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« EXCLUSIVE: Iain Duncan Smith declares for David Cameron | Main | Yorkshire Post - David Davis' regional daily - recommends Cameron »


Wat Tyler

Sounds like John saw virtually the same routine we got last week in Frimley.

I think it was Ken Dodd who complained about how much more new material you needed once TV arrived- in the old touring variety shows you could use the same stuff for years.

The winner's going to need a much bigger script writing team.


Consistently it seems from these reports that we have Cameron speaking beyond the Party to the Country as a whole, while Davis is addressing the Party electorate.

This may be the confidence of the frontrunner, calculating that the Party electorate are bright and broad minded enough to understand what he is doing. That they will support him because they see that he will have a wider appeal, rather than pandering just to our own prejudices.

Opinion polls seem to vindicate Cameron's strategy. I hope so.

john Skinner

James Hellyer later today, eh? At last we'll have completely unbiased hustings report. Go for it James; There must be at least fifty members who haven't voted yet.

Jack Stone

I agree with BW. It seems to me that David Cameron as basically been talking like a Prime Minister in waiting where David Davis as been taliking like an opposition minister.
Like above I hope that Cameron is successful. What is a worry is if opinion polls are wrong and David Davis does pull off a surprise.
Can you imagine the field day Blair and Brown would have if the paty elects itself a leader who only as the support of about a third of the parliamentary party.
It would be a complete and total disaster for the party.


Consistently it seems from these reports that we have Cameron speaking beyond the Party to the Country as a whole, while Davis is addressing the Party electorate.

Either that, or Cameron doesn't know how to tailor his message to suit the electorate he is aiming at. I hope all this fluffy bunnies, motherhood and apple pie guff pays off in the opinion polls in 12 months time for you Cameroonies.

Remember Portillo?

What a difference a couple of months makes: anyone remember Michael Portillo's article in the Sunday Times a few months ago? Quote:

It puzzles me why Cameron made himself a candidate in this leadership election. He scarcely needed to put down a marker, since his ability and intelligence are well known. He could, modestly, have pleaded lack of parliamentary experience. If he now had the bad luck to become leader, he would lose the general election and the party would dismiss him. His career would end at age 42. More likely, he will not receive many votes from MPs, which carries the risk that this contest, far from enhancing his reputation, may diminish him. Osborne has played his cards better.


So Jack you support getting rid of the members vote? I'm sure Michael Howard will be sending a thank you e-mail for saying that one.

Mark Fulford

Andrew - I hope it pays of for all Conservatives. Cameron clearly does know how to talk to an audience - which is why he's done so well with MPs, papers and the party-at-large.

Mark Fulford

Is Portillo our teacher?

Guido Fawkes

Portillo's mind has been on other things lately. Northern Ireland affairs etc..

Selsdon Man

"James Hellyer later today, eh? At last we'll have completely unbiased hustings report. Go for it James; There must be at least fifty members who haven't voted yet."

I am one of the 50 (rather more in reality I think). James's report will hopefully be very biased and provoke a torrent of postings!


Can you imagine the field day Blair and Brown would have if the paty elects itself a leader who only as the support of about a third of the parliamentary party.
It would be a complete and total disaster for the party.

Posted by: Jack Stone | 30 November 2005 at 11:11

I don't think Blair and Brown care one iota. After 22 years in Parliament they know the game and with the government machine they will deal with Cameron easily, they had no trouble with Michael Howard today; and he is more confrontational than Cameron - frankly I don't see Cameron stepping up to the plate to play hardball.

Adrian Owens

Selsdon Man

I'm another undecided. Perhaps we should compare notes.


When are you chaps going to make up your minds?It's getting very late now and I think it highly unlikely that anything new will be debated in the last few days.Decision time gentleman!

Simon C

I haven't made my mind up yet either - although I am fairly certain I know who I will vote for.

Am I alone in thinking that the second half of the leadership contest has been a little disappointing? Cameron has taken his foot off the accelerator and (assuming he wins) now rather needs the fresh momentum that victory will give him. Like Davis did earlier in the summer, his response to being front-runner has been to adopt a risk-averse cautious strategy. This has done him no favours. Davis has done better than I expected him to, but he hasn't done enough to force Cameron to raise his game, in the way that Liam Fox (out, but not forgotten) would have done.

Mark Fulford

Simon C, the second half has been the nitty-gritty nationwide tour, so very hard work but less national publicity. This was Cameron’s schedule for the last 10 days (and I’m sure Davis’s was similar):

Monday 14th November: Leicester (hustings) and Birmingham (hustings)
Tuesday 15th November: Newcastle (hustings) and York (hustings)
Wednesday 16th November: Ludlow - members' event , Llandudno - members' event and Bolton (hustings)
Thursday 17th November: Derbyshire, Northampton and North London - members' events
Friday 18th November: Stratford upon Avon - members' event
Monday 21st November: Ayr - members' event, Edinburgh - Holyrood, Perth (hustings)
Tuesday 22nd November: Norwich - members' event, Cambridge (hustings)
Wednesday 23rd November: Frimley (hustings), London (hustings)
Thursday 24th November: Education Questions (House of Commons)
Friday 25th November: Constituency
Monday 28 November: London
Tuesday 29 November: Cheltenham members‚ event, Newport (hustings)
Wednesday 30 November: Exeter (hustings)

Adrian Owens

Simon C, I agree that the past 2-3 weeks of hustings have added little new and the candidates seem to have retreated to well-rehearsed positions.

While we are looking to select a future PM, we have to select a current Leader of the Opposition. I may have missed it, but I haven't heard either of them react to the Pension commission proposals today. Yes, M Howard had the prime slot at PMQs but I'd like to hear from both the candidates who would like to be facing TB at PMQ next week what they think of the proposals.

Part of leadership is reacting to the news agenda (not climbing on bandwagons I would hasten to add)and I feel that, for whatecer reasons neither candidate has performed well in this area over the past 2-3 weeks.

Perhaps the campaign was just too long. They must both be cream-crackered by now!


I agree with you about pensions Adrian,at the hustings I attended (London) the answers from both candidates about what to do about pensions were very weak in my opinion.It was a shame that were no opportunities for the audience to ask follow up questions!
So when are you (and Selsdon &Simon C )going to choose?

Simon C


You really don't need to set out the schedule of the hustings. Of course they have been hard at it going about the country. That's not really the point though.

Although I haven't been to any of the hustings, and so can't tell directly, there does seem to have been a certain amount of repetition from one hustings to the next - same speeches - same jokes etc.

They have had time to do other things - and whilst they have both delivered speeches, neither of them have done or said much that really fires the imagination.

As a Fox supporter, I am particularly disapppointed that neither candidate took the opportunity to adopt, or even respond to, the thinking Liam set out - particularly with regard to a Human Rights based foreign policy, and the Broken Society. Both candidates have given speeches to the CSJ, I know, but neither speech did much to drive this agenda forward.

I agree with you about Pensions, Adrian. Neither candidate needed to wait until today. This is a huge issue, hardly a new one, and we need some rigorous thinking. We cannot detatch pension provision from other long-term issues. How are we going to fund the cost of long-term care (health and social care)? Will we need to review our imigration policy, to try and swell the numbers of people of employable age? When will we have the courage to declare that the deal enabling public sector workers to retire at 60 is comepltely unsustainable?

Malcolm - as I said I have pretty much made up my mind. The vote will be in the post tomorrow.

Apparently the reply paid envelopes can take up to 5 days to be delivered so I suggest anyone who hasn't voted does so today otherwise their vote is unlikely to be recieved in time.

Mark Fulford

I apologise for the harm I did by setting out the schedule.

Samuel Coates

Very good report John.

Simon C, I share your concern about the lack of Fox's issues being addressed, but his influence in the next shadow cabinet should address it.

Simon C

You didn't do any harm at all Mark.

Jack Stone

I believe that members should have a voice in who is elected leader but I think the present system not only is asking for trouble it also doesn`t really give them as much power as other systems could.
Under the present system I suspect many members will vote for the candiadate the MP`s prefer because they understand the damage it could do the party if we had a leader who hasn`t got the majority of the parliamentary party with them.
On the other hand if the vote went to the members first and they choose the two candiadates they want the MP`s to vote for this would actually put the MP`s under pressure to agree with the members choice so as not to split the party thus giving members that much more power.
That is why I think the way we elect the leader should once again be reviewed as I believe the present system is neither that democratic or in the interests of the party.


With Major, Hague, IDS and Howard all infering or openly supporting Cameron along with every declared national newspaper and over 60% of MPs, it looks likely he will win next Tuesday.

If he doesn't we're going to look either very bold or very very silly.

I hope he gets a big mandate so that we can launch a united ship.

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