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



Er sorry Editor.I voted for Cameron because I thought he gives us more chance of actually winning.On policy I probably prefer Davis (at least he has been more specific) but we can't achieve anything in opposition.

Richard Weatherill

Having re-read my post, the 3rd para. doesn't parse clearly. It would read better as:

"I think, therefore, it would be useful if the Editor's second survey attempted (inter alia) to gauge the strength of feeling against their less-favoured candidate of all those who have voted in the leadership election."


Richard, that's an excellent idea. I know of many members who are instinctively Davis style tories, but have voted Cameron because they believe he can appeal and win where Davis can't.

Questions which find out WHY rather than who voted would be interesting and useful to know if this really is a turning point for the Party from rocker to mod.


Another reason to hold a referendum is that it stimulates debate which leads to people becoming better informed. You won't always get the result you want but at least you know you've lost to your fellow citizens and not been railroaded by arrogant politicians (or, worse, unelected judges). It's such a no-brainer.


The Cameron campaign email just sent me Dan Finklestein's piece in the Times about being more positive. Which is the reason why I've been supporting Cameron for so long, at the last election all of our 10 workds were really negative.

I think the questions should cover what people look for in a leader, eg media skills, conviction, well thought out strategy (Cameron). Or experience, likeability, right wing credentials (Davis).

Selsdon Man

We should be discussing what we want from the new leader rather than going over old ground.


Agree with you Wasp on being positive.As an example of how not to do it have a look at the Party website and the headlines.The only people who that will appeal to are the 'why oh why' brigade.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Which is the reason why I've been supporting Cameron for so long, at the last election all of our 10 workds were really negative."

Who drafted the manifesto for that campaign and co-ordinated our policies?


Dan Finklestein spent so long with the SDP and Social Market Foundation that having recruited Blair to the cause, he needs a replacement and looks like the Tory Party wil become SDP Mk III


Why do some people keep coming out with all this crap, trying to lay manifesto/election failures on Cameron because he drafted the manifesto and co-ordinated the policies....

He drafted and co-ordinated the policies determined by the Shadow Cabinet, in that sense he was the 'servant' not the master so attempts to smeer him are underhand and somewhat pathetic.


Incidentally - I am a right winger closer to Davis in my politics, but I fully support Cameron as the man who can get us back into power and reach out to the British people as a whole.

Selsdon Man

Are any posters angry at not being able to vote for Dr Fox or Ken Clarke? I think that we should have been able to vote for any of the candidates. Come on you disenfranchised Foxites and Clarkites - speak out!

Oberon Houston

Malcolm... I agree with you regarding the Party Website. Its so depressing, I hardly ever go to it. Goodness knows what a floating voter would think.

James Hellyer

I am, Seldson. It's especially frustrating when there's the whiff of tactical voting about the MP's final ballot...

Fox vs Cameron would have been quite interesting. Davis entered the final round going backwards, while Fox would have been going forwards. I suspect more Davis supporters would have been inclined to Fox than Cameron. And Hague may well not have declared, or even declared for Fox. It would have had a very different dynamic.

Mark Fulford

James, you're deluding yourself. Fox is another good-in-the-background man.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Are any posters angry at not being able to vote for Dr Fox or Ken Clarke? I think that we should have been able to vote for any of the candidates. Come on you disenfranchised Foxites and Clarkites - speak out!"

I am quite miffed about it, which is why I suggested the Editor should ask people just that in his next survey. I think the members should have had a free choice, rather than being restricted to the two candidates selected by MPs.

Oberon Houston

I'll, as you lot all know, was very pro-Clarke at the start of this journey (blimey, it seems a long time ago Ken announced doesn't it!). But actually, now, I'm very happy with Cameron, and given what I know now, I would have plumbed for him from the start. He's gone a long way in a short time; and I've been very impressed (thats not a common plaudit from me).

James Hellyer

"James, you're deluding yourself. Fox is another good-in-the-background man."

And Cameron is just a good-in-a-second-rate-PR-firm man.

Oberon Houston

James, he's much better than that.

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Fox is another good-in-the-background man."

Judging by the ERM debacle and economic bungling when Cameron was special adviser at the Treasury, and his memos to John Major making the case for rejoining the ERM, I'd say Cameron is a bad-in-the-background man...

Oberon Houston

Your making it sound like any of it was down to him. Rather unfair Daniel?

James Hellyer

Surely making the case to rejoin ERM was down to him?

Daniel Vince-Archer

"Your making it sound like any of it was down to him. Rather unfair Daniel?"

His advice was either heeded or it wasn't. If it was, he was incompetent. If it wasn't, he was ineffective. Which is it?


I agree, the MPs seriously got it wrong, the last two should clearly have been Cameron Vs Fox, as James H says, it would be a totally different contest, one I think Fox would have won. Either way it would have been better for the party as a whole. When certain MPs argued that the membership got it wrong in 2001, I say that the MPs gave us the wrong MPs to vote for. I would personally favour a straight vote of the membership. Though that might be expensive and difficult to work in practice.

lessons learned

A Fox vs. Cameron race would have been much more interesting and would have forced Cameron to show his hand a lot more than he has--a good, not a bad thing, when the party is trying to make an informed decision about whom to hire as its next leader.

but frankly an open primary including everyone who wanted to stand would have been much better. If it works to select American Presidential candidates, why not Conservative party leaders? Hopefully the need for more openness and more democracy is the lesson learnt from all this (despite not being the spirit in which it began).

And hopefully the three negative influences on this campaign:

1. the desire of the leadership and some MPs to restrict the franchise (and later of MPs to vote tactically to eliminate candidates).

2. the desire of some activists to say let our betters decide this, who are we to judge who should lead our party

3. and the desire of some in our party to say that it would be wrong for potential leaders to disclose their beliefs and intentions.

will be left in the past where they belong.

Let's put all that behind us and move into the world of the twenty-first century where we belong.

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