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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? »

Comments

AnotherNick

better than I'd hoped for David Cameron.

I was surprised at Fox's result, it's true he may have the momentum to beat Davis, but the smart money would still be on Cameron v Davis at the end of Thursday.

There are many reasons why Ken didn't get through, from tobacco, Europe, new MPs and not serving in a shadow cabinet under IDS/Howard, but it is sad to see such a big figure in the party defeated in the first round.

Henry Cook

DC would win with a landslide against Davis among the members. Fox would provide a much closer contest. Therefore I would suggest that every vote for DD on Thursday, is a vote for DC to ultimately become leader.

Barry Graham

Don't know if that's right or not, Henry. But I share your opinion that DC is the man.

James Hellyer

Therefore I would suggest that every vote for DD on Thursday, is a vote for DC to ultimately become leader.

That's an excellent tagline for the Fox campaign - thanks Henry!

Stephen Alley

I am disappointed to see Clarke eliminated, the silver lining is that now that his leadership ambitions are almost certainly over, he may be willing to serve in a shadow cabinet, and what a prospect that would be, without the fear of it tarnishing any future leadership bid.

Disraeli

Very bad news for the Tory Party who have once again put their own narrow sectional concerns above winning elections. Surely everybody who believes that the Tory Party can be more than a supper club for right wing ideologues now have to throw their weight behind Cameron.

A terrible result for Davis and I imagine that we are looking at a Fox v Cameron showdown.

wasp

I think Ken saying he might serve was just done so that he seemed a team player, its in fact highly unlikely.

Having held 2 of the great offices of state he's not an unfulfilled man and there was probably only 1 job he wanted left.

Matthew Oxley

For the first time I actually agree with Henry Cook here, in that a vote for DD is actually a vote for DC - Both LF and DD are honourable and good men and both have good agendas but the press quite simply hate Davis and DC will destroy him in the final 2.

If it's DC v LF then DC is still the favorite but it's a lot more uncertain, Up until now LF's name hasnt been a big one with the wider party so we don't know how a lot of people think about him yet - there's a bigger variance on Fox's likely share of a party vote (as opposed to DD) but given both are behind DC thats probably a good thing.

Henry Fitzpatrick

The question is, how sound before Cameron people start whispering to the lobby - 'we lent 3 or 4 to Fox [ie so Clarke would be pushed out]'? I bet you they didn't, but they'll love to imply that Fox is weaker than he is actually is, in order to stop Davis from collapsing. If there's going to be tactical cleverness-cleverness on Thursday, it's Cameron supporters (just a handful of them) voting for Davis, to try and ensure he goes through to the mass membership. Fox can beat Cameron amongst the grass roots, Davis can't - and Cameron's people know and fear this.

Barry Graham

How long before Disraeli receives a torrent of abuse from James, for daring to claim Dr Fox is a right-winger?
I give it 10 minutes.
But I agree with you, Disraeli, that David Cameron is the only option if we hope to win the next General Election.

Tim

This 'we couldn't care less what the voters think, we know best' approach is destroying the party.

Obviously being thumped in three straight elections wasn't enough. If Fox or DD win through the party is doomed. Cameron is the only hope. He is the only one of the three to grasp the fact that we're not living in 1975.

Robert D

I think the result means Davis has hung onto enough support to get through. If he got less than 60 Fox might have had a chance to eat away at the support.

I agree with Henry that DC would beat DD amongst the members (my association was for DD but the support just collapsed after conference). I like Fox a lot and want to see him leader. But I think the MPs will get DD through and, unless DC goes into some sort of meltdown, DD will be thrashed.

A contest between 2 young people who can speak would have been a good idea to have a debate about what "modernising" means. Better to have this before the membership than to have in-fighting.

Robert D

I think the result means Davis has hung onto enough support to get through. If he got less than 60 Fox might have had a chance to eat away at the support.

I agree with Henry that DC would beat DD amongst the members (my association was for DD but the support just collapsed after conference). I like Fox a lot and want to see him leader. But I think the MPs will get DD through and, unless DC goes into some sort of meltdown, DD will be thrashed.

A contest between 2 young people who can speak would have been a good idea to have a debate about what "modernising" means. Better to have this before the membership than to have in-fighting.

Henry Fitzpatrick

I think Davis *is* doomed (ie not even tactical voting by Cameroons could keep him in/Taylor and Green can't scoop up enough old school wets who don't like the oh so 'Eurosceptic' David Cameron . . .') for the following reasons:

* The people who *still* aren't voting for Cameron, and won't, have to look to who will give him the tougher fight in the country: that's plainly Fox.

* But, far more serious, is how weakened Davis now is. To illustrate - if 1, 2 or let alone 3 people 'defect' (ie claim to have voted for him originally, and claim now that they're no longer going to), Davis will implode. And that's just what I suspect he will do tomorrow.

Ultimately Davis deserves to lose because he has run a rotten campaign. Obviously running a good campaign doesn;t guarantee you'll be a competent leader (cf. IDS), but if you can't raise your game here, you won;t during a general election.

Fox vs Cameron in the final round is a very tasty prospect for Fox. And of course, unlike Cameron, Fox supported the mass membership having the final say.

greg

Tactical voting for Clarke would have been eminently sensible. Davis' best chance in the country would be if he could demonstrate that he was the clear choice of MPs. Hence he needed Fox out in round one, after which he could pick up the bulk of his support leaving him with over 50% of the parliamentary party.

John H

It's beginning to look like it's time to stick a fork in Davis - he's done.

James Hellyer

How long before Disraeli receives a torrent of abuse from James, for daring to claim Dr Fox is a right-winger?

How long before Barry growns up enough to form a coherent argument?

Is that a "never" I hear?

Martin Curtis

I do not believe that the DD campaign had enough confidence in the stability of their own vote to encourage anything tactical today - he just lost votes. There can be no doubt that Davis' poor Conference performance (which is also about poor performance on the fringe IMHO and not just his platform speech) coupled with a blatant attempt at manipulation over the drugs issue has cost him dear. It would not surprise me to see a few of his supporters publicly move over to the Fox camp in the next few days.

I would never have siad it a few days ago, but I am expecting a Cameron/Fox run-off now - and in some ways I am pleased because (IMHO) Cameron will eat Davis alive at the hustings; although I am definitely in the Cameron camp, I want to see a real contest at the hustings and make our future leader work for their reward.

Andrew

Game over. Momentum is all, and the public perception will now be of Cameron on the up, and Davis sinking - that will feed into the membership vote.

When Cameron came out to speak to the media, that was a guy who knew he was going to be next Tory leader.

Barry Graham

Just a cheeky aside, James, which I knew you'd rise to. Lighten up, mate.

I reckon we have had a few coherent arguments vis the relative merits of Fox/Cameron, but the trouble is, I guess, you don't think there is any coherent argument for backing Cameron.
That's your view on Cameron, which is fine, but I disagree. I'm not so arrogant as to dismiss any of your arguments for Fox as incoherent.
I just happen to think they're based on the wrong premise: namely, that he's the guy whose you most want to lead the party, rather than the guy most likely to win us an election.

Andy Stidwill

As a David Davis supporter, I think the best thing he could do now is pull out immediately and throw his weight whole-heartedly behind Liam Fox in order to stop the awful David Cameron in the members ballot.

It's imperative that Davis prevents another ballot from taking place, so that Cameron cannot parade a much larger total of MP support before the party membership, which would certainly happen as 90% of Clarke's supporters would vote for Cameron.

Fox has a chance of defeating Cameron amongst the members. That's what matters.

James Hellyer

Just a retaliatory cheeky aside, Barry, which I knew you'd take seriously to. Lighten up, mate ;=)

trouble is, I guess, you don't think there is any coherent argument for backing Cameron.

I don't think there is a principled case for doing so. There is a pragmatic case, if you think he's a winner (which is the argument wasp, et al. use), but I neither accept the basis of that argument or like the sort of politics that represents. I've had enough of that from T Blair.


Oberon Houston

Who said we were out of touch with the electorate? The MPs certainly are, over half voted for 25% of the electorate. Mmm, I'm slightly disturbed.

Michael McGowan

The harsh truth is that the left of the Party is in a stronger position going into Thursday than the right because the right is split, while the Clarkeites are likely to fall in behind Cameron, who already has momentum in the constituencies. If the right is to field a serious candidate when the vote goes to the party members, they will have to move fast to unite behind one candidate on Thursday, who has a strong chance against Cameron. That means Fox, who is more telegenic and media-savvy than Davis. Davis would be well-advised to cut a deal with him at once or risk a drubbing when the members get to vote.

Andy Stidwill

This really is terrible voting system because the right is stronger than the left amongst Tory MPs (104 v 94), and therefore 2 right-wingers go through to the next round, whereas only 1 left-winger does. But this gives the impression that the right is split and the left is united, which gives the appearance that the left is stronger, which it isn't.

It would be far better if there was just 1 ballot where MPs gave their preferences in order, by writing 1, 2,3 on the ballot paper.

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