Conservative Home's debate blogs


  • DVD rental
  • Conservative Books
My Photo

Conservative blogs

Blog powered by Typepad

  • Tracker 2
  • Extreme Tracker

« ICM poll undermines Clarke's leadership pitch | Main | Can you afford a little help to keep this site growing...? »



I think the survey shows that at least 34 MPs will vote Davis/Fox/Cornerstone on the first ballot which must restrict the chances of Clarke/Cameron if their is no link between them before the first round.


David Davis to mount a relaunch this week... If he can't keep himself afloat, what hope has the Party with Davis as Captain? :(


Looking through that Telegraph list, and already third placed, KC can't be too hopeful now. The number of them in the Anyone-but-Ken camp is just too much.

So, looking like Davis vs Cameron?

Cllr Iain Lindley

I wonder which job Davis had promised Damian Green...


The rumour mill says 'Party Chairman', Iain...


Why does the Telegraph rule out David MacLean supporting Davis? Did they fall out after 2001?


Nothing wrong with a relaunch, Michael. After all, Tony Blair has about 2 a month these days ;-)

EU Serf


Contrary to the story being told by the press, the big loser at the Conservative Party Conference was actually Clarke.

Cameron wowed the crowd with his speech, largely because he was such an unknown. In contrast, we all knew what to expect from Clarke, who by all accounts also gave a very good speech. Clarke therefore gained very little from it.

On the other hand however, the party now believes that DC is a real option, something that many were not sure of before. This makes life very difficult for Clarke who is really nothing more than the Not Davis candidate, a position he now has to share.

We now have the makings of a very interesting contest between DD and DC, in my opinion, Style vs Substance.

Wat Tyler

Yes, it certainly now looks like DD vs DC- exactly as originally billed.

The punters on PoliticalBetting are speculating that Ken may drop out after the first ballot to spare himself another defeat. Leaving DD vs DC vs Fox.
Given Doc wouldn't pick up many Rifkind/Clarke votes, it might then well be dealtime.


If Fox goes to Cameron, that's potentially trouble for DD.

John G

We'll see about Ken. The Telegraph article is clearly skewed in many cases. Wherever it knows very, very little about a candidate, it says either "will not vote for Clarke" (which is clearly true in some places but by no means all) or "Cameron hopeful".

Switch Clarke and Cameron and it suddenly looks a lot better for him. He just needs to keep being visible, which is the main problme at the moment.

Seems that the last three will almost certainly be DD vs DC vs LF - could well see tactical right-wing voting to keep DC from the country. Then DD vs LF leaves a DD winner. That's why the longer odds on DD on Betfair could be a real bargain.


I can't see a realistic scenario where it would be worthwhile for DD supporters to vote Fox to keep Cameron off the ballot (considering the number of Clarke votes that will probably march off to Cameron) And if it didn't succeed then it would destroy any chance he had of beating DC in the country. He wouldn't be able to claim the mandate of MPs, and (not being able to openly admit to tactical voting) he would have to let the story remain that MPs deserted him in the final round.

Jack Stone

It may be me but I always thought democracy was about voting for the person who you support and then hopeing that the majority of people agree with you. I didn`t think it was voting for your enemy to try and keep another enemy off the ballot.
If the party is to come out of this process with any chance of establishing some sort of unity then we must have a left-right battle in the final round as a straight fight between the two sides of the party is likely to lead to the side who are defeated more likely accepting defeat then they would be if they were preculded from the ballot.

James Maskell

I dont like tactical voting but its something we would be suprized about if it didnt happen. There will be an element of tactical voting, probably more now than in previous leadership elections. And when so much is up for grabs for voting one way instead of another, there is a lot of movement still to go before this election ends.

Graeme Archer

Sorry if the blog went haywire during last week when things were happening in realtime, but I was up at Blackpool and have to share how stunningly awful Davis' performance was. And I think his "team" are spinning like mad to say they're relieved this weekend and that it doesn't matter that Davis spoke like a backwoods student droning on about miserable things like prisons, because while it's not sufficient to be a good orator, it's quite certainly a necessary precondition. This is a man who mumbled into the microphone, made 15 minutes feel like an hour, and pressed every rubbishy right-wing button of the last, losing, decade. And his team say "oh but he's much better in interview situations" - well, like sorry, but no he's not, he's still mumbly and droningly over-specific in set piece interviews. 25 people fell asleep at his fringe event on Monday night.

I also read yesterday in the telegraph that his team are blaming his dreadful performance on "plants" in the audience - people from the other groups who were apparently saying "rubbish" at intervals. Whatever the truth about that, I am attached to none of these teams, but I most certainly did shake my head and mutter "rubbish", "oh god", and "please no" during his speech, so I think any negative reactions in the addressed were the fault of the addressee, not of other contenders.

Another observation which is worth making is the people who surround him. I know there are nice MPs on his list but the key workers in his team are the barmy ones from the Redwood wing. Teresa Gorman-lite. And at conference it was all the over-neat students in dark suits (we were at the seaside, for god's sake, not at a graduation ceremony) with "David Davis" stickers on. Clarke and Cameron definitely attract the sort of Tories you would like to have as friends - and I had previously thought it was just me who was tired of belonging to a party whose main message has been so unremittingly joyless for years.

What was so refreshing about conference was to find out that it's not only a few of us in Hackney who are fed up with belonging to a debating club that likes to get off on how idealogically pure it can be; there were thousands upon thousands of Tories there who are hungry for power again. I went up a Clarkeite and may have come back a Cameroon - both were magnificent in their set-pieces and had that generosity of spirit that we need.

PS Tim's mate IDS did something that I thought would never happen - he made a speech that brought me to tears. The fundamental decency and good outcomes that are achieved by the centre for social justice are truly wonderful. IDS has found his role and he had a lot of good advice for us as a party.

Sean Fear

"Clarke and Cameron definitely attract the sort of Tories you would like to have as friends"

John Bercow? Alan Ducan?


Stay a Clarkite Graeme,we need someone who can take the brickbats when the going gets tough.Cameron may or may not be able to handle it,my fear is that we won't find out until after the contest is over.With Clarke we can be utterly sure.

Cllr Graham Smith

Whilst Damian Green may have suggested that it would be "foolish" and "frivolous" to decide the next leader on speaking abilities, particularly on one occasion alone, as good speechwriters are in great demand; one has to ask oneself whether a candidate who failed to rise on such an important occasion (when everyone else was looking for him to "pull a rabbit out of the hat") might also be a let-down on other important occasions.

According to the commentators there was a dual failure - of all the speeches this candidate could have chosen, he selected one that failed to inspire. Why? Surely he must have known what he wanted to say and been offered a choice of ways of bringing his message home? The speech was then apparently delivered without passion,; indeed some say without commitment. Why? Surely he understood the importance of making everyone present feel included?

What a great shame.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About Conservative Home


  • Conservative Home's
    free eMailing List
    Enter your name and email address below: