October 5, 2005


Support for Davis ebbs away as his speech fails to inspire party: The front-runner for the Conservative leadership now faces a battle to win over members (Philip Webster, Greg Hurtst and Helen Rumbelow, 10/06/05, Times of London)

DAVID DAVIS’S apparently smooth progress towards the Conservative leadership was jolted yesterday after his speech to the party conference failed to give him the lift-off he needed and he came under fresh pressure from the Right.

The long-time favourite’s bandwagon stalled with clear evidence from a survey by The Times of support switching to David Cameron, Kenneth Clarke and Liam Fox, who presented himself as the true candidate of the Right in his own pitch to the conference.

Mr Davis remains the front-runner and, because of his support among MPs, is almost certain to reach the final run-off of two candidates from whom the party’s 300,000 members will choose. However, his competent but uninspiring speech left doubts over whether he would succeed in the ballot of members when the candidates will be performing at hustings over a period of weeks.

The Shadow Home Secretary was put under strain by the strength of the receptions for the speeches of Mr Clarke and Mr Cameron on Tuesday.

Next stop, Oblivion.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 5, 2005 4:38 PM
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