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« Support for Cameron surges amongst party members (and collapses for David Davis) | Main | Mail on Sunday: Cameron must clear the air on drugs »



Editor, you should be DD's campaign manager! Your advice hits the nail on the head.

The change in the team might possibly help, if it's truly thorough-going, rather than just on the surface. It really has been awful so far.

Fingers crossed. There's still hope.

christopher owen

We all know he will still reach the membership stage. But then he will lose- to Cameron or Clarke. Ha.


Of course he can stage a comeback - just as David Cameron's fortunes can wane.

But we have to acknowledge that he has been severely weakened by conference. The media have already got their claws out and that's not a good sign. Although I think Davis' fortunes will improve (well, they couldn't get much worse) I think he's all but lost now.

Wat Tyler

Elena- last night someone here told me to pull myself together. And having slept on it, that's good advice.

The fact is that DD has still got all the attributes we have always seen in him- experience, the right convictions, a genuine commitment to the new Tory policy agenda for the public services and localism, plus the grit we so desperately need to turn words into substance.

Sure, he needs to deliver over the next month- both in the terrorism debates, and on the telly. But he can do that- he's much better at both than at a "make-or-break" platform speech.

And the doubts about DC are already resurfacing- see eg Portillo or, especially, Rawnsley this morning:

"David Cameron is the most high-stakes gamble of the lot. He has risen without trace at amazing speed. He could sink without trace just as quickly. He is hugely promising and vastly risky. He is double or quits."

Feel lucky?

Davis is being given the chance to show how he can perform under pressure.

He's still the man most likely to.

Jack Stone

It doesn`t surprise me that more and more people are turning against Davis. Why he was frontrunner to start with I just don`t know.
Apart from his life story he had very little there to convince people he could lead the party to victory.
He is uninspiring, wooden, talking a languauge that as failed the party for the last eight years. He simply looked like Mr Yesterdayman!
To get back into power we need to cast off the past, inspire people back to voting for us and look like we are a party of tommorrow not yesteryear.
For the sake of the party, our country it simply as to be Cameron!

James Burdett

Davis has very many absolutely neccesary qualities in a leader however if he wilts in the spotlight as he did last week then none of those qualities count much. Cameron obvioulsy has the pizazz of the modern media-friendly politician, he has to prove that he has solid foundations. Cameron has actually an easier task than Davis, principally because Davis sacrificed a golden opportunity at conference.


The bald fact is that the GBP have already cast their vote for Cameron and rejected Davis. This election will be a real test of whether the Tories, like Labour in 1994, are now willing to elect someone who has electoral appeal but not party appeal. And Davis is no Clinton ...


The GBP? A poll for the Politics programme on the BBC found 27% Clarke, 13% Davis, 13% Cameron. Don't get carried away.


The fact is, that the GBP will not be able to cast a vote for up to 4.5 years, Stuart. So they are not in a position to reject anyone. It is the Tory MPs who vote first, and if the declarations hold, they have already chosen Davis. It is the battle for second place that is at stake. Here there is still all to play for, and Fox has done himself a lot of good with an excellent conference speech.

Whoever is chosen they will have to face all the hostility that our previous leaders have suffered and be able to bounce back. We need someone with huge reserves of strength and perseverence, someone who will remain in the job for at least 8 years, hopefully a lot more.

Rather big difference between Clinton and Davis.

Clinton was an extremely attractive candidate, with an attractive message, with enormous personal flaws.

Davis is a candidate with an attractive message, no personal flaws, but is a fundamentally unattractive candidate.


And more importantly, Clinton had no serious opposition (remember the Democrat field was very weak because everyone assuming it was a contest to come second to George bush).

James Burdett

Didn't Clinton comeback because he was media-savvy and played the modern spin-game?? Davis just doesn't seem capable of the honest deceptions that need to be deployed around...Cameron seems much more capable of squaring two opposed groups, his comments on whether or not he smoked dope are a case in point....

James Hellyer

They are not a case in point! All they did was unleash the hounds. The assumption is that he took drugs and he has given the media carte blanche to dig into his past for more dirt.

Cameron is awful on the interview circuit. He seems incapable of answering questions - just look at his waffly answer about White's in the Michael Crick interview. How hard would it be to say that it's up to club to decide who admits?

James Burdett

The media would have dug anyway!

James Hellyer

As hard as they have on this subject?

Cameron has got as far as he has on anonymity. That's all.

Adrian Sherman

His cover of anonymity has been shattered, which is the flipside of last week.

The hustings next week should confirm Cameron as an utter lightweight to his peers, whilst he churns out yet another meaningless platitude. I expect Clarke to show why he is the biggest beast, still, and for his peers to vote for him (in private).

I reckon KC will outpoll Mr. Slime, despite the support of chinless wonders like Gove and Tory boys like George Osborne.

James Hellyer

The hustings next week should confirm Cameron as an utter lightweight to his peers

I second that prediction. Remember that when Cornerstone interviewed all leadersip candidates - except Ken Clarke - they concluded that Cameron was charming, but a lightweight. One even commented that he was just a creation of The Times!


Adrian, I agree with you. I think Clarke will get more support than is being attributed to him currently. I think a lot of the "undecideds" will go for Clarke and Fox, and several will go for Cameron.

I would not be surprised to see Clarke go through to the membership against Davis. However, Cameron could also do it.

To be honest, although I do have severe reservations about Cameron, I'm basically a member of Anyone But Davis at the moment. Although I think he has some good ideas, and would be a fantastic shadow cabinet minister, I just don't want that man as leader of our party. We might like it, but he'll do nothing to help our cause in the wider country.

I will go for the lesser of two evils if I have to, and will vote for Cameron over Davis (hopefully, Clarke will go through, so I won't have to even think about that!)


The true enemy of the Tory Party is NOT the Labour Party, but rather the mainstream media. The media will be hostile to conservatives in general, and within the Tory Party to right-wingers in particular. The immediate question is, should we nominate a leader in defiance of the media (Davis) or co-opt the media (Cameron, Clarke)? And sadly, so long as many voters get their impressions of Tories only from the (hostile) media, and until Tories can develop ways of avoiding this media filter, Tories must take that media bias into account if they want to regain power.

James Hellyer

Thing is, Bruce, once it stops being Tory versus Tory, and becomes Tory versus Labour, I think the media goodwill to the candidates will vanish.

Coffee Monster

I certainly think the BBC will revert to type but Cameron could possibly appeal to NuLabour fans such as The Times, The Economist and the Financial Times more than Davis or Fox. I'm no fan of such members of the liberal metropolitan elite but getting their backing wouldn't be a bad thing.

James Hellyer

I feel duty bound to point out that The Times and it's readers' panel responded very favourably to Dr Fox's speech.


Bruce "The true enemy of the Tory Party is NOT the Labour Party, but rather the mainstream media."

I disagree Bruce the true enemy of the Tory Party is it's own people. Just some comments from this very blog:

* I will go for the lesser of two evils if I have to - (evils!)
* I just don't want that man as leader of our party. (that man is still a Tory MP)
* I reckon KC will outpoll Mr. Slime, (Mr Slime is a Tory MP)

The media picks up on petty off the cuff comments and reports it as though it is the general view within the party. It seems pretty obvious to me that you all know who you don't like but aren't sure of your preference as a group, you need to remember that one persons favourite is another persons disaster.

This is all very much like C4's Big Brother, the people inside the house (for those of you who don't watch) nominate the people they want out of the competition each week giving the public their personal reasons for not wanting them to win. The public then vote for who they want to leave often with very surprising results to the housemates who can often have to put up with candidates they nominate to leave three or four times. The winners are often the people with the least personality or capability they just don't upset too many people. People very close to the situation often can't see what the public see and think.

How can you choose if you don't know what type of leader you want, it's a little like interviewing for a job without a persons c.v.

Does the leader need business experience?
Does the leader have to speak French or German?
How important is it to score highly on a platform speech?
How important is it to perform well one to one in a political interview?
How important is it to be comfortable on the GMTV sofa?
How important are looks?

You need to be careful on the age debate - age discrimination laws come into being in April 2006.

Thanks to Gordon Brown the pensions clown we're all going to working until 70 never mind Mr Clarke!

Looking in from the outside it's like there are several different parties all wanting to be the 'Tory Party' no wonder the general public and the media are confused! What is it that binds Tory's together as a group and who can explain what this is - that's the person I want - oh and someone who stops apologising for being a Tory.


Tracy I agree with you over some points but it is important that we have this debate. Whitewashing over the candidates doesn't help us one bit. We need to select the candidate who is best placed to; a) be palatable to the electorate and b) formulate modern Conservative policies that appeal to voters. It's important that candidates' weaknesses are exposed. Yes, we may be from the same Party, but that doesn't mean that we can't have internal debate. Once the leader is chosen I will support them, but until then, I view close scrutiny and personal opinion on the candidates as fair game.

I also think you took some of my quotes out of context. I said I didn't want Davis as leader, but I did say that he would be brilliant in the shadow cabinet - so at least I gave the man some credit. When I referred to the "lesser of two evils" I meant it in the sense that neither particularly appealed to me as leader, but I'd be choosing the one who appealed to me the most out of the two.


Elena - I was told at a Management Training Course that every Strength is also a Weakness and vice versa. vis a vis Strength - 'Perfectionist' - Weakness - A nit picking i dotting t crossing slow down merchant.

What weaknesses are you exposing in your blogs above? I just read it that you don't like DD as a person and granted on second reading you did say he has some good ideas but I just remembered the negative.

I've just been into the other blog; Cameron must clear the air on drugs - that's even more disturbing! I find it more concerning that Cameron feels he has to evade this question than if he had dabbled as a youth and admitted it because the evasion smacks of dishonesty whilst the dabbling though irresponsible could be put down to youthful error. However, if this was down to peer pressure this doesn't bode well for someone who wants to be a leader. This is a problem to overcome now rather than later.

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