Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The way it looked last time

When we think about how DD can win this time, it's interesting to pick through what happened in 2003- when he withdrew from contesting Howard's coronation- and 2001, when he stood but fell at the first hurdle.

This is a Tory blogger just before the 2003 contest became a coronation:

'Why is David Davis unpopular with a substantial, though not fatal, number of his parliamentary colleagues? Why, you may as well ask, is the moon made of green cheese? He just is.

That it’s the unpopularity that stems from abrasive strength of character rather than, say, from repulsion at sub-literate, oedipal complex-afflicted, hysteria, will turn out to be one of his main selling points. There is, after the last two years, going to be a strong demand for leadership — for some, the tarter the better.

The other reason why some people will work their cotton socks off to stop ‘DD’ is that they’ll be inclined to Mr Howard. This particular class of person will be inclined towards him because, in his opposition to a tax-cutting profile for the party, he stands for a signature Portilloite policy, and, because he isn’t Mr Davis, who wasn’t at all a helpful party chairman.

Unless Liam Fox’s campaign catches fire — which would be no bad thing, as he is, in the narrowest sense, the ‘best’ of the six candidates — it’s unlikely that anything is going to stop the progression of Mr Davis and Mr Howard to the mass membership round (with Michael Howard topping the parliamentary poll).

The Telegraph will hesitantly back the former, The Times, the BBC, and the rest of respectable opinion, the latter. Obviously Mr Davis will win; however, the platform Mr Howard takes to the country will be canny and free from Portilloite excess, so the shakedown’s liable to be only 55%/45% in Mr Davis’s favour. It’ll do, and thus we’ll start July with him as leader.'


Many were disappointed the script didn't play out. But with the benefit of hindsight, maybe DD did better waiting until after an election the Tories were almost bound to lose.

Third time lucky.


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