think is excellent and hope that you are in no way offended by my comment about the lack of coverage given to Clarke and Rifkinds recent speeches.

James Maskell

Very good point there Simon C, about Coronation at the Conference and if that was to happen that would be the same to me as the leadership rules changing back to MPs choosing the leader not the members...I would not renew my membership. Of course I would need to know in my own heart though that there was genuinely something untoward happening. I accepted Michael Howard going through as the single candidate because it was 18 months before an election, this time I wont accept a similar deal.

Wat Tyler

I was also mystified by REalist's game of consequences. But having Googled around, I think what he's pointing out is that Paul Baverstock- now in charge of Black Arts for Ken (see eg )- "was involved in the launch of YouGov" ( ). And of course he was at CCO under IDS, at a time when...well, you know...

Now, I'm not sure, he seems to be suggesting that...well, surely, he can't be saying...I'm sure YouGov would never...even for an old mate...

So he must be saying something else.

I give up.


James in answer to your statement the following.
Out of 144MPs from last time who are still MPs on the first round they voted as follows.
For sure Portillo 41,IDS 25, Clarke 29, Davis 17, Ancram 12. The other 22 were not sure(ofiically) of mainly IDS/Ancram/Davis supporters on the first round.
This gives a list of non backers from Tims' list at the moment of 83MPs from 2001 of roughly a split Davis/IDS 33 Portillo 24 Clarke 16 Ancram 10 and 31 new MPs.

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