Thursday, October 20, 2011

Poll : If they were wise, who would the Scottish Conservatives elect as their new leader?

We're now getting to the business end of the bitterly-fought Tory leadership contest. Tory Hoose has been conducting weekly polls of its readership (showing a very tight race between Murdo Fraser and Ruth Davidson), but I thought it might be fun to get an 'outside view' as well. I've deliberately framed the question to ask about what is in the Scottish Tories' own interests, not the interests of any other party, or of Scotland itself for that matter. I'm also not going to let you off the hook with a "who cares?" option, because I know from past experience that would win by a mile!

The voting form can be found in the sidebar, and the poll will close in a couple of days.

11 comments:

subrosa said...

My own poll produced a very clear winner.

Doug Daniel said...

Murdo. The other three seem to come from the school of thought that "when something isn't working, just keep doing it". I find it quite amusing now thinking back to a couple of months ago, before any of the candidates had announced their intention to stand, that a few of us thought Ruth Davidson, should she stand, would present some sort of modernising force for the Tories. In the end, she's every bit as conservative as the rest of them.

Murdo's plan may not work, but at least he's identified the problem (that the Tories will never get anywhere in Scotland in their current state because they are essentially the party of Middle England). There is clearly a gap in Scottish politics for a bona fide centre-right/right-wing Scottish party - that much is very clear from reading many of the comments on subrosa's blogs - although whether such a party can flourish without favouring independence is another question. However, it makes sense for them to at least give it a go - they're never going to succeed with a bunch of Eton toffs at the head of the party.

As I've blogged about here, I feel that whatever the result, there has to be a split on the right. If he loses, how can Murdo (and his backers) retain any credibility campaigning for a party they have effectively said is dead? Conversely, if Murdo wins, how can the other three (and their backers) retain any credibility campaigning for a party they said did not need to be created?

Marcia said...

Sorry but 'None of the above' would have been my answer. I would have retained the incumbent until a better candidate came along.

tris said...

If I were a Tory I'd be voting for Murdo.

As Doug says (above), there is going to be a schism whichever way the vote goes, and although it will be hard for a while, Murdo at lest has had the courage to accept that the current brand is going nowhere.

I'm not sure exactly where he will take them, but if they want to do anything but lose more and more support, there has to be a start somewhere.

It needs to be more than a rebrand though, and I'm dubious how long a "different" party can take an English Tory whip in London. It could be made to work, though, and that's more than the status quo is doing.

I don't want Murdo to win, mind. I think he could take votes in rural areas that the current set up never could.

For my money, any of the rest will do nicely.

Carlaw seems to be a Thatcherite and Ruth appears to have never heard of her. I've barely heard of the other one. They are all taking the party to oblivion.

James Kelly said...

"I think he could take votes in rural areas that the current set up never could."

That's a very important point. On balance I'm hoping Fraser will win because it would be in Scotland's best interests to have a centre-right party that is autonomous from London and genuinely pro-Home Rule. But there's obviously a danger that would be electorally harmful to the SNP.

tris said...

"...it would be in Scotland's best interests to have a centre-right party that is autonomous from London and genuinely pro-Home Rule..."

I can see that point, Indeed, I agree with it, but I can also see a more successful centre right party diminishing the pro independence vote in the referendum.

After independence, there needs to be a strong right of centre party to balance the strong left of centre vote which already exists. Murdo might well be the man for that job.

scotsfox said...

"...it would be in Scotland's best interests to have a centre-right party that is autonomous from London and genuinely pro-Home Rule..."

Autonomous? They will ALL take the Tory whip.

JohnB said...

Murdo.

It wouldn't be a huge change, but change for the Scottish Tories can be likened to an earthquake.

Regards.

David said...

Who really cares? As permutations on the status quo as things stand - a last, Churchillian pseudo-gambit to tart up "how things are and 'always have been'": Let them cast their bread upon the waters as Murdo seems to cosmetically wish, perhaps for the best and with the best intentions, but it will, probably, come out another sham (despite his best intentions and for which I salute his courage - a damn sight more "ballsy" than the British nationalist pseudo-Labourites and anti-Gladstone "Liberals").

Let "it" all come out in the democratic wash.

Personally and before I die, I am looking forward to a new passport and a vibrantly creative Scots state equal amongst global others.

Kindest
David

rullko said...

The problem with Murdo is that several MSPs have implied, and their only MP has outright stated, that they wouldn't join his new party. It's hard to see how a schism in the style of the SSP-Solidarity war could be avoided.

Ruth Davidson would just be a continuation of the Annabel (ahem) "wet" years, and therefore a complete waste of time unless the limit of their ambition is 14% of the vote (and declining). A shift to the right is at least worth trying. So I voted for Carlaw.

Anonymous said...

Please please please let it be 'the last sheriff in town', Jackson Carlaw, with his framed picture of the Queen and Maggie Thatcher tattoo (speculative, but not unimaginable), Carlaw is the man to be yelling obscenities at his enemies as his ship sinks under him.

Not Murdo, he has a clue.