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



Good that Rifkind has pulled out. We need new blood not old. Clarke is good - true but carries to much old baggage. Though i dearly love the Thatcher years to many voters out there have bad memories and do not want the Tory old guard back - we need new dynamic leaders - Blair proved that. He did not have the baggage of Old labour and Unions and ur new leader must have the same if we are to ever win again.


Stop calling me Sherly!

John Coulson

It is a pity that Willets opted to support Davis rather than Clarke. I want Clarke to win but fear that he will (it will be very close) be knocked out in the first round. Rifkind is a big gain but he will have to take all (I doubt Ancram will) of Rifkinds supporters, quite a few (eg. 5) of DD's supporters, several of the undecided (eg. 6 or 7) and maybe 1 or 2 declared Cameron supporters. That would take him to about 36 votes. I can only see him beating Fox in the first round - anyone want to add any thoughts?


Anyway! I was merely trying to point out that LF tactically positioned himself with his speach on the sea-side so as to gain respect rather that to gain votes.


I can't think of any good reason why the '22 should not now allow all four names to be put forward to the membership, with voting on a first and second preference or similar basis. This would expedite the process, avoid the inevitable tactical voting and backstabbing shenanigans by MPs in the knock-out rounds, and go some way to repairing the damage caused by the abortive attempt to make the Party less democratic. It would also avoid the IDS situation where the clear loser among MPs was selected by the party members.

James Hellyer

IDS wasn't the clear loser among MPs. He beat Portillo, Ancram and Davis. If there had been a final MPs ballot, he would almost have certainly beaten Clarke as more of the Portillo vote would have gone to IDS, and Roger Gale and friends wouldn't have had to tactically vote for Clarke to keep Portillo out.


This is very bad news. Cameron is clearly the choice of the members, but for him to win Clark has to go out in the first round.

I was hoping Rifkind would hang on until the first ballot and then back whichever of cameron or clark did best.

John G

Having originally anticipated some tactical voting by Davisites, I now think they cannot afford to do so. The only chance their man has is by showing the public the huge depth of support he has amongst MPs. It is quite possible he can't do this, but he has to try. Interesting that I had assumed he was holding back declarations to make sure his numbers stacked up even with some back-biting. I'm now less sure - a couple of quick declarations over the weekend would have got him on his feet again.

Nelson, Norfolk

Good old boy Malcolm. He has done the right thing in pulling out of the race. He was going nowhere and he knew it.

I hope that most of his supporters will now consider backing David Cameron.

KC would not be able to unite the Party. Also he would not be able to win a general election with all the baggage that he has got.

I very much hope that our MPs do not start playing silly games reference the choice of Candidates. The Party will never forgive them.

I am pleased that some MPs are at long last going to consult their Association and local members. I think they will find that most of the members want DC to be the next Leader of our great Party.

I hope that all MPs will vote in accordance with the wishes of its local members.

There is no room for playing silly games. There is too much at stake.

Justin Hinchcliffe

As someone who is 'in the know', several Davis supporters will vote, secretly, for Clarke. Clarke can also expect to get the support of five of Rifkind's supports plus Maude and co. But not Ancram. Ancram will opt for Liam Fox as they are both Catholic and pro-life. The Cornerstone Grp will back Fox but they exaggerate the number of MPs supporting them: IDS is listed as a member despite having told the Andrew Neil that he had nothing to do with them and, curiously, Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, is listed as a supporter. Stuart is neither religious or pro-life but a paid-up member of the Tory Reform Group (patron: Ken Clarke!). It's a shame that honesty seems to be missing from this contest.

Guido Fawkes

No room for silly games? Of course there is, don't be such a kill-joy.

We have the comedic possibilities of Cornerstone, the ball-dropping antics of Davis, the crucifix brandishing of Liam Fox and Ken Clarke's habits to keep us amused. Not forgetting kid Cameron's cannabis exploits to be revealed.

I'd say there is lots of fun to be had in this...

Henry Cook

Hmmm... there is a distinct danger that Cameron won't make it past the first ballot, and the danger could easily increase if a few Davisites voted tactically for Fox and Clarke. (add Cornerstone to Fox - that's 35, ad Rifkind's crew to Clarke - that's 27, equal to DC) Of course, the membership, Tory voters, the media, and sections of the public will be outraged. I hope it doesn't happen - let democracy speak for itself.

Adrian Sherman

I posted my preliminary 1st round figures on political betting yesterday, and they were rubbished. However, I'm sticking by them for now.

Davis 76
Clarke 42
Fox 42
Cameron 38

I've got a distinct impression that Cameron is struggling for numbers and there are the beginnings of a powerful 'Anyone but Cameron' bandwagon'.


Adrian, I'm getting similar numbers to you and am planning to do another number crunch tonight based upon what people have told me in the last day or so. CAmeron isn't particularly well likes amongst the 1997 and, partially, the 2001 intakes. To some extent this is seen as jealousy but I am sure that it will be reflected in the first round of voting.


It seems as if the only thing that anyone remembers about the last week is the speech by the chairman of the party. Yes, we have to change, but how do we change? Looking at these blogs I am forced to conclude that the way that we have to change is by becoming conservatives again.
Maude stumbled on the word TORY, after all take away the O and you have TRY, TRY and TRY again. There was a time when people used to say conservative with a big C. Now we have people saying that we are not allowed to say TORY becomes it smacks of prejudice.
Maybe Clarke is the best leader of the conservative party because he is only member of parliament who can take us through the troubled times that are ahead of us. Who knows?
The media says what can you loose by choosing Cameron? I think that that its time to think about what can you not loose. The UK is now the top of the league in Europe. We have to think about maintaining that position. That means choosing someone who can keep us there, not choosing someone who is like the person who got us there. Thanks Tony but no thanks is what we have to say. It's hard to admit but the English people are pragmatic.
DD has the English vote safe and sound, but he's got something else. I don't think that I can find an example of a politician who loved his mother more than DD. Nor can we find an example of a politician who transformed his love for his mother into a love of public service. Although he has never admitted it publicly its plane to see that he owes everything that he is to his mother. That's his undoing.
So persoanlly I would like to see the ticket that was predicted before the hacks got their sticky teeth into the issue. Clarke vs Davis

EU Serf

I see this as the worse possible outcome for Clarke. His best chance was to get a reasonable number in the first round and woo Rifkinds supporters in the second, all whilst waiting for one of his main rivals to falter.

Now there is a good chance that he will be 4th in the first round and go out.

I can't see how Cameron can lose the first round as some are suggesting. I can see however that failing to live up to his momentum could damage him later on.


I am a Conservative voter, not a member. I cannot understand why David Davis' candidature is still taken seriously after he was shown on national television sending members to sleep, and having to indicate that his speech was finished, and could he have his standing ovation now, please. The man should be laughed out of court, no matter how worthy his policies are. If a party leader cannot even inspire his own troops, how do you expect him to win over the nation?


Dear Henri Cook

you should revise you optimism its more like
Davis 76
Cameron 48
Clarke 32
Fox 32
Undecided ??


Fergus I agree. Have you considered joining the Party? You can join online at


Dear EU Surf

In answer to your question " Why is DD still being considered as the front runner" the answers are

1 Have you listened to the speech that he was giving at the time
2 Do you beleive everything that you see on telivision
3 As a conservative voter have you ever considered going to a conservative party meeting before you decide who you vote for

Justin Hinchcliffe

David Davis is unlikely to get more than 70 votes. Fox and Cameron will be knocked out (Fox first) and Cameron's supporters will switch to Clarke to stop Davis. Some Fox supporters may be tempted to back Clarke to stop Davis. I think Fox's followers think that, in the long-term, Davis would be harder to attack than Clarke. In all, it'll be Davis and Clarke as the final two. Result to be very close but Clarke should be elected (30,000 maj?).


My suggestions that you should revise you're estimates again was based solely on the fact that being a pollster is not an honerable proffesion. Creating a table of values against people is the same as selling people for sex. I don't beleive that this web site has to descend to that point.


I hope you're right Justin.I spent a few hours canvassing for Ken yesterday and if my straw poll was anything to go by he would win.DD did far worse than I thought he would and not a single person expressed a preference for Fox.Even Sir Malcolm did better than that.


It is very irritating that conservative mps keep holding back the party, why not just send out the papers and have it done with.

Henry Cook

"Fox and Cameron will be knocked out (Fox first) and Cameron's supporters will switch to Clarke to stop Davis."

Could you explain this briefly? Do you mean stop Davis getting into the final two? (which doesn't make sense because then Cameron would have to be the other one in the final two) Or do you mean so that Clarke can say he's got more MP support than Davis? It just doesn't make sense to me that DC supporters would swap to Clarke after their man had made the first ballot. We'll probably only have two MPs ballots, remember. If they want to stop DD in the final round then either KC or DC will be there anyway, and both as it stands would comfortably win (DC more comfortably according to the latest member poll).

Sorry if I'm being stupid, but I can't get my head round all these numbers and tactics. What I have just written probably makes no sense.

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