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« The 25% strategy | Main | If you were an MP, who would you support in the first round of voting? »


James Hellyer

That probably reflects his neocon positions on Iraq, abortion, the EPP and the family.

I really don't like this term "neocon". As far as I can see Dr Fox has little in common with the intellectual descendents of Kristol and Podhoretz. Indeed his belief in reducing the size of the state stands in stark contrast to the activities of modern "neocons" like President Bush, with his activist federal government and penchant for deficit financing.

Although his foreign policy positions can be likened to those of neoconservatives, policies on the family and abortion are more readily likened to traditional social conservative positions.


You make a fair criticism James. LF's foreign policy views are neocon (eg China, Iraq, human rights) but his domestic views are, as you suggest, more appropriately described as 'socially conservative'.

Owenite Adrift

From what I can tell I think that Fox would probably back Cameron over Davis.

He and Cameron seem to be on far better terms than he and Davis, and while I think that most of his support would shift to Davis, if, as I expect, he goes out in the second round he will probably take a sizable chunk over to the Cameron camp.

Fox’s best hope has to be knocking Clark out in the first round, which is looking likely now and then that Davis has a disappointing first round (ie. Lower than the 65 or so MPs he has publicly pledged) and that that further stumble prompts a bout of defections from Davis to both Fox and Cameron… it’s a long shot but it might just happen.

Henry Mackintosh

It's ludicrous to say that Fox's votes would go to Cameron. The people publicly declared for Fox (go and look at their names, top right of this page) are the people who hold the modernisers in contempt. Fox is slightly more interesting, in that he and Davis are supposed to have 'issues', but it's irrelevant at the moment. With Clarke going out first, Fox ploughs on. And so his votes presumably stick with him.

But here's the thing: what if Fox only does so-so? In that case, look to him dropping out before Thursday. In which theoretical instance, I bet you that Spicer makes them have that, now unneccessary (ie we'll already have only 2 candidates left), 2nd round - 'so the mass membership can know what the parliamentary party think, as we don't want the "IDS" situation again'.

But if Fox (get enough votes and) stays in, odds on he'll back the person who has the most MPs after Thursday. I still don't see that being Cameron. I'll stick my neck on the block a bit more by predicting that, after Thursday, it'll be Davis who ends up being publicly endorsed by over half the parliamentary party. And that's going to count in the constituencies. But then I also things that after the hype of the last fortnight, Cameron's campaign is going to disintegrate just as quickly. There's nothing to him.

James Hellyer

This poll in the Independent hardly supports the Cameron camp's claim that he has broad appeal:

A mere 18 point Labour lead...

Henry Cook

Ha ha ha ha ha!!! Have you seen the Sunday papers? So much for a career threatening story! All they've got is George Osborne with his arm around someone who might have taken drugs at some point, apparently. Nothing on DC at all, absolutely nothing. I go to sleep safe in the knowledge that DC will be in the final two and will thrash his opponent, whoever that may be, convincingly. The future's bright, the future's Conservative.


Yes, and DD will actually have to come up with a strategy and a message for reaching the members. It's really pathetic that they just chunder on in the same old way. For ages I've been saying "I still support DD, but..." and the 'but' is getting bigger and bigger. I don't care about his mediocre speech, I care that he doesn't do or say ANYTHING that makes me think he wants to reach us. He expects us to recognise his great qualities. To swoon at his brilliant policies. He doesn't expect to have to perform, fight, win. His band of ham-fisted old duffers from the whips office of long ago must surely realise by now that if they go on like this, utterly incapable of responding to the world outside their oak-lined skulls, then they will be laughing stocks within 3 months. You'd think that might motivate them to take a walk outdoors.

Michael Smith

I go to sleep safe in the knowledge that DC will be in the final two and will thrash his opponent, whoever that may be, convincingly.

Sleep well, Henry! After all, I am sure those stories about Cameron and his team won't actually be worth more to the people who are selling them once he's in the final two ... let alone if he becomes Leader ...

Jack Stone

The fact that David Davis told Conservative MP`s not to comment about there use of drugs nearly eighteen months ago shows what an unbelieveable hypocrite the man is.
Davis and his cronies are seeing this election slipping away from them and are prepared to smear and lie against anyone to try and rescue there chances.They don`t deserve to be successful.


Jack - do you really need to be so disparaging about a leadership contender and his supporters. When you say "his cronies" do you include all the MPs supporting him?


There is no evidence that Davis has been involved in any attempt to smear anyone. He has simply answered questions from journalists and interviewers in an honest way, so why should Cameron supporters try to smear him by making these unfounded accusations.

Let's keep to the facts on policy, and the CV of the candidates. I still feel I don't have enough clear information, particularly on Cameron, as he has such a short political career. I am still waiting for our editor to give them all specific question to answer.

James Hellyer

Let's keep to the facts on policy

Which is hard when some candidates are light on policy. Of course, that's why issues like drugs use are predominating - there's only so much discussion you can wring out of one line on the E.U., for example.

Barry Graham

Although a Cameron fan, I was not too badly disposed to DD - until the last few days.
I think you've got to be pretty naive to believe his camp have nothing to do with the ongoing smear re the drugs issue (the 'duh, obviously' reactions of Diane Abbott and Portillo on Thursday when Andrew Neill raised the possibility spoke volumes).
He's been opportunistic, sly and if, it's true he previously warned colleagues not to be drawn on past, personal drug use, a hypocrite.
Reagan's 11th Commandment? I think Soames' comments in the IoS are spot on.
His camp are growing increasingly desperate and nasty (didn't Blunkett say he was one of the few opponents to use his blindness against him?)


Has any paper published the Tory leadership election result yet ?


"didn't Blunkett say he was one of the few opponents to use his blindness against him?"

Well it certainly has permitted Blunkett to get away with some pretty sleazy and unethical behaviour. Frankly I don't think blindness excuses Blunkett's bizarre behaviour and perversion of public office - he is still the same self-important self-serving loudmouth he was when running Sheffield Council - I personally don't know any other blind man who is as venal as Blunkett and self-pitying when caught


Re: I go to sleep safe in the knowledge that DC will be in the final two and will thrash his opponent, whoever that may be, convincingly.

Let's face it there is only DC that knows what people could be holding onto about him, until a more opportune time to really stiff it to the Tories. Personally, if DC truly believes that what he did amounted to a school boy error fine, but Dave if you know that Mr Campbell and his gang could have something much more substantial to use a few weeks before the next election then I would urge you to come clean now and get it out of the way. People are feeling very ambivalent at the moment but that doesn't mean they will support a big deception.

However, Charles Kennedy has it regularly implied that he has a drink problem that he manages to shake off because he represents a party weak on discipline and structure but it's still there at the back of your mind and it certainly puts me off voting for him amongst other reasons like closer European integration, soft on drugs - crime - prison - etc.

Matthew Oxley

I am somewhat concerned to see the immature aggression of the cameron supporters on here. Henry's post is the worst starting childishly with 'Ha ha ha ha ha!!!' , and Jack's is almost bad Insulting Davis to the extent of accusing him to be a Liar. Such defamatory comments didnt ought to have a place on here.

It almost seems we are two different parties on here. I don't support Davis (infact as a Fox fan its probably in my interests that Davis' campaign goes downhill) but I can't help feeling sorry for the appauling way Cameron fans are blaming him for the drugs issue. I have time for whoever ends up being leader and perhaps the Cameron fans ought to remember we need to unite behind whoever it is, at the moment it's these sort of people who threaten to split our party again.

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