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« Party Board considers dumping ballot | Main | Six more MPs declare for David Davis »


Selsdon Man

That list is less than half the Parliamentary party. Given the likely collapse of the proposed reforms (see other stories) this list is looking less relevant.


If Michael Howard's reforms are rejected MPs will still determine which top two candidates 'go to the country'. It's not the decisive electorate it might have been but it's certainly still relevant.

Selsdon Man

Fair point, Mr Editor.

Judging by Alan Duncan's comments, his friend (own words)Cameron's campaign is in deep trouble. I now expect Mr Duncan to declare for David Davis.

Liam Fox will need to reveal some considerable support this week to slow down the Davis juggernaut. He needs a heavyweight supporter. William Hague would be ideal.

Coffee Monster

Shouldn't Mark Pritchard be included from The Sunday Telegraph letter?


Thank you coffee monster. You are quite right. I was clearly too sleepy this morning when I put this list together. I'll drink more coffee in future!

Tim Hughes

Alan Duncan will support Clarke over Davis. Have you heard any of Duncan's speeches or newspaper interviews?

Daniel Vince-Archer

I agree Tim H - let's not forget that Duncan's ideological twin John Bercow is backing Clarke as well!

Coffee Monster

You can add Stephen Dorrell to Ken Clarke's supporters according to The Times:,,2-1765639,00.html
Unsurprisingly, he thinks
“Ken Clarke is the candidate with the experience and determination to lead the Conservatives back to government.”

Re: Alan Duncan.
I seem to recall that when Duncan quit the leadership race in mid-July he gave a radio interview saying he was already certain he knew who he was going to back, but he didn't want to declare until after he gave his speech at the Conservative conference. The thinking being that if he had already declared he might alienate people who would then be less likely to listen to his views. Given that it was far from certain that Ken Clarke would stand at that stage and that Duncan now favours a Clarke-Davis run-off, I think he will endorse Davis.

Selsdon Man

Alan Duncan was at the CWF Commons reception - hardly a pro-Clarke caucus. His views, as set out in his book Saturn's Children, are very different away from the "new" Bercow and Ken Clarke. It is likely that, if cameron was eliminated, he would back Davis in a run-off against Clarke.

James Hellyer

Yes, but his views in Saturn's Children seem very different to the ones he articulates now...

Guido Fawkes

Alan Duncan told me he sticks by Saturn's children

Coffee Monster

Tobias Ellwood MP has declared for Cameron according to The Times:,,2-1777620,00.html
Given Ellwood's vocal criticism of the Iraq war (see e.g. )
I figured he might go for Clarke or Rifkind. He is precisely the kind of new MP Clarke needs if he is to win. I am increasingly gaining the impression that Clarke is far more popular among members than MPs and that the final ballot will be Davis vs Cameron or Davis vs Fox despite the MSM's fascination with Clarke.

James Hellyer

"I am increasingly gaining the impression that Clarke is far more popular among members than MPs and that the final ballot will be Davis vs Cameron or Davis vs Fox despite the MSM's fascination with Clarke."

I wouldn't disagree with that at all. Clarke's problem is that of the 59 MPs who backed him in 2001

ten stood down in 2001, while twelve have publicly backed Davis, Fox, Cameron or Rifkind. Given some of the comments I've heard about Clarke from the new intake, and his similar failure to attract new MPs in '01 (he only got Boris Johnson), it's quite hard to see where he can get extra support from.

Clarke's best hope, of course, is for the Cameron campaign to fold, and for him to pick up the Stop Davis vote.


As we have discovered in numerous leadership elections who MPs publicly back and who they actually vote for are two different things entirely. How many pblic backers did Portillo have in 2001. How many votes did he actually bet? I have no doubt that Clarke will perform very well in an MPs ballot after a decent camapign and once the MPs are in the privacy of the polling booth.

James Hellyer

It wasn't the MPs who endorsed Portillo publicly who let him down, it was the MPs who promised their vote but then voted for another candidate.

So, nice try but no cigar.

Coffee Monster

"How many public backers did Portillo have in 2001."
49 (see James' link)

"How many votes did he actually get?"
-------------------- R1 R2 R3
Portillo.......... 49 50 53
Duncan Smith 39 42 54
Clarke........... 36 39 59
Davis............. 21 18 0
Ancram......... 21 17 0

Portillo's backers were loyal, the problem was he only gained 4 out of 42 Ancram/Davis supporters. This was due to the fact many MPs saw Portillo as being disloyal to Hague. Cameron has no such problem and that will make it far harder for Clarke.


You have to remember in 2001 that the Portillo group didnot think Clarke would stand again, with that when he did he lost the fact he would be the front runner for sure going to the last round. Also in the third round their was I think a bit of tactical voting that meant that IDS voters voted for Ken to keep Michael out.
As for Alan Duncan I would have loved it if he had stayed in the contest and if he is supporting David Davis great as having William as Chancellor and Alan at the Foreign office would kick into touch the wallies on the Labour side at the next general election.

James Hellyer

Portillo was privately pledged support by far more MPs than publicly backed him. That's why his team predicted he's top the first ballot. Of course, some of those MPs lied to him...

You're quite right to suggest that there was tactical voting in the final ballot. Ken received a boost from anti-Portillo voters who thought IDS could later beat Ken. Similarly some supporters of Ken are supposed to have backed IDS, to block Portillo, reasoning that Ken would then win the members round.

Either way there's nothing there to suggest that there's an untapped pool of pro-CLarke MPs just waiting to back his leadership bid.


I think originally Michael through having Dorrell supporting him probably thought that Ken wouldn't stand( and with that handlines of 100 MPs came about). This time the problem for both Cameron and Fox is that Ken still has enough MPs out their to be in second place after the first round with that do they support one another in the second round or do a deal before hand?

James Hellyer

I don't agree that Ken necessarily does have the MPs to put him in second place. He's 22 down on his voting bloc from 2001 and I can't see where the replacments can come from.


Based on only four candidates standing(Cameron, Clarke, Davis and Fox) and David Davis getting around 70 votes on the first round, Ken only needs around 40-45 to get second.

Coffee Monster

"This time the problem for both Cameron and Fox is that Ken still has enough MPs out their to be in second place after the first round"
My point is that I think this is a misconception propagated by the media. We know from last months Telegraph survey that Clarke already has support of up to 25 MPs (22 confirmed). I think he's finding it incredibly tough to expand that core vote and that he could well finish behind Cameron on the first ballot and maybe even Fox if the Cornerstone group vote for the latter on mass.


It depends on how many votes people think David Davis will get and how many candidates will stand in the end? If David gets 70+ and there is four plus candidates then the person in second place will need about 40-45 a figure not out of Kens' reach even without any new MPs supporting him.


Sorry for double posts.
Last time out Ken had the most votes from the group of MPs(17 out of 49) called "Undeclared" no reason for that not happening this time.

Selsdon Man

Tobias Elwood is publicly backing Cameron and should be added to his list.

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