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« 'Blairite' Cameron targeted by his rivals | Main | The Mail and Sun keep their options open »



I agree with Selsdon.The worst person to win in my opinion is DD because I just don't think he has what it takes to lead us to victory at the next election.However if he does win it is beholden on us all to work as hard as possible to ensure that we as a party are as seen as a credible alternative government. One of the ways we can do this is by having our arguments in private and avoiding public 'infighting at all costs.


John, Davis wouldn't be divisive, because half the party and most of the electorate would switch off, pack up and go home. The right of the Party would be left to agree with itself.

Michael McGowan

I think you are kidding yourself if you believe that the Tory Party can win the next election with Cameron as leader (or anyone else for that matter). I'm afraid that this is the Tory Messiah complex at work again. Cameron is not Blair. He is much less experienced than Blair was in 1994; he is easily caricatured by Labour; the Government is not falling apart as it was then; and FPTP is stacked against the Tories. There is at least ten years of really hard graft (much of it behind the scenes and organisational and a million miles away from Notting Hill and its preoccupations) before the Tories are in with a decent shot at winning a General Election. The candidates of the right strike me as having a better understanding of this reality and much more resilience when it comes to the long haul.

Selsdon Man

"Sneaky defections and tactical voting will undermine the contest and damage the reputation of the Parliamentary party.

But it's traditional!"

That does not make it right. This is a tradition that should be broken. Is integrity too much to ask for?

Jonathan Sheppard

Come on Michael - suggesting half the party would pack up if Davis is elected is just silly. I hope you would be happy to fight for the party if he is leader.


Jonathan, I would fight for my Party if Norman Wisdon was leading us. So long as we hold true to our beliefs in freedom, tolerance and opportunity for all. But with Davis, I will have to do it with a heavy heart in the knowledge that we probably aren't going to win anytime soon cos joe public just don't like the leader. I've been there, done it and I'm quite honestly totally sick of flogging a dead horse. We need to elect a winner or continue in the groove in which we're currently stuck.


Norman Wisdom, sorry Mr Grimsdale!


One man has tha charisma, clarity and energy to reach out to people who haven't voted Conservative for years...David Cameron. Party members want him, floating voters like him and the media support him. If MPs want to win they need to vote for him.

Michael McGowan

I really find it hard to understand the degree of faith that people have in David Cameron and the clique that surrounds him. I have met a number of these people over many years. They are a very affluent closed circle who are adept at spin, who have enormous confidence in themselves despite their inexperience and who think that power is their birthright. Their world view is totally London-centric. Many of them have complete contempt for the values of the centre-right and simply see it as a platform for them to seize power. A serious concern, which Liam Fox has noted, is just how authoritarian (a la mode de Blair) they will be if they seize control of the Opposition. I may be proved wrong. I hope I am but I will be using every day between now and 2009 to evaluate whether these people are worth voting for.


I am interested in your comment that Cameron and his followers have 'complete contempt for the values of the centre right'.Why do you think that Michael?


I am also interested in where Cameron stands on civil liberties and constitutional reform to redress the unfair imbalance in favour of Labour.

Nelson, Norfolk

I am sure that you are all waiting for my predictions on the first round so here goes.

1 DD

2 DC

3 LF

4 KC

However, according to the polls including the one set up by the Editor of this site DC appears to be well ahead with DD in fourth place.

I would also ask the question why are so many MPs supporting DD bearing in mind his position in the polls. Can anyone explain what is behind it. Is it a promise of a job?.


Editor - its way past noonish - have I missed your endorsement?

Innocent Abroad

Nelson - the question to ask is, 'why are so many MPs *not* supporting Cameron?' And the answer surely is, because of the certainity so many MPs have that they *won't* get a job under Cameron. It's going to be tight little clique if he becomes Leader.


Sorry Ted. It's up now and for most of you my declaration for Fox clearly won't be a surprise.


What about May comments to members you either with us or you out. If that the creed of a Cameron victory then I think you be going to have 75% of the members not working for him. Its not Davis who would have trouble getting people to work with him?

Michael McGowan

It would come as no surprise if once installed, Cameron & Co attempted some kind of purge of those they consider to be polluting the brand. This is certainly the kind of thing I have heard mooted in CChange Circles as a "Clause 4 Moment". We have already had a foretaste of this behaviour with the summary ejection of Howard Flight and the way in which Central Office rode roughshod over his far-from-moribund constituency association. That was a decision of Michael Howard and it is hard to believe that the Notting Hill set were not involved.

By the way, what has happened to Francis Maude's plans to (i) rigorously control candidates from the centre; and (ii) grab constituency associations' surplus assets? To paraphrase Gerry Adams, I suspect that they haven't gone away, you know.


Editor - agree with most of what you say in endorsing Dr Fox but think DC has the excitement factor to drive through the changed agenda. Understand worries over CChange centralised control but we have had over a decade of cliquish inter-party wrangling (DD not particularly innocent in either IDS or Howard eras & KC away on his own agenda) and need some discipling. Best outcome would be a Cameron Fox partnership - even if this looks remarkably like Blair Brown (public schoolboy and Scot) - where Fox would be the core values moderator.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"One man has tha charisma, clarity and energy to reach out to people who haven't voted Conservative for years...David Cameron. Party members want him, floating voters like him"

Yet more false, baseless assertion peddling - not only does the Stafford 1997 result disprove this, but so do the opinion polls of the general public that show Ken Clarke is more popular.


A Cameron-fox ticket would really be fantastic for the party. It would allay the fears of those that believe Cameron might purge the party's right, but still appeal to new voters. If those two could work together what a party we would have!

Sean Fear

Michael Macgowan, yes, I fear that as well. I'm sure that I've picked up the sort of comments you've picked up over the years from "modernisers" who have nothing but contempt for the 33% who still vote Conservative, and positive hatred for the people who work for the party.

Now I'm not saying that Cameron would be like that as leader, but I've no doubt that some of those close to him would be urging him to pick a fight with party members in order to demonstrate how much we'd "changed" to the chattering classes.

And the treatment of Howard Flight does set a very worrying precedent.

Daniel, which part is false? 6 out of 10 party members support him. I said floating voters LIKE him, and they do. and the media support him, much of it is.

Who will you support if Ken Clarke is eliminated today?

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Daniel, which part is false?"

The bit where you said "one man has tha [sic] charisma, clarity and energy to reach out to people who haven't voted Conservative for years...David Cameron". Assertion proved to be false by his track record.

"I said floating voters LIKE him, and they do."

Baseless assertion. Look at the evidence.

"The media support him."

Apart from the fact you didn't make this claim in your original point, it's largely irrelevant. The media support him now, in a battle of 'Conservative imitation of New Labour vs real Conservative' but don't you agree that the media will soon revert to type in the important battle of 'real New Labour vs Conservative imitation of New Labour'?

"Who will you support if Ken Clarke is eliminated today?"

David Davis and Liam Fox.

Cllr Iain Lindley


Yet more false, baseless assertion peddling - not only does the Stafford 1997 result disprove this, but so do the opinion polls of the general public that show Ken Clarke is more popular.

You're skating on very thin ice criticising Cameron for the Stafford result, which was broadly in line with the national swing. You can make the same case for any of the leadership candidates!

In 1992 Ken Clarke was elected to Rushcliffe with a majority of 19766. In 1997 his majority was 5055, a swing of 11.5%.

Fox lost 9% of his vote in 1997 but his majority was shielded by the second-placed LibDems shedding votes to Labour. However this year he suffered a further 4% swing to the LibDems when most candidates received positive swings.

I can't find the results on for Haltemprice & Howden, but Davis's majority in Boothferry in 1992 was over 17000 and by 2001 it was 2000.

You can easily sully all the candidates with their constituency results. Given the above, and the fact that the other three were incumbents whereas Cameron had probably spent a year or so in Stafford, you could probably let DC off the lightest...

OK Daniel - I'm not here to argue the case for Cameron. I just want to back someone who members, floating voters and the media find appealing and engaging. That would be a good start for the Conservative Party and for me, so many indicators suggest that's David Cameron.

I voted for Ken Clarke last time and wouldn't be devastated if he wins this time. But if he does (unlikely now) we get just one shot and if he doesn't win the next election, we've got to choose yet another leader because he will certainly be too old to fight a 2013 election. Its a bigger risk than Cameron who can offer continuity of leadership with a current flexibility for the Party to choose the best policies and strategy.

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