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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Ken is out...

And so is the Conservatives chances of forming a government in the next election. Not that I care that much. I do actually quite like Ken Clarke and his more centrist position appeals to me (though his support of tobacco firms does not). Recent polls of the actual electorate have indicated that of the prospective leaders Ken had most chance of beating Labour in the next general election through actually appealing to the people.

Of course the Tory MPs have once more shown how they are completely out of touch with the current electorate. But, who knows? Perhaps whoever is chosen will do some good for the party. Though I cannot imagine David Davies (right of Howard) appealing to the British people. Though 4 years is a long time to wait and see.

I wonder which way Clarke's supporters will jump? The gap between Davis and David Cameron is only 6 votes and Clarke held 38. Liam Fox had 42 and so could leapfrog Cameron, though I suspect that most of Clarkes supporters will throw behind Cameron who is the most ideologically similar to Clarke. If that is the case, I expect Liam Fox to drop out in the next round and the two Davids will be put to the party member vote.

Of course, there could be some interesting politics in play here. Assuming that all of Ken's supporters prefer Cameron and believe that he can carry the grass roots against Liam Fox then they might decide to scupper David Davis' chances, especially if they think he could carry wait with the more traditional (right-wing) party base. In that instance they might split their support between Fox and Cameron so as to sideline Davis. I doubt that will happen though. If the grassroots once again swings to the right then it does not matter who Cameron faces, he is out; both Fox and Davis are considered right-wing.


Man in a shed said...

Ken would always have lost in a membership vote. The grass routes are not extremely right-wing ( whatever that means - IMHO a throw away term to allow a view point to be dismissed out of hand ), just extremely eurosceptic. ( Not the same thing - remember the Labour party was euroscpetic until a short while ago ).

Odds are David Cameron will win - both the leadership and the election that follows.. I like your points on tatical voting for Liam Fox, I think you could be right. Its worth remebering that Margaret Thatcher won her election campaign by convincing enough fellow MP's to vote tatically in the hope of a second round ...

Kav said...

I was always surprised that Ken was so confident that he would win the grassroots vote considering past defeats. What did he think he knew that we didn't?

I agree that terms like 'right-wing' and 'left-wing' are becoming more and more meaningless these days and that they evolve over time to fit current trends. However in the context of describing broadly general attitudes they can be useful, in this context I use it to mean: dedication to Laissez-fiare governance, euroscepticism, belief in privatisation, tighter immigration controls, etc.

Of course it can also be used to mean worse things: bigotry, xenophobia, etc. I did not mean it in that sense at all. My view is that the term 'right-wing' here in Britain has been soiled such that it has come to mean something it is not, much like 'liberal' in the USA.