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« Coronation or Contest? | Main | Round two: The result »


Selsdon Man

I think that you are being pessimistic Tim. The Standard article was a non-story. Fox will do better than you think, especially amongst the new intake who valued his visits during the general election. Davis will be wounded and lose votes but will not be humiliated as many commentators suggest. We need a final membership ballot to test both the candidates so that an informed choice is made by all the activists.


I dearly hope I'm wrong Selsdon Man...


Davis is likely to go through, as Cameron has certainly lent him some votes. I doubt the "meltdown" in the Davis vote is significant enough to counteract that, or at least not enough for Fox to overtake him.


I really,really hope you're wrong Editor,the party will be a laughing stock if you're not.There will be much talk of pissups and breweries from our political enemies.


BBC1 is reporting that John Maples (a DD backer who wrote DD's endorsement for this site!) has defected to Cameron (after backing KC on Tuesday).

James Mawdsley

Stay in the race Davis! For the reasons our Editor gives...


Looks like 6-8 Cameroons voted for Davis.

Despite this, it will probably end questions of a coronation, because it has made it closer than the 46/47/48 margin many expected.

Cllr Iain Lindley

I don't think Davis will fold, though if Cameron had managed 50%+ he may well have done.


I think DC did lend a few votes to DD.

I'm very, very glad to hear DD make an emphatic commitment to carry on.

I still expect one or two of his more prominent backers to defect in the next 24 hours...

Andy Stidwill

David Cameron must be eternally thankful that the rules weren't changed, because if they had been and all of Fox and Davis's votes were genuine, I think he would have lost, because I think we can safely say all of Fox's votes would have transferred to Davis.

Richard Allen

Well Ed I am very glad that you were wrong but frankly I am baffled that you that you posted such rubbish in the first place. Everything that David Davis has done in his life indicates that he is a fighter. The idea that he would quit was always absurd.

Robin M

It is clear that having dismissed him early on, many people were hoping for a Fox vs Cameron poll amongst members. Too bad.

Now let's see if DC really has any ideas (or can develop some in 6 weeks). If not the party is stuffed. Kaletsky has a point today in the Times.

Will DD be nimble and smart enough to move DC off style onto substance? If he does lose some of his old generals, let's the new ones bring effective tactical thinking.

Interesting times.


Richard: Not rubbish methinks. I predicted the run-off candidates correctly. The lower-than-predicted Cameron vote suggests some tactical voting for DD. I still expect some defections from DD to DC. Fortunately DD has resisted the real pressures to quit. May he continue to do so...

Blue ipod

You may have predicted the run off candidates correctly Ed, even though it wasn't the outcome you wanted but you were way off the mark about a coronation. I don't believe any of the last 3 contenders wanted a coronation. DD certainly couldn't be seen to back down and make way for a second time. If he did his hard, street fighting credentials would be shot to pieces and there would be question marks about whether he had enough bottle to lead the party. DC on the otherhand will relish the chance to make himself, his policies and ideas even better known to the party membership and the country at large.

Richard Allen

Sorry Ed but what you posted was rubbish. Your central point was that there would be a coronation. Anyone who understands anything about David Davis would have known that this was not going to happen.


Richard: I did not say that there would be a coronation. I worried that there might be. "More and more likely" were the words I used. I made four predictions. I'd say I got two spot on. One (on defections) is yet to be proved. My concern about there being a coronation turned out not to be realised. Noone is more pleased than me at that!

Ian Sider

Guys, lay off Mr Ed. The coronation plot was a very real one. What’s more, it’s not over yet. There is still plenty of time in which to browbeat Davis into submission. If Fox endorses Cameron, along with some other senior figure (i.e. Hague) and certain Davisites jump ship, then the pressure will be on again.

Clearly,the plot failed on Thursday. It may be that too many votes were lent to Davis, or that the Davis enforcers really are frighteningly good at their jobs, or that the bizarre Evening Standard story did for Fox. Probably all three factors combined to give Davis a viable second place and to deny Cameron an overwhelming lead. But then that’s the trouble with tactical voting – you can so easily overdo it.

Actually, the real trouble with tactical voting is that its pretty sordid stuff that does nothing for the Party’s reputation. But then you could say that about the entire Parliamentary Party stage of the leadership election process. I’ve come to the conclusion that the process must be reformed and I now back the idea of disenfranchisement... of the MPs that is.

In future let’s take the vote directly to the country. There won’t be any trouble with a mismatch in preference between the wider electorate and the MPs, because the latter won’t be asked their opinion.


Thanks for the support Ian!

If there was no possibility of DD accepting a coronation the DD camp should have denied it outright.

Andrew Mitchell failed to do so when asked at a meeting of MPs on Wednesday.

Damian Green failed to do so on the Today programme yesterday.

Ian is completely right on the way forward. The MPs are expert tactical voters. The way forward is for the election to be held amongst grassroots party members. Candidates for the leadership should have to win the support of say 15% of MPs and then the grassroots should decide between them - ideally informed (if not with) the votes of non-party members in primary contests.


The membership selected IDS. In the first ballot, the MPs eject the most electable candidate, and give most votes to the least electable.

Looks like neither of them have much to be proud of.

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