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« Caption competition (8) | Main | Round one: The result »


Richard Allen

That's a strong case for Liam Fox and it shows why I wouldn't be unhappy with Fox as leader even if I am backing Davis.

Nelson, Norfolk

If DC fails to make the run off I would prefer to see LF as Leader rather DD.

Mr Editor, is this just your endorsement for the 1st round. If LF fails to make the run off who will then get your support.

Henry Fitzpatrick

The problem all along with Fox's candidature has been "Cornerstone". Or to put that another way, it is, yet again, the Right's fault that it has screwed up.

The Right won the last leadership election by playing to win from the start. It piled in it behind its candidate and stuck to him. This time, too many people on the Right ponced about pretending that there was some merit in Edward Leigh, or someone like that standing. And as an inevitable result, because they didn't do the realistic thing - backing Fox early and in some numbers - he never got the criticial momentum his campaign needed.

For what it's worth, a slight silliness from some on the Right to 'Fox the man' (ie that they thought he was a 'lightweight', whatever that was supposed to mean) played its part in this balls-up. But more fatal, probably, was his recent tenure in CCO. Doing Howard's dirty work over eg Flight did him no credit with the hardline Eurosceptics or taxcutters.

It's a pity, as Fox was the best of a generally 2nd rate bunch. And Cameron, as he has said, is going to split the Party.

paul d s

Fox just doesn't have the "X" factor. And the crucifix brandishing, slavish pro-Americanism and crypto-Neo-Conservativism are troubling.

That said, he put up a better fight than expected and can hold his head high.


Good on you Tim for getting of the fence and like Richard would have no problem with Liam becoming Leader but Davis would have to be first.


A well made case for Dr. Fox. I have always been swaying between supporting Cameron or Fox, two widely different candidates, but both sharing that special something which i believe makes them credible statesmen. I would prefer Fox and i hope that i have a chance to vote for him, but i think that the tories have a good chance to go on a prosper whoever ends up leading it, with the exception of Clarke who i think would divide the party and drive a wedge between members and MP's.

Sean Fear

That's a very good case for Fox. I just fear that if he won, he would be subjected to endless sniping from the "modernising" left of the party.


People like Fox are why the public don't vote en masse for tory. I hope he loses to KC today, but knowing the tory mps' unique ability to pick the wrong leader it wouldn't surprise me if KC, the only one of the candidates to have actually achieved anything will go.

Fox is probably the worst of all the candidates, just for his extremely worrying views on the 'war on terror', but the others bar KC aren't much better on this.


"Liam is an authentic Conservative"

... who is incapable of reaching out beyond the hard core of 30% of voters who are also 'authentic' conservatives. But, never mind, we're a debating society afterall, not a party serious about taking power if that means compromising our beliefs.


Liam Fox is the surest way to the destruction and eternal irrelevance of the Conservative Party.


I believe that Liam Fox can appeal beyond the party faithful with him emphasis on mending the broken society etc. I think there is a growing number of people genuinely concerned about the lawlessness and break down of society, maybe not enough as in America, but enough to win us an election in 5 years time. I don't think Fox will win us a landslide, whereas Cameron might, but we would win victory whilst still retaining our core values. After all what is victory for victory sake actually worth when you've sold your soul to get there.

Jack Stone

Liam Fox may be a good minister but he simply is not Prime Ministerial material.He lacks that special extra something that makes leaders stand out from those who are there to be lead.
I also believe it would be totally distastrous for the party to elect someone who is putting forward views that are in many ways further to the right than those that have been responsible for the party being defeated at the last two elections.
No I am sorry Mr Editor you are wrong. The only person in this contest capable of defeating Labour and returning the party to power is David Cameron.

Fox Blogger

Russ is wrong and ConservativeHome is right. Foxy is the choice today, on Thursday and in the Party Ballot.

The stuff about union jacks turned me off. Fox is a nice guy, but against Brown, we'd look pretty lightweight.

Justin Hinchcliffe

Mark is spot on. As a pro-lifer, I admire Liam's stance on abortion: a society, which aborts thousand of babies each year, is not a compassionate society to be living in. That said, abortion should remain as a free vote and it's not really an election issue (most pro-lifers already know who to vote for and not to vote for). Fox, ditto Davis, have not said or done anything to attract those people whose votes are 'up for grab'. We have elected four leaders on a right-wing platform and the voters have responded by flocking to our opponents. We need somebody who looks and sounds like he, and it will be a ‘he’, is not a politician and can capture the mood of the country. On drugs, for example, Fox and Davis are out of tune with public opinion. People really don't care if MPs did - or occasionally do - dabble in Coke or Spliff. Newsnight's poll confirmed this fact.

Who is Fox likely to lend his support to if he is eliminated today or Thursday?

Justin Hinchcliffe

Not sure if he gets on with DD? Most don't...

Henry Mackintosh

It only matters up to a point who Fox backs, whether he goes out first, or comes 3rd, but a bad 3rd where he quits before Thursday. What matters, either for a 2nd round vote (Fox having come 4th today), or for him eg quitting tomorrow and endorsing someone, is what his followers do. And they, most of them, are not likely to follow him, even if he does pick Cameron. But here's the thing - what's in it for Laim Fox personally, or the brand of Toryism he believes in, for him to try and make Cameron leader?

Richard Allen

I can't see Fox backing Cameron. If Davis or Clarke become leader then Fox still has a fair chance of becoming leader at some point in the future. One factor that will work against Cameron is that his youth threatens the future ambitions of others.

James Hellyer

"That said, abortion should remain as a free vote"

And Dr Fox said it would remain so.

On drugs, for example, Fox and Davis are out of tune with public opinion. People really don't care if MPs did - or occasionally do - dabble in Coke or Spliff. Newsnight's poll confirmed this fact.

By saying that 28% of people wouldn't vote for a cocaine user to be PM?

Justin Hinchcliffe

Who will IDS back in round 3? We can all remember how he sacked DD as Party Chairman...


Interesting Tim there was nothing in your post about actually winning or actually governing.

Sure Liam Fox is an honest and principled conservative who has run a fairly decent campaign. Although his sniping at Cameron could have been done without.

At the conference he made time to address a small make poverty history meeting and was (actually not great). But his speech attempting to compare the EU to the USSR was disgusting.

I'm sorry Editor but you just don't "get it"

He could signal a move to a united Party if he were to back Cameron - bridging the centre left/right, mod v rockers, while at the same time indicating that it's time for a new generation. After all, I thought GPs were trained to heal wounds.

Richard Cave

Where Bernard goes, IDS is sure to follow.

Richard Cave

Justin, are you the person who used to be called "Tory boy" and talked about the poor eating fruit of tress and catching fish from rivers?

On a only slightly more serious note: why do people have to get in tune with 'public opinion' on drugs when they don;t have to get in tune with it as far as abortion concerned? For what it's worth. there's no polling evidence that suggests majority support for wholesale decriminalisation of proscrived substances. And equally, every opinion poll there is on abortion in Britain says that a majority thinks it should be legal. You're a bit picky when and where you want to get in tune with 'public opinion', aren't you?

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