if you were a tory...

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if you were a conservative party member, who would you vote for?

Poll ended at 03 Nov 2005, 12:32

david cameron
1
7%
ken clarke
13
87%
david davis
0
No votes
liam fox
0
No votes
malcolm rifkind
1
7%
 
Total votes: 15
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RicheyJames
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right then, i suspect this is going to be quite a challenge for many of you but try to imagine, just for a moment, that you not only have a say in the election of the next tory leader but that you actually want them to win the next election...

shocking thought isn't it? now, see if you can hold that idea in your head for long enough to cast a vote up there. those who are feeling particularly inspired might like to outline the reasons behind their choice in an effort to instigate a bit of adult debate (a heady idea i know but you might even like it). who knows, there may even be some true blues out there who can add a bit of passion to proceedings.

first person to mention boris johnson will be shown the door to my ignore list.

usual disclaimer applies for those unfortunate enough to live outside the empire but feel free to join in if you have the slightest idea what i'm on about.
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Yep, has to be Ken for me. I know damn all about his policies but those brown suede Hush puppies are pure style. 8)
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In terms of "people who the electorate have heard of", it's probably between Clarke and Rifkind. Sad to say (from the Tory viewpoint) not many people even know who the other three are. (I must admit to not being terribly well-informed about them myself.)

However, I confidently predict that neither Clarke nor Rifkind will be elected. The "Tory faithful" want younger blood.
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RicheyJames wrote:first person to mention boris johnson will be shown the door to my ignore list.
Thanks for the warning. Otherwise I would've.

Ken Clarke, I'd say. For his experience, and the fact that he's probably less right-wing than Tony Blair. :lol: :roll:

The Hush Puppies are a bonus, obviously.
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RicheyJames
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markfiend wrote:In terms of "people who the electorate have heard of", it's probably between Clarke and Rifkind.
but with at least four years until the next election is voter recognition now really an important factor? surely whoever they go for has plenty of time to build his profile? was tony blair particularly well-known before his elevation to the top of the pile?
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That's true. And like I said, the Tories probably want someone younger than the few remaining former ministers that are still around.
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I voted for Ken, which doesn't really make sense, as if I was actually a Tory I probably wouldn't be as Europhile as I am.

I have quite a lot of difficulty entering the mindset of a Con'. Which I realise exposes a core intellectual weakness on my part, but it does please me greatly. The Tory box on the Ballot has never really been an option in my family, I (unless my life changes direction radically) shall be the first male on my Father's side for four generations to not hold the position of Shop-Steward at a steel plant.

As far as party politics goes, I feel completely lost; Tory (Fear and Trembling), Labour (traitors), Lib-Dem (shambles), BNP (die, on fire if possible) UKIP (ha, ha ha ha ha) Respect (cult of personality). Which leaves the minority Lefty groups (closest to my instinctive politics), who, as always, are a tumbling mess of infighting prima-donnas.

Bugger.
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Has to be David Cameron. The others are either too old school or have silly names. And his wife's buns are lovely and firm. :innocent:
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Thanks, I'll now feel unclean for the rest of the day after casting a vote like that.... :urff:
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Does it actually matter anymore? The gap between left and right has all but disappeared, and the choice of leaders is little more than a beauty contest for ugly suits.

Welcome to the world of concensus politics.
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Sir Rifkind looks to be the best bet. I went to school with David Davis' kids, so he's the next potential. I think Ken's popularity rests simply on his history, which isn't going to win over the Leadership.

I'm afraid I was brought up a Tory before hitting Politics at school and...binning the entire idea. ;D
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RobF wrote:I voted for Ken, which doesn't really make sense, as if I was actually a Tory I probably wouldn't be as Europhile as I am.
but surely you can be totally pro-europe and a tory? isn't that what ken clarke is?
The Tory box on the Ballot has never really been an option in my family
genuine question: do family allegiances like this still matter to people? obviously it has an influence but does it lessen with time? is it (as it seems to me to be) a much stronger factor on "the left" (for want of a better term)? is it a class thing? does class still matter in british politics?
As far as party politics goes, I feel completely lost; Tory (Fear and Trembling), Labour (traitors), Lib-Dem (shambles), BNP (die, on fire if possible) UKIP (ha, ha ha ha ha) Respect (cult of personality). Which leaves the minority Lefty groups (closest to my instinctive politics), who, as always, are a tumbling mess of infighting prima-donnas.

Bugger.
and there lies the rub. still, if tony and his chums have their way you'll be able to vote by text message soon. it'll be so easy that you'll forget all about the fact that there isn't anyone who really represents your views and turnout will sky-rocket to never before seen levels... /mini rant
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andymackem
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RicheyJames wrote: genuine question: do family allegiances like this still matter to people? obviously it has an influence but does it lessen with time? is it (as it seems to me to be) a much stronger factor on "the left" (for want of a better term)? is it a class thing? does class still matter in british politics?
I think a lot of people do vote along family lines. I'm probably guilty of it myself to a certain extent, though it's mostly a negative 'couldn't vote Tory' response rather than a positive 'should vote Labour' impulse. It's been three general elections since I fled the parental nest, if that tells anything about influences over time.

Give me the child until the age of seven?

No British politician has had any class for as long as I can remember, but I don't think that's what you meant.
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andymackem wrote:Does it actually matter anymore? The gap between left and right has all but disappeared, and the choice of leaders is little more than a beauty contest for ugly suits.
could it not be argued that with so little difference between the parties the choice of leader is actually more important. surely you'd agree that a clarke/rifkind tory party would be substantially different to a fox/davis outfit?
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andymackem wrote:I think a lot of people do vote along family lines. I'm probably guilty of it myself to a certain extent, though it's mostly a negative 'couldn't vote Tory' response rather than a positive 'should vote Labour' impulse. It's been three general elections since I fled the parental nest, if that tells anything about influences over time.
interesting. as far as i'm aware, my parents have never voted for anyone but the conservatives. i, on the other hand, have never voted tory so maybe this is specifically a left-wing phenomonen?
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andymackem
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RicheyJames wrote:
andymackem wrote:Does it actually matter anymore? The gap between left and right has all but disappeared, and the choice of leaders is little more than a beauty contest for ugly suits.
could it not be argued that with so little difference between the parties the choice of leader is actually more important. surely you'd agree that a clarke/rifkind tory party would be substantially different to a fox/davis outfit?
It could. But the role of a leader is to get his party elected (initially). Since it makes little difference which party is elected, it then makes little difference who is leading them ....?

Whoever we vote for, the government always wins.

As for parents, it may go deeper than that. Growing up in 1980s Sunderland didn't really give a right-wing role model to follow, to be honest.
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RicheyJames wrote:
andymackem wrote:I think a lot of people do vote along family lines. I'm probably guilty of it myself to a certain extent, though it's mostly a negative 'couldn't vote Tory' response rather than a positive 'should vote Labour' impulse. It's been three general elections since I fled the parental nest, if that tells anything about influences over time.
interesting. as far as i'm aware, my parents have never voted for anyone but the conservatives. i, on the other hand, have never voted tory so maybe this is specifically a left-wing phenomonen?
I think to a great extent that's true. On a personal level, growing up in a disfunctional working-class family in North Yorkshire during the Eighties, Thatcher seemed (no hyperbole) to equate with creatures like Hitler and Pol-Pot in my household. I still have great difficulty seperating my reaction to the modern (sic) Tories from that impression as a child. The Strike, the Falklands, the Ripper and the Grumbleweeds are among my earliest clear memories. I know Maggie was only to blame for two of them, but hey.[/i]
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[quote="RobF
On a personal level, growing up in a disfunctional working-class family in North Yorkshire during the Eighties, Thatcher seemed (no hyperbole) to equate with creatures like Hitler and Pol-Pot in my household. I still have great difficulty seperating my reaction to the modern (sic) Tories from that impression as a child. [/quote]

Much the same here, apart from the location- in the south it was worse in some ways as those of us who had nothing were surrounded by those who were making a killing. It did feel like political genocide and the current Labour 'we are all middle class now' spiel just confirms it.

I can no more imagine myself a Tory than imagine myself with two heads.
A failing on my part no doubt but there you are.
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As a random aside. Putin's walkman doesn't seem to be working.
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Newsnight was interesting last night - they had a cross section of tories and not tories choosing a leader and that young one (Cameron (I think)) won. You can take this as an indication of the impact he made on me...

He was on Breakfast news this morning and imho came across as a slimey, oily, creep. Now, if i was a Tory voter I wouldn't want a slimy oily creep as leader. I'd go with Ken Clark as I think he's the one with the best chance of getting Labour votes.
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Is it a case of "getting Labour votes" though? As I understand it, very few elections are ever won by one party getting the votes of the other (although obviously it does happen).

The largest proportion of voters are of the type "I've always voted for Party X and I always will" (hence safe seats etc.) and only a smallish minority of "floating voters" ever change.

The important thing is to appeal to the voters who are of the type "I would vote for Party X if I could be bothered to go out and vote." These are the voters you need to appeal to; people who see themselves as "naturally (Party X) supporters" but who have been disenchanted by whatever problems the party has had.

As I see it, it was the Labour party's "natural supporters", who hadn't been voting, disenchanted by the "Loony Left" (however much I despise that term) that John Smith and then Tony Blair won back with the "New Labour" reforms.

I would imagine that what the Tories need is a similar moderating influence, away from the extreme Euro-scepticism and, dare I say it, their anti-immigration stance, to win back the traditional Tory supporters disenchanted by their lurch to the right.

The problem that the Tories have with this though is that so many of the "old guard" were unseated in the 1997 election and that the new Tory intake in 2001 and 2005 have been more right-wing* than their predecessors that there is no realistic moderating influence, especially not one that the right of the party would accept.

* IMO. I perceive a definite shift to the right in Tory policies, even when compared to Thatcher.
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Strangely enough, I think Portillo would have been a moderating influence, but he's made the sensible reaction to his change of heart, and joined the likes of Matthew Parris among the ranks of: "slightly bemused looking ex-Tories".

As for our entire democracy balancing on the opinions of the confused, the undecided and the easily-led. Quite. That's why I'm not an enthusiastic democrat. Until the level of political education in this country increases to anything approaching reasonable, I genuinely think we need some kind of voting licence (and no, I'm not sure I would get one, before you all kick-off)
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markfiend wrote:Is it a case of "getting Labour votes" though? As I understand it, very few elections are ever won by one party getting the votes of the other (although obviously it does happen).

The largest proportion of voters are of the type "I've always voted for Party X and I always will" (hence safe seats etc.) and only a smallish minority of "floating voters" ever change.
so far so good. textbook analysis of current british voting patterns.
The important thing is to appeal to the voters who are of the type "I would vote for Party X if I could be bothered to go out and vote." These are the voters you need to appeal to; people who see themselves as "naturally (Party X) supporters" but who have been disenchanted by whatever problems the party has had.
oops. now it's all gone wrong. the important thing is to appeal to those "floating voters" you identified in the last paragraph. the "die-hards" either always vote regardless of the party's current policies or live in seats so safe that it doesn't really matter if half of them can't be arsed this time.
As I see it, it was the Labour party's "natural supporters", who hadn't been voting, disenchanted by the "Loony Left" (however much I despise that term) that John Smith and then Tony Blair won back with the "New Labour" reforms.
firstly, you do a great dis-service to neil kinnock by omitting him from your list of reforming labour leaders. it was kinnock who first took on the militant left and put the labour party on the road back to the mainstream.

secondly, it was the middle class, middle england, floating voters in marginal constituencies who were won over by "new" labour to provide tony with his landslide victories. if anything the die-hard, life-long labour supporters who are now becoming disillusioned with what they see as the party's lurch to the right. it's no coincidence that in the ten years that blair has been leader labour party membership has fallen from 400,000 to around half that.
I would imagine that what the Tories need is a similar moderating influence, away from the extreme Euro-scepticism and, dare I say it, their anti-immigration stance, to win back the traditional Tory supporters disenchanted by their lurch to the right.
now you're sort of back on track. the tories do need to move back toward the centre but the reason they've found themselves marginalised is because "new" labour have essentially stolen the ground from under them. the conservative leadership need to accept this and, rather than try to put "clear blue water" between themselves and labour, embrace the consensus by demonstrating that they can achieve the same broad aims as blair/brown but in a "better" way.

euro-scepticism should be an irrelevancy. any ideas of closer integration lie in tatters with the rejection of the new constitution and it's unlikely that economic conditions will be expedient to our joining the single currency any time soon (we've missed the boat on that one).
The problem that the Tories have with this though is that so many of the "old guard" were unseated in the 1997 election and that the new Tory intake in 2001 and 2005 have been more right-wing than their predecessors that there is no realistic moderating influence, especially not one that the right of the party would accept.
i don't agree that the new intake are more right-wing than their predecessors. the party has found itself on the far right of the mainstream for the reasons i outlined above but i don't think the majority of tory mps are any more or less right-wing than their equivalents ten or twenty years ago. political parties are broad churches. if anything the parliamentary party are likely to be more moderate than the general membership as professional politicians tend to be far more perceptive of their parties likelihood of winning elections than the blue rinse brigade in the shires.

that turned into a bit of a lecture didn't it? sorry. i hope it's food for thought for anyone who got to the end though...
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RicheyJames wrote:try to imagine ... that you not only have a say in the election of the next tory leader but that you actually want them to win the next election...
<snip affected trendily patronising stuff>
My choice would be Ken Clarke, but that's because, as a "lefty" (and not being an actor proficient with the Stanislavski Method) he is closest to what I consider "good, right, sensible" etc.

The problem is that you've set up a paradoxical request - the person most likely to win the next election would not be who most Tories would pick. And that has been (one factor in) their downfall at the last two elections.

Ken Clarke is (according to opinion polls - usual disclaimers apply) the most popular choice as leader for people who didn't vote Tory. But Ken Clarke is the person who (in my opinion) least accurately reflects "what it is to be a tory in 2005" because he is from the left-wing of the Tory party (rather than the centre) and he has pro-European views, which are an anathema to the majority of Tories.

A typical Tory party member (most party members - of any party - tend to be more extreme than normal supporters - otherwise they wouldn't bother joining the party, and for the Tories that means being more right-wing than their average supporters) wouldn't vote for him, so if I'm imagining that I'm a Tory I should not choose Ken Clarke, but rather someone in the centre or centre-right of the Tory party. And therein lies the Tories' problem.

The Tories' attempts to regain the centre ground (in reality, a vague shifting area which currently spans the centre-left of the Tory party and the centre-right of Labour AKA New Labour) have consisted of electing a right-wing or centre-right Tory and have them claim to be a 'moderate'. It hasn't worked. The fact that they picked uncharismatic men hasn't helped either.

Labour actually changed their policies when they went down the Blairist route. The controlling left-wing of the Labour Party (equivalent to the right wing of the Tory party for this analogy) went with the plan, thinking that everyting would revert back to old Labour once power had been won. It obviously didn't.

The Tory right-wing either aren't prepared to try this trick (elect Clarke, pretend they've changed their spots, get elected, then bring in the policies they actually want) - possibly because they think they might actually get stuck with a lefty leader in a mirror image of what's happened to Labour, or they just aren't capable of doing it because they just can't shut their mouths about right-wing Tory bones of contention that very few people actually rate very high on their list of priorities (that'd be "Europe" then) and realise that the name "Thatcher" does not inspire the dreamy utopia, wet eyes and moist crotch in others that it does in them.
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Thatcher moistens my crotch. I p*ss myself with fear that she might return :lol:
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