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« It's a leadership candidate, Frodo, but not as we know it... | Main | Hustings Report (11): Exeter »

Comments

In The Know

Fair point, Cllr Lindley. The "silent majority" I'm referring to are those members who don't attend any events of whatever description, and they are actually the in the majority.

It's a long way from being a done deal, which is way Cameron's camp are rather jittery.

Oberon Houston

A couple of possible multiple answer questions:

- When did you become aware of Cameron/Davis as serious leadership contenders?

- What was the defining moment for deciding (Conference, Newspaper Article, Conversation etc.)

- Which of the following would you like to see in/out of the shadow cabinet? ...

- Do you think it would be good/bad to support Maudes suggestion of supporting Blairs change agenda? (few yes, but, no, but choices).

- Which voter groups should we be targeting for the next election. What should we do to attract them (eg ABC Women by... Education/NHS or Liberal voters by a more centrist stance, UKIP by a hardening of policy on EU integration - or part withdrawl.

- What moves should the Leader do to build trust with the electorate eg. like Labour in '97, Clause 4, Fixed spending plans, taxation, limited agenda with stated limits to reform in 1st term. ... or expect more radical policies?

- Women in the cabinet -more?

- What are the biggest threats he needs to face down?

Cllr Iain Lindley

Having dealt with dormant members who have rung up to check they are entitled to a vote, those who have expressed a preference (I've not asked them - some openly said it) seem to be behind Cameron too.

Of course there are a significant number of members who are not active, however I think the result in 2001 broadly bore out what activists and officers were thinking, and I don't expect any different this time - not that I'm counting any chickens.

The other thing to bear in mind is that the vast majority of the 20% or so likely unreturned ballots will come from this inactive group - removing or much reducing any sort of silent majority.

In any case, the situation is out of the contenders' hands now, there is nothing more they can do - wouldn't you be jittery with so much at stake regardless of the poll position? I would be... think how you feel in a marginal seat just after close of poll!

 Ted

It's what makes secret ballots so interesting isn't it - a surprise DD win is just as much on the cards as a DC landslide. DD has run an artful campaign in being policy led and core vote attractive. The big question is if DC has done enough to make the case for a change in opposition tactics and a new look party - without going into much detail of what this will entail.

Many people I know are attracted to the simple direct message DD has delivered. Many will vote for him. Some, who believe DC is the more electable & believing that the party must change, will vote for DD in expectation that DC is going to win "so they might as well support DD" - they want his message to have a hearing in a DC led party. That could deliver a DD victory.

I have no problem accepting the party's decision - but have grave concerns it'll be taken by the media as a failure of nerve and it will be hard for DD to establish himself as a "modern" conservative.

michael

Iain, I'm jittery - we've gone from 12,000 votes to 4,000 in just 4 elections in Durham City. If we get it wrong this time, we're heading for losing deposit territory! And I'm heading for the foreign legion.

Tory T

If I could urge the new leader to take up one policy it would be Direct Democracy, and in particular the idea of empowering communities through the greater use of referenda (the power for electors to initiate votes via petition, like in Switzerland). The contrast between our open willingness to share decision making with people and Brown's neurotic control freakery would not only transform the way the Tory Party is seen but, more importantly, would restore the public's faith in politics.

BW

I am an Association Chairman and I have been asking the views of many people wherever I go and have done since the Party Conference. I see no swing towards Davis from those I have spoken too, in fact I believe Cameron may have strengthened his position as time has one on.

My conversations have not only been with members, I have spoken to many people in my marginal constituency who did not vote for us at the last 2/3 elections and who we need to win back to our side to get this critical seat back from Labour. It is that which has convinced me that we must have Cameron as leader.

Time will tell and this is understandably a tense time for both camps, particularly for the frontrunner, nerves will come into play.

There will likely be some polls this weekend to mull over and then an interesting week ahead.

Cllr Iain Lindley

Iain, I'm jittery - we've gone from 12,000 votes to 4,000 in just 4 elections in Durham City. If we get it wrong this time, we're heading for losing deposit territory! And I'm heading for the foreign legion.

My ward is a three-way marginal in a northern city, and I work in a northern semi-rural marginal, believe me I feel the same!

 Ted

the bliss of living in a seat where I just want to see our vote go back over 50% - though those LDs are getting closer :-(

The latest odds on Betfair are:

Cameron 1-50
Davis 41-1

If anyone thinks Davis has a good chance I suggest you put a bet on him. A £10 bet on Davis would win £410 if he wins.

Rick

In my experience what they do is have one policy in one place and a totally different policy in another

Expressed differently this could be a focus on local issues. Frankly the way election literature is full of national leaders with policy designed in London is what drives turnout in local elections down and makes London-imposed candidates such a turn-off.

Since local councillors do not control education, or police, or fire service, or roads, or even planning; it makes it totally fatuous to send around election materials with photos and collected soundbites of some national 'leader' - it does nothing but drive turnout down.

Frankly a portrait of Comrade Lenin on election flyers telling me for vote for the CPSU candidate on the local council so he can implement Central Committee policy, is a complete farce...........and the sooner Democratic Centralism ends in BRitish politics the better.

Rick

In my experience what they do is have one policy in one place and a totally different policy in another

Expressed differently this could be a focus on local issues. Frankly the way election literature is full of national leaders with policy designed in London is what drives turnout in local elections down and makes London-imposed candidates such a turn-off.

Since local councillors do not control education, or police, or fire service, or roads, or even planning; it makes it totally fatuous to send around election materials with photos and collected soundbites of some national 'leader' - it does nothing but drive turnout down.

Frankly a portrait of Comrade Lenin on election flyers telling me for vote for the CPSU candidate on the local council so he can implement Central Committee policy, is a complete farce...........and the sooner Democratic Centralism ends in British politics the better.

Jack Stone

I voted for Cameron because I think he really understands the scale of change the party must go through if it is to win again.Also I think when you hear him talk or read interviews or articles about him he comes over as the more likeable of the two contenders as I think its important that you have someone as leader who can make the public like him and the party as one hurdle we have got to get over if we are to return to power is that at present a lot of those who could vote for us don`t because they view us with distaste.

Rick

Direct Democracy, and in particular the idea of empowering communities through the greater use of referenda (the power for electors to initiate votes via petition, like in Switzerland)

Switzerland is a Confederation that is the difference. The Treasury will never allow local autonomy.........it didn't under Geoffrey Howe, Nigel Lawson, Norman Lamont or Kenneth Clarke, nor under Gordon Brown...............it is impossible unless The Treasury is broken up and replaced by an Office of Management & Budget and a separate Finance Ministry............

.........that would require Blair to read his job title as First Lord of the Treasury and impose some authority on his truculent deputy at The Treasury

michael

We've had lots of referenda on regional assemblies, mayors etc

And I think local people can insist on a referendum on Council Tax levels.

 Ted

Rick

Don't need to re-brand the Treasury just reset its competence to that of your Office of Mgt & Budget - breaking the Treasury's centralising control is just what we need to do.

Thought though - can you imaging Gordo's Chancellor (Ed Balls?) having any control over the Treasury? Perhaps the next Conservative Gov't will have to re-establish the Chancellorship!

James Hellyer

But they are non-binding. Camelford council held a referendum on whether to make its carparks pay and display. The "no" vote carried the day. The council then ignored them because the turnout was low and the non-voters might have voted "yes" if they had voted...

michael

Well James, as long as it isn't a Conservative Council which ignores the result of a referendum, it's surely a political gift...Labour Council ignores the people etc etc

Rick

Thought though - can you imaging Gordo's Chancellor (Ed Balls?) having any control over the Treasury? Perhaps the next Conservative Gov't will have to re-establish the Chancellorship!

After the premature death of Iain Macleod, Anthony Barber was made Chancellor so he could carry out the orders of Edward Heath, who preferred to run The Treasury himself through a weak puppet.

Rick

Thought though - can you imaging Gordo's Chancellor (Ed Balls?) having any control over the Treasury? Perhaps the next Conservative Gov't will have to re-establish the Chancellorship!

After the premature death of Iain Macleod, Anthony Barber was made Chancellor so he could carry out the orders of Edward Heath, who preferred to run The Treasury himself through a weak puppet.

Editor

With a few honourable exceptions - thank you Oberon, Derek, Daniel - you wonderful people haven't answered the question at the top of this thread!

Daniel Vince-Archer

"With a few honourable exceptions - thank you Oberon, Derek, Daniel - you wonderful people haven't answered the question at the top of this thread!"

You're welcome. To be fair, Mark also suggested some questions as well.

Tory T

The key aspect of any worthwhile referenda system is that people have to power to initiate votes - not just respond to an agenda set by politicians. Both the local vote on grammar schools and the regional vote on the North East Assembly were intended to confer legitimacy on Government policies but backfired because - like so many other New Labour initiatives - they had little public support. Tories say 'Trust the People' and it's time to make good on that and end the damaging perception that politics is a device to bypass the public while pretending to listen.

michael

Editor, you're right and I'm guilty of not answering! I had to go back to the top to read the theme again. Why don't you post an open thread where people can move to if they fail to discuss the issue? It might help solve the problem of people like Barbara who enjoy a punch up but which stops debate on any given issue.

Richard Weatherill

If the Davis vote turns out to be higher than expected (say Cameron wins 60:40) then the press will no doubt highlight "deep divisions" in the Conservative Party. Some people (not least on this blog!) are committed supporters of one or other candidate. However, many members seem to have delayed voting until the last minute and it is possible that there will be a relatively low turnout.

This could suggest that a large proportion of members are finding it difficult to choose between the candidates and, by extension, would be quite happy with either as Leader. If so, this would give the lie to the "deep divisions" story, whatever the 'headline' voting figure.

I think, therefore, it would be useful if the Editor's second survey attempted (inter alia) to gauge the strength of feeling of all those who have voted against their less-favoured candidate. (I have recently responded to a YouGov survey which included just this kind of question.)

I would suspect, however, that the preferences of contributors to this site are likely to be more polarised than those of the party membership at large.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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