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« Editorial: Why I’d vote for Liam Fox in today’s ballot | Main | If you were an MP, who would you support in the second round? »




The trouble is that some of our MPs are infantile and egotisticalenough to be more concerned about which of the candidates have been nice to them than seriously considering getting back into power.


We want a united party after this election - I think that's unlikely to happen if DD is seen as leading a strong faction (and retains leadership ambitions). I think its more likely with DC and LF as the final 2 - the good doctor would probably lose in the country but would have a significant strength in the parliamentary party and would I think prove loyal to the leadership, seems to have good personal relations with DC. Not sure if the modernists would be as loyal to DF though....
LF was very good on C4 managing to keep away from damning any of his opponents while giving message that he was the one to beat DC


I think it's interesting that so many bloggers think Fox will prove to be more popular with members than DD if either face Cameron in the final ballot.I must have spoken to roughly 200-250 councillors from all over the country when canvassing for Clarke, not a single one backed Fox which I thought was pretty amazing given that he was party chairman and has been given a reasonably favourable press by Tory supporting newspapers.
If I was Fox I would forget about trying to curry favour with MPs and spend every second trying to get his message across to the press and the country at large.
Tory MPs wouldn't be stupid enough to vote for somebody with no popular appeal in the country would they?


Re. Malcolm - why are Clarke's views on Iraq unacceptable for a Tory? After all, notwithstanding the parliamentary party, most Tories were against the war - much more so than Labour voters were.

James Maskell

Why do people think candidates are going to pull out? What a ridiculous idea.


Are you referring to me Anatole? I agree wholeheartedly with Clarkes views on the Iraq war,this was one of the main reasons I supported him.

James Maskell

Anatole, the Conservative Party officially supported the war then questioned it when the case for the war fell quicker than a prostitutes knickers...

Richard Allen

It's even more absurd to expect the man who won the first ballot to pull out.


If Fox wins I'm not voting at the next election. Are the Tories just not interested in winning anymore?

Andy Stidwill

If more than about 10 of Davis's declared 1st round supporters actually go on TV or radio and say they are going to vote for someone else, than the idea of Davis pulling out is not that absurd.

James Hellyer

With an attitude like yours Howard, the answer would be "no." Now put your toys back in the pram.

James B

Unfortunately KC is out!!

The facts appear to be that DD lost votes to Fox in the first round and he is still only 4 votes away from the final ballot whilst Fox is still 20 votes behind DD. I think he will put up in a good effort, but crunching the numbers it is really a bridge too far.

It is obvious that DC is going to get into the final round. Any chance of tactical voting from DC team to prop up DD support and make sure that LF stays off the final ballot?

James Maskell

You'd probably be right there Andy. But then if they do that and Davis decides to ride it out and eventually wins the leadership, they are going to wish that they had just kept stum.

Samuel Coates

DD 60 (-2)
LF 49 (+7)
DC 52 (-4)
KC 37 (-1)

Not too bad, I don't know why I out Fox's that low as he was always going to do well out of the undeclared new MPs and Cornerstone MPs.
to check yours.

How the press will react tomorrow will be very important indeed to our image.

James Burdett

Whilst there are attractions to Dr Fox, he is obviously not a stereotypical right-winger and he is raising important stuff about Human rights and mental health. The suspicion is that a Fox leadership would be just a sexed up core vote strategy, which whilst it might warm the cockles of the true believers it is not going to provide the breakthrough that is needed. Cameron is untried and that has many downsides, however there are massive positives to Cameron. Telegenic, media savvy and apparantly in tune with modern Britain. Davis is going to come a cropper somewhere along the line, whilst he has some very good policy ideas and has some good interview skills, there is a big hole in his characteristics which was cruelly exposed at party conference.

paul d s

I think it would be best for the party if it skipped a generation. Davis is just not the man to re-invigorate the party.

Fox and Cameron have a bit of fizz about them. They should be the choice before the wider party. Both have earned their spurs in the campaign - their speeches were good and even their campaign websites are so much better.

The charmless Davis team relied on brute force and menace instead of real talent.

Richard Carey

"The suspicion is that a Fox leadership would be just a sexed up core vote strategy, which whilst it might warm the cockles of the true believers it is not going to provide the breakthrough that is needed."

I think that you've correctly identified the one thing that Fox needs to overcome. While a few more "conservative" (in the literal sense) people in the Party may be trepidatious of what Cameron's "change" might be, there can be little doubt that he will see it through. With the other two, I remain to be convinced that modernisation of the Party will be a consistent direction for them.

Previous leaders have been blown off this course by events and polls, in a way that the remaining contenders now need to show that they will not allow themselves to be.

James Hellyer

there can be little doubt that he will see it through

There can be a lot of doubt. Remember that Camerojn's first reaction when his camapign hit the rails after Clarke declared, was to talk tough and lurch to the right. It was - as Michael Portillo noted - a worrying sign.

Robert Cooke

Good for Cameon
Bad for Davis
Not bad for fox

If anything should finish daivis then it was that smug arrogant performance after the poll. I can't believe I wanted davis before conference!

Just one other thing some have said the mps were won over by one good speech from cameron. I thought the point of the mps having the final say (before it was rightly defeated) was they knew the candiadates better? would that not mean at the moment we would have david davis as leader! Doesn't that also mean there is more to cameron than one good speech?


Both Fox and Cameron are "new" faces to the wider public, and even to a lot of the members. Both are good with the media, and are teleganic. With Fox we know enough about him to be fairly sure of what he stands for, while Cameron is still a bit of an enigma. Will our MPs be prepared to vote tactically in order to send Fox into the final? Would any MPs be prepared to have a word with Davis and tell him they are defecting? If he knew his support was seriously haemorrhaging would he consider stepping aside? Personally I doubt it, but remember when Maggie narrowly won in the first ballot, but after consulting her cabinet colleagues she decided to pull out rather than face possible humiliation.

Andy Stidwill

Interesting on Newsnight that Adam Holloway admitted voting for Cameron despite declaring for Davis. Nice to have some honesty from someone.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"The Party may be trepidatious of what Cameron's "change" might be, there can be little doubt that he will see it through"

What change though? How specifically is Cameron going to change the party, and more importantly, the country, for the better? We heard all this from Portillo - different bull, same s**t. It's all very well making all these airy-fairy statements about 'modernising' and 'change' but where are the policies? I think it's about time that David Cameron told us how he will fulfil {sic?} these vague NewLabouresque goals of modernisation and change instead of simply chanting those two words every time he is asked what his vision is for the party. If people want slick presentation and empty platitudes, they can get that from the other lot. We need to offer something distinct.

Cllr Iain Lindley

Daniel I could accept that coming from you if you were a Fox or Davis supporter, but you backed Clarke. What was he offering that was "distinct", other than federalism and cheap fags?

Robert Cooke

so what your saying is carrying on talking to ourselves that's great still I guess all the Cameron supporters are in the wrong cos talking to ourselves has worked so well for the last eight years!

Gerard Bouladou

As a frenchman and as a conservative voter im my country I simply can't understand the attitude of the conservative party. Since 1997 it has refused to give any chance of his most popular and most experienced MP,Kenneth Clarke, to become its leader because of reasons like Europe or his age. Excuse me, but it's simply foolish! In France the RPR (now the UMP) was also divided between europhiles and eurosceptics but it has never refused to endorse its leader because he was europhile and the majority of its party eurosceptic! The age issue was also used by former PM Jospin in order to criticize Chirac...with an impressive result!
Choosing leaders like Hague (an obscur member of the Major's cabinet), IDS (on the right of Tebbit and Keith Joseph!), Howard (the most unpopular politician in 1997), Davis, Cameron, or Fox reflect that the tories are simply out of touch.
Cameron is in the best way a new Blair, what the English don't want anymore, or a new Hague.Davis isn't a real politician,is he? And Liam Fox is as popular as his friend G.W Bush!
Because of this old-fashioned and arrogant attitude the conservative party is now definitively irelevant in a modern political landscape ! Ken Clarke was its last-and third-chance to regain the power. Unfortunately the tories missed the appeal from the public. It has been so since 1997...

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