Thursday, May 12, 2005

News from the Jockeys' Enclosure

Guido Fawkes reports:

'A new (untested) source tells me that some of the modernisers met up earlier this week to try to agree on a candidate - apparently without succeeding.

To Guido the race looks like one of Tim Yeo, Andrew Lansley or Alan Duncan being the real moderniser candidate against David Davis, Doc Fox and Rifkind. Since everyone is claiming a 'modernising' agenda the terminology is becoming redundant. Yeo is too left-wing for the right, Lansley is nice enough, but a bit like Major in some ways. Alan Duncan would be an interesting candidate - it would certainly test the modernisers' thesis to the limit.

The bookies choice, David Davis, seems a shoe-in, but the Tory party never selects the favourite.Its hard to say what some of the candidates are going to offer to differentiate themselves - certainly not popular profiles - maybe the Tories just need a likeable leader (with hair) for a change?'

He also points out some differences in the way the jockeys are placing their press articles:

'Some real modernisers have been writing in the anti-Tory press about what they think the Tories need to be doing.

John Bercow has been putting himself about telling the Indy and anyone else who will listen what needs to be done (he won't run, but might be a key lieutenant). Tim Yeo said similar things in the Guardian, Alan Duncan got profiled in the Indy, Malcolm Rifkind in the Observer signaled he wants to go back to watered down socialism.

All very well, but do Tories read those papers? Chaps, who elects the next Tory leader?

Guido thinks it amusing, and a sign of shrewder judgement, that only David Davis has thought to write in the Torygraph for the benefit of his potential constituency. Maude and Stephen Dorrel, neither of whom are running, are the only others to do so. Of everything so far, John O’Sullivan talked the most sense in the FT about what is going on.'
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