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« David Davis in third place in poll of Tory voters | Main | Your predictions for the first round... »


Selsdon Man

I might as well throw my figures in too.

Davis 70 (assuning no more defections)
Cameron 44
Fox 44 (including most of the undeclared Cornerstone)
Clarke 36

Davis has a dozen or so former Clarke supporters so Ken could jump into second place. Davis could also lose support to Fox (right-wing) or Cameron (ex-Portilistas). It could be very close on the first ballot.

Oberon Houston

But, will the MPs play Machivaleian games to 'rig' the final ballot? If Davis has 70 and Fox 44, is that not enough to orchestrate the final ballot? If that occurs, but can we (as members) demand three names on the final ballot?


No Oberon.As I understand it only 2 names can go forward so I really really hope that the MPs give us the opportunity to vote for Ken.

Barry Graham

I agree with those who have paid tribute to Sir Malcolm.
To paraphrase (was it John Major?) in a gentler, more civilised era, he would have made a great leader.
How he must now rue his honourable decision to try (unsuccessfully) to win back his Edinburgh Pentlands seat in 2001, rather than carpetbag a seat in the south-east straight away. Think how much higher a profile he would have had with (almost certainly) four years in a senior shadow cabinet post and four years of schmoozing and networking with the post-97 intake.
He's a man of true gravitas and I would have had trouble picking between him KC and DC as my first choice had it not been obvious from day one that his campaign had little momentum.

Oberon Houston

I think the rules might state ambiguously "at least two" go to the members ballot. Who decides if 3 go in unclear to me. Confused.


Personally I do not believe that there are orchestrated plots in which MPs will obey some sort of whip. On the other hand there may be individual MPs who will vote for their second choice candidate in order to remove another who they dislike, particularly in the first round. Looking at the comments in yesterday's Telegraph about all the MPs who have so far not committed themselves, it would seem as though Ken Clarke will struggle the most to gain their votes. To me it looks most likely that he will be eliminated first. The difficulty then is to predict where his support will go. If they are looking for someone who is a europhile, or the least eurosceptic, then it's a hard choice for them.

Oberon Houston

I think Clarke will struggle in the first round too, with some going tactical to get LF in ahead of him. After that there may be a trap for DD, where a block will switch to LF, resulting in a DC - LF ballot, which might produce a LF leader. I don't think DD can win a members ballot now, and the Right wings only chance is to bounce LF onto the ballot and hope he manages to squeeze in. The mood at conference was vey anti-DD if against DC, but if offered LF many might take the bait.

Oberon Houston

Actually, I don't think DD would win in a members ballot against any of the other three now.


I think that if the members voted now it would definately be a Clarke V Cameron match. The MP's are over complicating the system, it's impossible to predict how they'll vote because they always vote negatively and manipulatively rather than just simply voting for the cadidate that they want to work for, who they can see doing the best for the party and the country. It was their machinations that gave us Iain Duncan Smith, and when the membership chose him over clarke they were faced with the unfortunate position of working for a man they didn't really support at all. The MP's have got to stop treating this as a game, and realise that it is our future existance as a credible and electible party that stands at stake and they should grow up and vote in a positive way and stop being the back stabbing, manipulative, machiavellian people that people believe them to be. I hope MP's read this and realise that this is the reason the electorate feel disenchanted with politics. STOP PLAYING GAMES.

Barry Graham

Spot on, Kris. It's about time some of our MPs grew up a bit.


Thank you, I have got off my soap box now. All this talk of tactical voting does annoy me though. The whole thing would be over by now if the members voted, and THEY tried to disenfranchise US!!!


Oberon, I agree with your observation about David Davis. Although I think that it's probably unfair on the man himself, the conference speech ended whatever chances he had of becoming leader. It isn't fair - because, after all, it's not just the speeches that make a good leader - but it's just that, somehow, juxtaposed next to Cameron the day before, the media and the membership have really been turned off by the thought of a Davis leadership. I'm not saying it's right, but that's the impression I've been getting.

Andy Stidwill

Sorry to have to disappoint Cameron supporters, but I simply don't see where he's going to get the votes from, in terms of the MPs ballot(s).
Yes, he would win a Tory party members ballot easily against any of the other candidates - whether it's Clarke, Fox or Davis - but he won't get that far. I sense that most Tory MPs don't like the idea of the Notting Hill Set taking control of the party, and will do whatever it takes to stop Cameron from finishing in the final two, despite the fact that they know full well that most members want Cameron to be available in the members ballot.
It is silly games, I'm afraid; it is negative voting - but it's going to happen.

Here's my prediction for next Tuesday:

Davis - 65,
Clarke - 45,
Fox - 45,
Cameron - 43

Mark Fulford

DD’s performance in Commons yesterday was also underwhelming. In the Home Office questions session he asked two questions and sat the rest out. Considering that Tony McNulty is easy pickings and David Davis needed to show he's a fighter, I’d have expected more Labour blood.


Sky News are saying that Theresa May is backing Cameron and that Cornerstone will vote en bloc for Fox. Don't know how much of the latter to believe.

James Hellyer

It's on the BBC news ticker - Cornerstone will NOT field a candidate.

James Hellyer

And John Hayes has declared for Dr Fox.

Selsdon Man

"Cornerstone will vote en bloc for Fox. Don't know how much of the latter to believe."

If true that will put Dr Fox in a stronger position. But what about those Cornerstone members who declared for Davis? Will they defect to Fox?

James Maskell

Im not sure if anyone has answered definitively the "how many candidates in the final ballot" question but I remember the Daily Politics saying that while they could put more than two forward, it will not be happening since it had to be confirmed by either the Executive Board or the 1922 Committee (cant remember which but I think it was the Board).

James Hellyer

Well, in 2001 Sir Michael Spicer was making the rules up as he went along, but after the final ballot he did receive legal advice that the last three candidates could have been submitted to the membership. THe option was discarded - presumably - because Portillo lost rather than drew.

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