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« The Sun Says: Carry on, Dr Fox | Main | 14% of Tory members would resign if Ken Clarke became leader »


Selsdon Man

Malcolm, Howard's final polling numbers were worse than IDS's pre-Betsygate. After a good first few months, Howard's personal and the party's ratings plummeted. Take a look at Yougov's political tracking figures.

There is no doubt that Howard worked hard but it is the quality, as much as quantity, of the work that counts.

By his own definition, Howard's leadership was not a success - hence his speedy resignation - and he was the unopposed choice of the MPs.

Performance in the Commons is not a good guide to performance at the polls. It is media performance that is a better guide. Howard's media performance has not been good and that was reflected in his poll ratings and the general election.

The members are a better electorate than MPs - we get feedback from friends, relatives and colleagues rather than the Westminster village.

Sean Fear

I'm sure that's not right Selsdon Man. MH was always the clear second choice for PM, according to Yougov, while IDS often came third.

MH did a pretty good job in dire circumstances IMO.

James Hellyer

Howard was seen as more substantial political figure than IDS, but under his leadership the Conservatives never recovered their pre-Betsygate levels of support.

Michael Howard did manage to impose discipline on the party, he made us look professional, and he certainly revitalised my interest in politics. Beyond that it's hard to see what he achieved.

The Conservative Party under his leadership never seemed to develop or offer any real vision or senseof conviction. Instead it offered a narrow set of grievances that sounded more like a one note manifesto for opposition then the agenda of a government in waiting.

Admittedly he didn't have much time before the election to set out what he was offering Britain, but even that time seemed wasted as strategy after strategy was still born and rapidly replaced.

It was a terrible shame. Howard was a transformational Home Secretary, and I had hoped he would bring some of that edge to the leadership. As Home Secretary he said what he wanted to do and exactly how he was going to do it. Then he delivered. His leadership never had that sense of purpose.

In the end, Howard failed by own standards.

Peter Stitt

I have not voted Conservative since 1992, I am a Thatcherite and want to vote Conservative.

If the Party elects Ken Clarke, I will vote Conservative again.

Need I say more, the man is no weak lefty, he is a man who could be, and should be, our next Prime Minister.


So you base your vote on the leader of a national party, not the polices of a party, or the local candidates and what he or she does?

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