The all new singing and dancing Conservative Portal is open.
The all new singing and dancing Conservative Portal is open.
Well, with Ken Clarke knocked out in the first round and three decent candidates left in the race, its time to call an end to this blog.
Well its all over.
Not sure I should boast about this, but the Sun is on the case today:
TORY MPs start voting today for their new leader, and for the sake of the country it is vital they get it right. That means a firm NO to Ken Clarke. He would be a disaster.IDS would look tlike the good old days once he had destroyed our party. Lets hope the MPs realise.
Remember Ken’s boast that only he could win the Election? Not really true, according to the latest polls:
At present Labour are 7 points ahead of the Conservatives.What would happen with a new leader?
With Cameron as leader the Labour lead would fall to 5 points, while under Ken Clarke the Labour lead would increase to 9 points.Now I have always taken such polls with a pinch of salt. Four years away from an election, anything could change. But KC was using such polls to support his position, and now even they are turning against him.
Ken admits he’s too old.
Kenneth Clarke admitted yesterday that he was probably "too old" to lead the Tories in a surprise change of tactics at the start of a crucial week that will determine who MPs want to lead their party.Now if he could just admit he’s too arrogant and too Europhile, we can get on and select one of the other three.
When I read Ken Clarke’s weekend comments about his age I was struck by a different interpretation. Interestingly enough I was not the only one.
"He's probably too young and I'm probably too old. He's got no experience at all and I am loaded with experience. The ideal candidate may be somewhere between the two of us, half the age but half the experience. But he ain't there."Commenter
Hmmm so you need someone younger than Clarke but with more experience than Cameron. Step forward Mr Davis.Not sure that’s what Ken meant, but it is the logical answer.
Today’s hustings are Ken’s last chance.
Kenneth Clarke must win over floating votes at a make-or-break hustings this afternoon, or face a third defeat in his quest to lead the Conservatives when Tory MPs cast their votes tomorrow.But then he is a known quantity, he is hardly likely to surprise anyone ala Cameron.
Gav points out that if things continue as they are, the members will get a proper choice.
If Ken Clarke doesn’t make it to the final round, which I hope is the case, the vote will be interesting as all the candidates will be chosen properly by the party (unlike last time when we had to choose someone other than Ken).My thoughts exactly.
The current non-story (assuming its weed we are talking about) of Cameron and Drugs could potentially have a positive effect on the fortunes of the other candidates. Just a couple of weeks ago we would have expected KC to be a big beneficiary of anything going wrong with DC’s campaign. Not anymore.
On the face of it that should be Ken Clarke. But Clarke has lost so much ground this week it’s hard to see even this helping his position.He’s been heavily discounted by all as a real contender. Now any DC scandal would be more likely to help his other rivals.
Two Clarke supporters have switched sides.
Kenneth Clarke's bid for the Tory leadership came under further pressure last night after two of his MP supporters announced that they would be voting for his younger rival, David Cameron.As far as I can make out, Robert Key had not previously declared but had backed Ken last time. The pool of potential voters is drying out in the Sun.
Political Betting asks:
Is there anything left in this race for Ken Clarke?Following the rise of DC, KC has plummeted.
Ken’s energy and motivation for the top job is largely a product of 8 years of leisure, having stayed off the front benches. This may be about to change.
Ken Clarke has been the first of the four candidates to be grilled. Interestingly he did not rule out serving the next leader (if his own bid is unsuccessful) - if that leader follows 'the right approach'Call me cynical, but my money is on him claiming that the winner is taking the wrong approach.
Liam Fox is believed to have secured enough votes to pull ahead of Ken Clarke.
The Tory leadership race stepped up a gear last night amid speculation that Liam Fox has secured the backing of 15 Conservative MPs – enough to push Ken Clarke out of the contest at the first round.It is of course unconfirmed at the moment, but then this Blog never claimed to be anything other than horribly biased.
I always thought that to be a rabid Europhile, there had to be an underlying reason, you know, childhood trauma, personality defect, low IQ. Well one thing is certain, Ken Clarke's views are totally his own and not part of a chemical induced paranoid fantasy.
Malcolm Rifkind swallowed his pride and backed down. He is now supporting “A Man who is head and shoulders above the competition”.
Deputy Tory leader, Michael Ancram, announced that he would now back David CameronWhoops, there goes Ken’s claim on the one nation wets. The only way for Clarke to gain a little momentum at this stage would be to roll himself down a hill.
Another Blogger has managed to condense into a paragraph, what it took me a whole blog to say:
I absolutely despise Ken Clark. Not just, as you might suppose, because he is pro-Europe and is fundamentally un-Conservative, but because he is arrogant and self serving to the most damning extremes. He contributes the square root of jack shit over the last decade or so, loafing around selling tobacco and making piles of cash out of third world misery and then has the nerve to suggest that we have "kept him waiting". He genuinely believes that time has just stood still and that his experience of failure in the Nineties is just what everyone needs now. You epitomise everything that is wrong with the Tories these past ten years, Ken. Please go away forever and take all your aged, loser supporters with you.Not a Fan.
Ken is of course the man who can win the middle of the road voters back to the Conservatives. Well maybe not.
Ken Clarke is an unrepentant harbinger of the terrible 90s government.Others are trying to understand the Fat Man’s appeal. The best I have seen so far:
Support for Clarke has remained quite high surprisingly, maybe due to his uncanny resemblance of the 'granddad' on the Werthers advert.Meanwhile, for those of you that have not been paying attention, and still actually like the man, The Conservative Leadership Blog has some good news for you:
If you're not quite sure what what to wear at the next Conservative cheese and wine party the funsters at Concept T-Shirts have got the answer.A Ken T-Shirt, hmmm I think I'll pass.