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  1. #201
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    Apparently there are already 13 declared candidates for the Tory leadership (and with it, Prime Minister) and another 7 that might declare late.

    Even whittling that down to two is going to be a fucking circus. Wouldn't be surprised if they changed the rules so you had to have ten endorsers or something like that. Would get the Rory Stewart's and Esther McVey's out of the way, which I'm sure the party would appreciate.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  2. #202
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    This has happened in the last several presidential elections in the US too, a billion people come out of the woodwork to run for the job. Did this always happen and we just didn't realize because these people weren't accessible in the way they are now?

  3. #203
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    I'd have to look into the American case for a comparison, but the answer on our side of the water is 'no, it wasn't always like this'. We're in unprecedented territory, because in usual times a crowded field would be 6-7, not 13+. It's actually quite common for it to be a battle between 2-4 people, or for one candidate to be such a clear favourite that they are effectively (or actually) unopposed.

    The difference is this time is that there's no good candidate. Boris is the favourite and has the backing of the biggest group of MPs but is definitely not the best option for all of his colleagues. And this is the weakest government since WWII, so in most people's lifetime - so pretty much everyone who has been involved with it is tainted, in some way.

    I suspect that it's because seeing the main candidates struggling, everyone thinks that they have a chance to outflank them in a way that, say, it was unlikely someone like Brown or May was going to lose in their respective years.



    Here's the thing people forget - May was the runaway winner in 2016, universally regarded as the best choice, and incredibly popular with the electorate for the first year or so of her Ministry. And we saw how this issue took her down. Whoever comes through into the job at this point is going to be someone that in 2016 was seen as not as good as her - directly in the case of a Leadsom or a Gove, or indirectly in plenty of other cases. Hard to imagine any of the options doing any better when push comes to shove.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  4. #204
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    Double post, but a fair bit to catch up on.

    Couple of Tories have dropped out of the leadership election - James Cleverly and Kit Malthouse (him of the 'compromise). Of the names mentioned on the previous page Mordaunt and Steve 'Brexit hardman' Baker decided not to run in the end.

    Second, Michael Gove's campaign has hit the rocks after admitting that he took cocaine as a journalist in his younger days. I don't think it's the drug revelation itself that is harming him, so much as the fact that he wrote against liberalising the drugs laws while putting half of Colombia up his nose. A day or so later Andrea Leadsom admitted to smoking a bit of dope, something got very little traction other than a 'Tory drug off' hashtag on Twitter. Which I can't imagine is good news for her candidacy.

    Rory Stewart is actually polling quite well out there, though as Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home astutely put it, he's absolutely the favourite candidate of everyone who will never vote Tory. Makes you wonder why he's in the party really, but there we are.

    Right now it looks like Boris Johnson vs Jeremy Hunt, unless Gove or Raab can make a bit of a comeback. Big slate of high profile declarations for Hunt today, which makes me think he'll end up being the stop Boris candidate. Truth is, if anyone goes to the membership against Boris, they'll lose. Stopping Boris has to happen at a parliamentary level and right now looks unlikely.



    Quietly the Tories actually changed the rules for this election, declaring that you now need the backing of 8 MPs to make it onto the first ballot, and then 5% of the Parliamentary Party to proceed to the second ballot. Which I think is quite an interesting move....




    In many ways the most interesting thing though was the Peterborough by-election. It was a Labour hold, despite their previous MP going to gaol for perverting the course of justice. The Brexit party were tipped to take their first seat and Nigel Farage even turned up to the count before trying to sneak away (only to caught by journalists), but the Labour vote just about held up enough. Turnout was down, as you'd expect for a by-election, and the Labour vote was down 17 points. The Tories came in third, with them down a full 25 points. The Lib Dems and Greens came in fourth and fifth, up 8.9% and 1.2% respectively.

    Quite a blow for Brexit as it stalls their momentum, and shows how hard it will actually be for them to overcome existing parties and the levels of organisation that they have amongst their membership. You also think the Brexit party isn't going to get a lot of wavering voters at the last minute - if you are voting for them, you're already pretty motivated to get out to the polls and I'm not sure that's the case for some of the other parties. Labour's vote roughly holding up means things might not be so bad for them as they thought. The Tories have the faint smell of death about them at the moment - if the new Leader doesn't stop them haemorrhaging votes they are going to be fucked. Solid but unspectacular for the Lib Dems and Greens who'll be pleased to increase their vote share in a constituency that has bounced back and forth between the two main parties since World War II.


    And to cap it all off, Trump was here.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  5. #205
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    Ha, quite a line to end on!

  6. #206
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    Tory leadership election, first round, saw Boris Johnson put up a big figure that's going to be hard to beat. The two women in the contest and Mark Harper were eliminated in the first round, and Matt Hancock has dropped out today.

    Tuesday is the next round, and the dropouts mean there are 50 votes out there up for grabs in the next round. And of course, people can switch from one round to the next.

    The interesting thing is the Hunt/Gove/Javid anti-Boris axis, because Stewart isn't likely to drop out until he's beaten (though he's got to be on their radar as a future leader after an impressive campaign). I think only one member of the trio will end up running against Boris to try and be a consensus candidate. You'd say Hunt initially as he came top, but actually did a bit worse than expected, while Javid has outperformed early expectations. Rumours are circulating though that Gove's support is cracking, and I think even if he gets through the next round he'll throw his weight behind one of the others if things don't improve.


    It doesn't look like Raab is going to be able to challenge Boris on the right flank, unless there's a big change between now and Tuesday - though I would assume a lot of Raab's 27 votes would go to Boris if pushed. That said, you wonder why they aren't going with the front-runner already, and Boris is a divisive figure.



    Right now it looks like Boris is the only thing standing between Boris and the membership run-off. If he gets in his own way, he could lose it, but he's got enough support out there that frankly it's almost impossible to imagine him not making the final two without a horrendous change in fortune. The question then becomes, how accurate is the polling of the membership, and is he more popular out there than he is in Westminster, which is many people's assumption.

    And if he wins, the follow-up question would have to be how many of his own party would be prepared to bring him down if he lurches to the right? Stewart and Grieve have already said they would, he's known to be unpopular with the likes of Justine Greening and Nicky Morgan, and y'know Ken Clarke isn't going to stand for any old nonsense...


    But the money men usually aren't wrong, and the odds on Boris Johnson being Prime Minister have fallen to 1/5 since yesterday. That's the TL;DR of the post.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  7. #207
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    You're lucky at least that you have a quick process to kill off some of these unlikely candidate. I saw that 20 candidates will be in the first round of debates for the Democratic nomination, and god knows how long we'll have to deal with some of these hopeless causes.

  8. #208
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    Yeah, we're pretty good like that. The two main parties sort themselves out pretty well. To get on the ballot to the members a Labour leader needs 12.5% of the parliamentary party, so even if everyone got exactly the same you'd be maxed out at 8 choices and no more. And the Tories are famously ruthless when it comes time to remove or select a new leader. It's something that gets some criticism from our left but you can tell there's a lot of secret envy about the clean quick way they get on with it compared with the endless wrangling that sometimes takes place on the left.

    That said, this time could be different. I can tell from some talk that there's fears of a blue on blue bloodbath, both up to the next vote and with whoever ends up against Boris. It'd actually be a surprise if this all calmed down and went on like business as usual.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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