Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A tentative forecast for the second round of the Tory leadership contest

As my 2016 track record will bear witness to, ballots of Tory MPs are notoriously hard to predict.  The classic example was Margaret Thatcher topping the first ballot in 1975 when Edward Heath was expected to easily see off her challenge.  More recently, there was the drama of 1997, when William Hague defied expectations of a virtual dead heat on the final ballot to defeat Kenneth Clarke comfortably, and 2001, when ruthlessly effective tactical voting robbed the frontrunner Michael Portillo of his place in the members' ballot by a single vote.

Nevertheless, with the health warning that everything I'm about to say is likely to be proved wrong within a matter of hours, here's how I see the state of play for each candidate going into today's second round.

Rory Stewart:  Ah, the pride of "The Middleland".  Arch-nemesis of Roman Emperors and their wicked walls.  Barking mad though he is, it's impossible to deny that Rory was the clear winner of the Channel 4 debate on Sunday night - he made Hunt and Javid look bland, he made Raab look like an extremist, and he made Gove look like an idiot.  He'll also presumably have been boosted more than the other candidates by the departure of Matt Hancock (irrespective of Hancock's opportunistic endorsement of Boris Johnson).  I expect Rory to make a big leap today and to survive the cut once again, although the million dollar question is how high up the pecking-order he'll be.  Even if he makes it to the final two, though, he doesn't have a hope in hell of actually winning the leadership, because the members' ballot is literally unwinnable for anyone who isn't a hardline Brexiteer.  So he's going for the silver medal, in the hope that will leave him well-placed for a future tilt at the leadership once the Brexit kaleidoscope has shifted.

Jeremy Hunt: Solid but unspectacular in the Channel 4 debate.  Doesn't seem to be particularly going forwards or backwards at the moment.  His hopes of reaching the final two will hinge upon no-one else having sufficient momentum to overtake him.

Sajid Javid: Of the six remaining candidates, he strikes me as being the least likely to make it to the members' ballot.  That's not to say he'll be in sixth place today - he may well be higher than that.  But it's hard to see his path to reaching the top two, because he doesn't have a big enough natural constituency.  Stewart has the pro-Europeans, Hunt has the establishment, Johnson has the careerists and some of the Brexit headbangers, Raab has the rest of the headbangers, and Gove has the kitten-who-thinks-he's-Rambo fan-vote.  Who does Javid have?

Michael Gove: I keep wondering if he realises just how ridiculous he's making himself look with the hard man routine.  I can only assume he doesn't.  But Tories react differently to that sort of thing than the rest of us, so God knows.

Dominic Raab: He's had a poor campaign so far, and he continued to be uninspiring in the Channel 4 debate.  But I just wonder if he might be on the verge of a breakthrough in spite of himself.  There's a clear incentive for the Brexit true believers to lend Raab a tactical vote in the hope of stopping Stewart, Gove and Hunt.  A No Deal v No Deal members' run-off would reduce the temptation for Johnson to "pivot", as the Americans say.

Boris Johnson: Almost certainly the next Prime Minister, and all the rest may be sound and fury signifying very little.

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48 comments:

  1. Feel the lurve GWC.

    https://twitter.com/YouGov/status/1140885366360203264


    @YouGov

    So committed to Brexit are members of the Conservative and Unionist Party that they would be willing to see Scotland (63%) and Northern Ireland (59%) leave the UK in order to secure it....

    If I had a £1 for the number of times I've said that in England, it was the British that voted Remain while the English voted leave. It's the opposite in Scotland; the Brits voted Leave and the Scots voted Remain.

    The brexiters in England would dump GWC, Ross Thomson etc in a second if they thought Scotland was going to block brexit somehow. They don't give a shit about N. Ireland either.

    It's pathetically sad how desperately the Scot Brit brexiters want to shine the shoes of English Brexit Boris and mates.

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    Replies
    1. This shows you how utterly pathetic brit Scots Tories are.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-48675043

      Four of them backing Boris while Boris openly states a Scot should never be UK prime minister as that position should be reserved for English only.

      https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/boris-johnson-scots-should-not-become-prime-minister-1-4948629

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    2. Skier I do not do twitter or Facebook, I leave that to lonely sad people. I suppose I have to remind you that the EU referendum was an all UK referendum. The Scottish referendum was Scottish only. You lost both.

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    3. I'll remind you that English brexiters will dumb the brit jocks and English wannabe paddys in a heartbeat to get their brexit. This new polling just confirms what we already knew. I'm afraid they don't give a shit about you, Ross Thomson, or the union.

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    4. The poll is of tory members.
      The general populace of England may have a differing view.

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    5. Skier, You do not need to remind me of anything outwith the democratic vote of the British people to leave the fascist EU. You indulge in an election then accept the outcome.

      Delete
    6. Robin of LocksleyJune 19, 2019 at 1:47 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
  2. Seen this James?

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/06/18/most-conservative-members-would-see-party-destroye?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=website_article&utm_campaign=conservative_members_june_2019_mindset&fbclid=IwAR0A_T_TFC59sEZT-OUlUzNtltxlHvL8oO89U6ru5Bx7LGRsTeX5h3UvtUY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apologies SS: in too much of a hurry to read yours first...!

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  3. So, we have a prospective PM in waiting who is openly misogynistic, homophobic, racist and virulently anti-Scottish, combined with a conservative & unionist party that's no longer unionist + happy to utterly ruin the economy to achieve brexit.

    Anyone seriously see this working out well for the UK?

    If Boris makes PM, I hope the first thing he does is fire Davidson, replacing her with shoeshiner Thomson. Also give Mundell his P45. That would be so fitting and so deserved for both of them. Go aan Boris!

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  4. My sources tell me when Michael Gove (Graeme Andrew Logan) was a P and J journalist his hard man routine ended on the fist of a DC Thomsons journo?

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  5. James, you write "the members' ballot is literally unwinnable for anyone who isn't a hardline Brexiteer"

    Has there been any recent polling to support this idea?

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    Replies
    1. https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/06/18/most-conservative-members-would-see-party-destroye

      Most Conservative members would see party destroyed to achieve Brexit

      ...So dedicated to accomplishing Brexit are Tory members that a majority (54%) would be willing to countenance the destruction of their own party if necessary. Only a third (36%) put the party’s preservation above steering Britain out of the EU.

      Party members are also willing to sacrifice another fundamental tenant of Conservative belief in order to bring about Brexit: unionism.* Asked whether they would rather avert Brexit if it would lead to Scotland or Northern Ireland breaking away from the UK, respectively 63% and 59% of party members would be willing to pay for Brexit with the breakup of the United Kingdom. A similar proportion (61%) would also be willing to countenance significant economic damage done to the British economy in order to leave the EU.


      Sounds pretty hardcore. They want brexit even if it causes a massive economic crash and the break up of the union.

      These are the mad people about to form a cabinet with bozo.

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    2. I was wondering if the membership had been canvassed on the contestants.

      The way I see it the only one with any kind of a different message is Rory Stewart.
      If there is to be any kind of a choice Rory Stewart has to be in the final 2 and if he is..... it could be the tories Jeremy Corbyn moment when he achieved the seemingly impossible and became party leader.

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    3. The Fascist EU and their Paddy Puppet Varadkar will have to answer to business for not doing a free trade deal. I look forward to Varadkar putting a hard border between the UK and Ireland. The EU will have to do a Berlin Airlift into Paddyland for them to survive. The Paddies will be applying for the new blue British passport very soon.

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    4. I think from our perspective there’s little functional difference between Stewart and Johnson but if Stewart gets the job I suspect there will be an agonising pause in our collective gearing up for break out as the fuzzy undecideds (and SNP?) will want to ponder and ponder what it means to our political landscape. More warm words and velvet fist. More delay and wishful thinking. Hesitation and lost opportunity.
      I’ve awoken feeling gloomy.

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    5. Cheer up, Donald! It's going to be the racist sociopath.

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    6. Stewart won't win even if he gets to the final two (got a feeling he will get knocked out today) hes not going to win amongst the Conservative members

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    7. GWC - did you get permission from the England government for that post?

      Delete
    8. Robin of LocksleyJune 19, 2019 at 1:49 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
    9. GWC shows his true racist colours.

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    10. Tomlin with the usual Nat si crap.

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    11. Robin of LocksleyJune 20, 2019 at 3:28 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
  6. If Rory Stewart miraculously won the leadership contest, Farage would be the next UK PM and we'd be facing a hard brexit.

    Fascism has already arrived in the UK. It arrived with 'now is not the time' and started to firm up with 'and it never will be'.

    It's very difficult to stop it now. Things are moving very quickly. The best hope Scotland has is to bail out as soon as it can. This needs to be before elections are completely brought to an end, either effectively, or for real. The rolling back of devolved powers and cancelling of the 2016 election (no Section 30) is marks the start of this as noted. Even Westminster is not immune; hence the open proposals from some to shut it down. Don't think for a second Boris won't do the that if he can.

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  7. One question the Tory member poll didn't ask was 'Would you accept parliament being shut down to ensure brexit goes ahead?'.

    The answer would have been 'Yes'.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'd feel sorry for her if she wasn't such a two faced liar that happily shits on the poor, disabled etc.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-48675043

    Ruth Davidson: 'Deliver Brexit, but not at expense of UK

    Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has told party members who would put Brexit ahead of preserving the UK union to "take a long, hard look at themselves".

    A YouGov survey of Conservative members suggested 63% would back Brexit even if it meant Scotland leaving the UK.


    Must really hurt knowing the English Tories she worships don't and won't ever see her as anything other than a stupid jock shoe shiner they'd dump in a second if it suited them.

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  9. Well that's Stewart out. He was not nearly racist and economically illiterate enough to ever have been in with a chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to laugh at the Teutonic Nuremburg Flag Waving Scottish Nat si English haters calling anyone racist.

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    2. At least the Germans actually want us; unlike you brit jocks and your unrequited love for the English brexiters.

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    3. They need our money for the Bratwurst Mitt Zweibal und Pomme Frits while the Scots are sleeping on the STREETS AND THE Holyrood mob are coining it in. Time for change Skier!

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    4. I thought Scotland was poor and didn't have any money?

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    5. Do you really think that? The Germans actually want to dominate weak minded pretend Scots like you who have no faith in an Independant Scotland and want to cause division with our neighbour, England.

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    6. I'm Irish too.

      And French I suppose.

      And have a good few German friends.

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    7. Oh, and why are BMW not making sure the Brits get exactly the amazing brexit deal they want like Leave promised? The Germans are running show right?

      I'm watching closely, and it looks more like that Varadkar fella from the Emerald isle is in control of the EU. All the other countries seem to be doing what he wants.

      Delete
    8. Celia Rodina Arthur Whyte-SempleJune 24, 2019 at 6:03 PM

      Look! Cordelia's 2 personas are having a vivacious exchange of opinions.

      Delete
  10. Hurray, I wuz wrong, Rory the tory is binned.

    Bojo it is then, indy here we come.

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    Replies
    1. Bojo will become popular with the very few minority Scots that remain in Scotland.

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    2. Can you put your hands in your head?

      Delete
    3. Robin of LocksleyJune 20, 2019 at 3:34 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
  11. Hammond is a remainer right? So what are the bets he gets dumped when the 'Piccaninnies with Walermelon smile' nutters that would like to 'Exterminate the verminous Scots' take control at No. 10?

    Hammond is pretty incompetent as a chancellor (UK economy grinding to a halt and now contracting for the past 2 months, pay lower than it was a decade ago, biggest expanding industry is foodbanks), but he's a steady hand at the tiller compared to the what would replace him.

    These are the £350 million on the side of a bus people that promised the prosecco makers would ensure us a super trade deal mind...

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  12. There is no question at all that Boris is racist.

    Pickaninny

    Pickaninny is a North American historical racial slur which refers to a dark-skinned child of African descent. It is a pidgin word form, which may be derived from the Portuguese pequenino. In modern sensibility, the term implies an archaic depiction or a caricature used in a derogatory and racist sense.


    The man is scum. Weak, pathetic, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, delusional, imbecilic scum.

    And he's heading for No. 10.

    The UK is utterly fucked if that happens. This is why they had 'operation arse'. Even many Tories know the country's utterly fucked, both economically and constitutionally, if he makes it to downing street

    He'll be e.g. racially abusing African leaders from day 1.

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    Replies
    1. And you are an extremely clever bloke who wears a very large cap to cover your ego. The reality about Boris is he has a sense of humour. You are the PC type who sits in judgement over what others say. I would say you do not qualify to be a real Jock. My friend was chastised for ordering a darkies bum the other night.

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    2. My black family friends and colleagues were rolling in the aisles at this 'humour'.

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    3. Frog Mrs and black family friends, a true internationalist.

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    4. I work in one of Scotland's biggest industries, so it's only to be expected. Getting local staff has always been a problem away from the NE because there's been 'only 10 years left' for the last 60 years and counting according to the UK government.

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    5. Your employer seems rather generous with giving you soo much time of too blog.

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    6. Not everyone struggles to write a few lines. For most it takes a matter of seconds.

      Delete
    7. Robin of LocksleyJune 20, 2019 at 3:25 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete