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« Editorial: Making abortion rare | Main | The week it didn't happen for Ken Clarke »



I don't see Ancram supporting 'the young pretender' regardless of where Rifkind goes, I am sure Ancram will choose Fox, and ultimately so will the majority of Cornerstone. I hope Rifkind and the supporters of his kind of One Nation Toryism all support Cameron, so we can have a nice Cameron V Fox final, and possibly a dream ticket between those two, then we'd have a future government in the bag.

Adrian Sherman

"I have this nagging feeling that Dr.Fox is going to charge up and win this contest".

You're not the only one, Kris. As I'm a staunch social Conservative, loathe the Notting Hill nobodies and have backed Fox at 25/1, I would be rather pleased were such a charge to occur.

Andy Stidwill

I'm starting to get the feeling that if Cameron gets through to the membership ballot, he'd win easily regardless of who he might be up against, but that he might still fail by just a few votes to get through to the final two, in the same way that Portillo failed by a single vote in 2001.


Intersting point about Stephen Crabb backing Fox. His agent briefed that Crabb was minded to back Davis about 6 weeks ago.

James Hellyer

Yeah, his agent was still briefing that he'd support Davis quite recently.

Richard Allen

Good to see Sir Malcolm pick up some high profile support. He deserves a few votes for his speech alone.


As I've said in a few posts tonight, I think one of the defining moments of the leadership contest will be who Rifkind declares for.


Today's Times reports that Nick Gibb and Jeremy Wright have declared for David Cameron - taking DC's tally to 25. [Sorry, John Coulson].

James B,,17129-1816621,00.html

The Times "understands" that Andrew Rosindell and Angela Browning are to declare for Davis and Viggers for Cameron. Not confirmed though.

I note a number of women MPs haven't declared. Could they be waiting for Theresa May's decision?

James Hellyer

I'd have thought Chope and Rosindell will be mking their intentions clear on Monday (?) when the rest of Cornerstone declares.


"I note a number of women MPs haven't declared. Could they be waiting for Theresa May's decision?"

If she publically backs anyone I think it'd be a surprise if she didn't back Cameron.

Daniel Vince-Archer

I don't know what's going on with Theresa. I like her but the cynic in me is starting to think that her failure to confirm or deny whether she will be standing means she is merely angling for the best possible job from the current leadership contenders.

To put it crudely, I think the time has come for Theresa to s**t or get off the pot, i.e. announce whether or not she will be standing.

James Hellyer

I'm a bit fed up with Teresa May. The day after Michael Howard said we weren't the nasty party, she went on the Today programme and accused the Conservatives of sexism.

With friends like that...

Sean Fear

I'd be surprised if Theresa May could find a proposer and a seconder.


James - Why do you think Cornerstone MPs are all going to declare on Monday? In fact of the 26 named supporters on their web-site, 6 have already declared for various candidates, so it seems quite possible that the other 20 will also split their votes, or even keep their intentions quiet.

James Hellyer

James - Why do you think Cornerstone MPs are all going to declare on Monday?

I don't. I think it will be Tuesday, because that is when Edward Leigh said the group will announce its intentions (either a Leigh candidacy or backing an existing candidate).

That does seem to indicate that what's left of them will likely vote as a group.


My guess is that Cornerstone will be able to muster at least eight votes for Dr Fox but it could reach a dozen to fifteen if the 'Realos' out-argue the 'Fundis' who want to put up their own candidate.

James Hellyer

So who are the "Realos" and who are the "Fundies", Tim?

I'd possibly put Leigh and Cash into the latter camp, with people like Howarth, Hayes and Chope being in the former camp.

In any case, surely the "fundies" must realise that the (likely) worst case outcome of their fielding a candidate would be the more socially liberal Cameron(pro drugs-legalisation, etc.) facing down and Davis (who is himself a candidate who has taken pleasure in bad mouthing the group).

I can't see either of those choice appealing to them.


James, I won't answer your question - 'Who are the Fundis, who are the Realos?' But the Fundis are not easy to argue rationally with and their behaviour leads me to believe that Fox will get nearer to eight than fifteen of the Cornerstone group. If Fox promised the Fundis withdrawal from the EU they'd probably protest that he wasn't pledging to quit quickly enough...

James Hellyer

Well, as Edward Leigh was making impressed noises immediately after Dr Fox's conference speech, I can only assume the Bill Cash candidacy mooted on Wedenesday's Today programme (because none of the candidates "are serious enough about Europe") will come to pass.


If Bill Cash stands he will be humiliated and deserve to be.

James Hellyer

Can I take it that you're not going to rush off and start a billcashleader blogspot?


Cornerstone may be building themselves up too much as a campaigning force by trying to appear to vote enmass. Fox does seem the logical choice for them, although others will regard Davis has having the better chance of winning. Any votes going from the group to DC/KC/MR would be rather a surprise although I'm sure very welcome to those candidates.

The suggestion they will 'as one' reveal their backing for a candidate makes a pressure group seem like a rather exclusive club where the thought process is exactly the same. To much involvement in one man's campaign would make the group potential rather weak and short term (disagreements already, so soon after it started) despite the fact they should be a welcome member of the Conservative family.

Anyone guess which way IDS will vote?


The likes of Hayes have been making positive noises about Clarke (as has Gerald Howarth, but I'm not so sure that he is a Cornerstone member.) Liddell-Grainger and Brazier had previously backed Davis. Cornerstone seem a pretty splintered voting bloc.

Adrian Sherman

In teresting, Disraeli. It wouldn't surprise me if a couple of 'Right wingers' like Hayes, back Ken Clarke. Remember, the Cornerstone group are generally divided between those who are preoccupied with social issues (Hayes and Howarth spring to mind) and those for whom Europe is their absolute obsession, like Bill Cash.

IDS ill vote either Fox or Cameron. Howard for DC definitely, and Hague for LF, probably. I doubt whether Ken will lose too much sleep by not getting these star-studded endorsements. LOL

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