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« Cameron is overwhelming first choice of party members | Main | Fox: My forthcoming marriage will end rumours of gay past »



Look at the first edition of the ES. It's on the streets. This blog can't be behind the curve or what's the point?


Wow thats a big deal.

I'm no Fox supporter but if he chooses not to answer this question then he has my full backing to keep his private life private.

Selsdon Man

What does it say Gordon? Please be more precise.




Returning to the intended theme of this thread I've just been given this by the Davis camp:

"Tomorrow David Davis will kick off his campaign in the country with a visit to the University of Warwick where he was a student in the early 1970s. He will make a speech to students and visit the university radio station which he founded thirty five years ago."

Tim Roll-Pickering

In 2001, Sir Michael Spice received legal advice indicating that he could submit three names to the country. He declined to do so. However, I believe the circumstances under discussion, in which the third place candidate could re-enter the contest, are those where the second placed candidate withdraws.

Rewrite the rules during and after the crucial ballot?

That just won't work. The media are going to declare the third person as having been eliminated at 1730 tonight. They will lose all chance if they return.

Wat Tyler

As the only remaining DD supporter here, may I say I'll be very disappointed if he pulls out now.

I think we do need to kick DC's tyres- particularly on policy, as the Telegraph says- but also I'd like to see him in a Commons firefight. I know Ruth K is hardly Das Reich, but we do need some vague feel for how he might do against Tony.

(And before anyone else says all I ever talk about is DC, we already know about DD's policies and his ability to take on HoC bullies- they're both top notch).

Jonathan Sheppard

Wat - you are not alone - do not fear!



Henry Fitzpatrick

Redwood was good on Today this morning, and obviously we should play by the rules. That said, if Davis comes 2nd and then drops out, whilst clearly Fox *will* be entitled to go forward, I wonder if he has the guts? I hope so, but far better for him to come 2nd, Cameron to fall short of 99 MPs, and for a real fight to happen amongst the mass membership. I am very bored of this idea that the parliamentary party, 'the man in Westminster' as it were', is capable of 'picking winners'. It's patently not.

Fox strikes me as being much better placed to fight Brown *or* Blair - and I think that latter consideration is very relevant because I for one won;t believe Balir is gone until he interred under the proverbial cross roads at midnight. I kinda suspect Gordo agrees with me.


Wasn't he being ironic?


Theresa may on BBC News 24 today, was demanding that members must have a vote. She said that the reason she campaigned against the rule change was becuase she belived the leader must be chosen by the whole party. As a key member of the Cameron camp, I would doubt that she is going against the DC line. Perhaps cameron wants to go to the country. Or is Theresa standing up for the members yet again? Could Cameron refuse the coronation?

Matt K

I don't think Cameron would necessarily have to refuse a coronation. In the hypothetical (and, I think, highly unlikely) event that both DD and LF decline to go to the members' ballot against DC, DC could opt for a members' ballot similar to Hague's 1997 one, where the members were asked to confirm the party's selection. Obviously, this would be a pretty nominal gesture as the party at large would be highly unlikely to want to damage itself by voting against a new and popular leader, but it would at least preserve some sense of party democracy should that be in danger following a DD/LF concession.


Something's breaking at least...

This from 30 minutes ago.

Mike Wood


Under the Party's constitution, the only circumstances under which a candidate can be elected unopposed is if there is only one valid nomination at the close of nominations
As this was not the case, there must be an election.
Under the constitution, today's ballot isn't really the second round of the election but only a second qualifying round for the contest. Therefore, if one of the top two qualifiers choose not to go forward to the actual leadership election, the third placed candidate would have to be invited to take that qualifier's place.

Tim Roll-Pickering

This provision also existed in the Conservative Future executive elections until 2004 - there was a first round ballot of existing members and Area Chairs to whittle down the candidates (3 for National Chair, 10 for the 6 National Management Executive places) before an all member ballot took place. If candidates dropped out after round 1 then then next placed were reinstated, and this happened in practice.

I don't know how well these were copied from the Party rules or if any bits were added though...

What happenes if all the other nominated candidates decline? Do members get sent a one option ballot paper?


Redwood is right. An election contest will benefit the Tory Party. With an election, the media will be obligated to interview the candidates and broadcast their speeches--so the Tories will have a chance to speak directly to the electorate. With a "coronation", the media won't allow the Tories this direct access to the public, but will instead present the usual left-wing media spin of what the Tories are saying and doing. The Tories trail not because of their policy positions (which, according to polls, the public likes until they learn they are Tory positions) but rather because the public sees the Tories through the rose-colored filter of the media. The more the Tories can get direct access to the public--through an election contest, or through the alternate media as IDS has plumped for--the better.


Whatever the result is this evening and no matter how big the margin is between the final 2 contenders there is no way that there should be a coronation. If the 2nd place candidate whoever he is were to withdraw and prevent the membership from making their choice then the party would be seen as having shot itself in the foot yet again. After all the uproar of giving the membership a say and then to prevent them from having one, just imagine how bad that would be for the party's and contender's credibility. I personally want DC to win this evening and hope by a good margin but I still want the contest to go out to the membership and would be very disapointed if either LF or DD where to back out. I would have to question their spirit and backbone. These last few weeks have been the best thing to happen to the party in a long while and the membership want to be part of it too.

Run Seven

Ironically the best coverage I can find of the Fox story is on USA Today:

Quotes from the Evening Standard article.

EU Serf

The idea of a coronation is almost certainly spin put out by the DC campaign team. By emphasising their commanding position they aim to increase their lead.

Clever. Well enough to get you all talking about it.

By the way Wat, I am still a Davis man, I think the media will attack DC just as aggressively as any other Tory. Perhaps even worse as they will feel betrayed when he turns out not to be a Trojan Marxist Horse.

henry curteis

'The idea of a coronation is almost certainly spin put out by the DC campaign team. By emphasising their commanding position they aim to increase their lead.'

Arrogance is not an attractive quality, and I doubt they wish to display any.

On the contrary this has all the hallmarks of the DD camp. He pulled off a deal with Michael Howard after IDS to keep the membership out of the decision. He and Frances Maude would like to keep the decision close within the MP's again if they could.

They are the 'what's in it for me brigade?'. Fox is the 'what can I do for the country?' and DC is the 'I'll play the media. You work out the policies' candidate.

This show must run and run. The cricket was good. This is better for the autumn season.

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