Why you shouldn’t assume a Brexiter will be Cameron’s successor
59% of Tory members back Brexit but only 20% of Â members consider backing a Brexiter as theÂ most important criteria in deciding who should be the next leader of the Tory party. The Tories will back someone who is seen as an election winner over a Brexiter.
When the Tory Party starts obsessing about the European Union, it is the political equivalent of putting an unlimited supply of laxatives into the monkey house. Excrement starts getting flung in all directions, we saw it this week with Iain Duncan Smith calling David Cameron’s EU dossier, a dodgy dossier.Â
Think about that, one of Cameron’s own cabinet ministers used that very loaded and notorious political term against him, no wonder the opponents of the Tories are filled to the brim with girlish glee when the Tory party starts obsessing about the European Union, especially as we’ve got at least another three and a half months to go until the referendum and the post result reaction of the Tory party to look forward.
In the past when the Tory Party obsessed about the Europe Union they became appealing as an STD, they did what Labour did last summer, and decided not to elect as leader the most electorally appealing candidate, but go for the ideological pure candidate who has no chance of winning a general election and choose the unappealing Eurosceptic candidate, twice in 1997 and 2001. The Tory Party finally came to its senses in 2005 and chose the candidate best placed to win a general election.
There’s a belief because the fractious nature of the referendum and the Tory membership being overwhelmingly in favour Brexit, the next Tory leader will be a Brexiter,Â however looking at the recent YouGov polling (at the top of this thread) Tory members look clear on choosing someone who will win in 2020, so the next Tory leadership contest will be more 2005 than 1997 and 2001.
On the basis of this polling, I’m going to be laying Michael Gove, because his personal ratings are on a par with Jeremy Corbyn, which doesn’t imply Gove has the best chance of winning the 2020 general election, I’ll also being laying the likes of Liam Fox. The top criteria according to Tory members is being a competent Prime Minister, this should favour Theresa May and Michael Fallon, who exude a quiet competency in high profile roles, especially Theresa May who will soon be approaching her sixth year anniversary as Home Secretary, a role which hadÂ previouslyÂ become a political graveyard. It also might be prudentÂ to lay the electorally unappealing Brexit Tory leadership contenders. With only 3% of Tory members wanting someone who will be a clear change from the direction and policies of David Cameron, this bodes well for the continuity Cameron candidates as well.
PS – I wrote this thread on Friday, but following Boris Johnson’s interview on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, his performance was widely panned by even the most ardent Leavers and Boris fans, it was a reminder that whilst Boris inspires the greatest hope, he also presents the greatest doubts about the leadership, and history has shown it is wise to lay the favourite for the Tory leadership this far out. That interview confirmed that wisdom yet again.