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« THE RESULT | Main | A new leader, a new blog »

Comments

Editor

Thank you everyone! You're all very kind. Most of you, anyway.

Michael McGowan

Thank you, Tim, for hosting our "debates" over the last few months. A fine job well done in often provoking circumstances.

Robbo

I've cancelled the newspapers Tim!! Keep up your excellent work. Hope everyone will help maintain the site with periodic donations! I'm sure they will in large numbers.

Deckchair of despair

This long-drawn-out Conservative leadership election has been, I think, the most brilliant and riveting domestic political event of my lifetime. I don't think that Michael Howard or anyone else can have imagined just how interesting and gripping it would turn out to be. Some of this was down to chance factors, perhaps, but quite a lot of it was undoubtedly due to the dignified, friendly and statesmanlike way in which the two final candidates conducted themselves throughout. The party owes them both a great debt of gratitude for this.
Your report, Mr Editor, rose to what these memorable events demanded, and is really excellent. It reads like a gripping thriller, even when one already knows the denouement! Most sincere congratulations!

Andrew

The overall procedure was valuable for the Conservatives, but the final section was too elongated. I'm a bit surprised the media didn't jump on the last 2 weeks as a bit of a bore-fest, when the end result was so obvious. Kudos to Davis for having the guts to carry on, but it got a bit silly in the latter sections.

The hustings have a nice appeal in terms of a democratic aesthetic, but in practice very few people got to see them in person, and they appear to have quickly become extremely repetitive. Perhaps new rules should shorten this section of the contest - after all, members have had months beforehand to form their views.

Barry Graham

I'd just like to echo the praise for Tim. As well as this excellent review of the election, he has been a model of impartiality throughout - sometimes to the frustration of a partisan Cameroon like myself.
I have done more reading than writing on this site in recent weeks - mainly because I couldn't be bothered getting into a spat with Barbara Villiers. But, on reflection, however much I disagreed with just about everything she said, I found myself glued to her exchanges with those who did have the patience to challenge her. Strangely compelling, all in all.
As for the election, I think it's done the party the world of good - and I'm convinced we've got the right man.
Happy days...

Graeme Archer

Ditto all above re praise for Tim Montgomerie. He's not just, single-handedly, made us the most switched-on and read-about political party in the UK, via this website; he's also a great writer. The comments above which remarked that Tim's columns are better than we read in newspapers are spot on. If you ever get the luck to meet him in the flesh, he's also an extremely decent man who seems almost to vibrate with a desire that politics should be a force for good. Iris Murdoch could not have created anyone finer! And we are all, I guess, partly this philosopher's pupils.

RodS

Fascinating review. Just confirms my view throughout. This election was not decided by grassroots members but by the media - as always.

malcolm

When has it ever been different Rod?

justin

very interesting and in depth article.

justin

i just watched the conference speech, as i missed it first time around.

yup - it's TB Mark 2 alright.

you've got a winner there. definitely.

i was very impressed. (i've never voted Conservative)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4311348.stm

john Skinner

i was rebuked by Tim early on for complaining about the Davis bias on this site, but I can assure him that I'm lost in admiration for his acheivement. I read Guido and Wat Tyler for laughs, but this is the blog of record. It seems we're on a roll at the moment and I hope that any dissenting voices will avoid sabotaging the great leap forward.

Fred Baker

It should all never have happened.

The story begins when Davis and Howard saw that IDS was on his way to win the next General Election. “Iain Duncan Smith’s Conservatives not only deposed Labour from control of Birmingham for the first time in two decades, they also beat one of the governing parties (the Liberal Democrats) into third place in the traditionally hostile territory that is Scotland in the Follyrood elections that year, as well as gaining seats in the Welsh assembly elections. Furthermore, during the last six months of Iain Duncan Smith’s reign, the Conservatives enjoyed a sustained lead over Labour and consistently polled in the high 30s.”

Rupert Murdoch saw the chance of getting a Jewish Prime Minister, the first since Benjamin Disraeli. Davis, Howard, Bercow, Rupert Murdoch and Portillo did their best to undermine IDS. Together with the help of the press they managed to get IDS deselected; Davis and Howard were left like dancing school girls. For some reason Davis chickened out of becoming leader and Howard alias Hecht was left holding the baby.

Howard’s election campaign was an absolute embarrassment. I cannot remember the Party ever conducting a worse one and the Labour Party for the first time achieved a third term in office. One poll had found that nearly one in five Britons would not want a Jewish prime minister!

The number of supporters we lost has never been published. My guess is around 50,000. Those responsible are still in office. I only hope that they get a rough ride at conference.

Pecora Nera

Well someone had to win, and someones best was not good enough

http://www.demotivate.org/pages/posters/defeat/defeat.htm

Louise

Actually you're all wrong.

I joined the party - A DIRECT SWITCH FROM LABOUR - in 2004 because for the first time we had a senior politician with just over 20 years worth of parliamentary service and 12 years' of government experience in the hotseat. I'd already really been small-c conservative since leaving university and London behind me and finding myself in the real world beyond both. I joined Labour in 1997, lapsed, and when Michael Howard became leader I initially rejoined Labour in an attempt to see whether it really was just glory-support for him and whether I could campaign for my old side without trying to sabotage their campaign. I gave it up after the Euro elections when Howard slipped in the polls and still managed to come out fighting for his principles and put together a coherent package. I gave up my job in early 2005 to campaign full-time on local marginal seats and I spoke to hundreds if not thousands of people in the "provinces" who were sick of Labour and wanted a change.

Howard's campaign was sabotaged by people like you who sat around complaining that he was too old for government. You got the government you deserve. It's not too late for him to come back because Cameron is eighteen months into his leadership and by this time in Howard's leadership he had already fought a general election campaign.

You decide: Brown and complete oblivion for the party or a return to someone who you let down yourselves when it really mattered. We may have got Blair out but Labour are far too clever just to hand Cameron power on a plate in 2010. Besides, they're in government and doing more for the country than the whole of this site put together.

Go away and think up some clever excuses why Howard is too old to come back while we sort the party out properly.

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Beautifully written and wonderfully insightful, Ed. You'll be head-hunted soon enough!

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Outstanding story there. What occurred after?
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