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« David Davis fails to inspire | Main | Dr Fox reaches out to right in confident performance »


Jonathan Sheppard

Ed, I heard rumour of proposals to increase the number of MPs presented to the membership, to more than too - but was also told this wouldn't happen this time. Lets hope we don't have to have another leadership election for a while - as hopefully our next leader will go on the General Election success!

James Hellyer

The 1922 Committee were asked to do this in 2001 (and thus submit Portillo to the membership ballot). Despite legal advice saying they could do so, the 1922 Committee refused.

James Maskell

The party democrats are calling for the use of the Single Transferable Vote system, or certainly a form of STV. I have to say Im curious about this use. Although I must say Im against the idea. If you have STV doesnt that open up the possibility of an element of manipulation by factions in the Conservative Party?

Id rather we stuck to the system we have. OMOV each round, one out until two remain. STV is a quite technical system and can be tactically played out to skew a result.

Ronald Collinson

Ultimately, the membership should be trusted. In a poll of all party members, a few tactical votes won't make a difference.

I, personally, favour using STV to select the final two candidates. If one has an overwhelming majority, then he would become leader; if not, the final vote would lay with the MPs. That would, I think, be more democratic (MPs restricted to candidates approved by the membership, rather than membership restricted to candidates approved by MPs), while also helping to keep the confidence of the parliamentary party in the leader.

Well, that, or back to the old system of emergence. It served us better than democracy...

EU Serf

If the roles were reversed, then the party could present a short list of two to MPs. This seems better.

Mark Fulford

The two name system is clearly open to cynical manipulation and, since 71% of MPs dislike it, I don't trust them not to. But the members are protected in this race: DD has good reason to fear all his potential opponents. Any of the other contenders could beat DD.


The more I think about this the more I think it would be sensible for as many names as possible to be presented to the members in the country. This week - in Blackpool - various of the candidates have won enormous enthusiasm from the representatives. If party members only get the opportunity to vote for Davis versus Clarke (for example) the new army of enthusiasts for David Cameron will be very disappointed. Similarly a contest without Clarke will disenfranchise his supporters. A Fox versus Davis contest will exclude all those people that Sir Malcolm Rifkind describes as one nation Tories. I think any candidate who receivea a reasonable number of nominations from MPs (say 5% of the parliamentary party - the current number is too low at two) should go through to the final ballot.


IDS put his finger on it when he said that whatever system is used to select the leader, there will always be some MPs who do not agree with the choice, and if they see an opportunity to undermine him they will do so, in the hope of their choice replacing him. To me this suggests that we not only need to remove the selection process from MPs alone, but we also need to take away the power of MPs alone from removing the leader.

I believe in a fully democratic process, so I would be happy to see three or four candidates go out to the members, and have a voting system whereby the candidates were listed in order of preference. But MPs would have to understand that they then had to get behind that leader, or leave the party.

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