24 October 2011 3:28 PM

Is this about the last Tory leadership contest - or the next?

Lots of fun to be had in Iain Dale's fictional version of what might have happened if the leadership election in 2005 had gone differently.

Dale imagines that DD made a conference speech without notes and triumphed, changing the course of history.

The fun bit is sifting the "facts" from the imagining.  Dale writes: "A week before the conference, Cameron supporter Ed Vaizey had signalled in an unguarded aside to one of the Davis campaign team that the end was nigh, and that he would soon be transferring his allegiances. Nudge nudge, wink wink.  ‘Ah, the boy Vaizey’, sniggered Derek Conway, ‘he can see which way the wind is blowing’."

Pure imagination?

Dale includes a description of Ken Clarke's campain manager letting rip at Francis Maude when Tory HQ briefed that Ken was surrendering early. In fact, it was Dale who let rip after a real life episode when HQ whispered that DD was dropping out to let Cameron be crowned.

One intriguing piece of crystal ball-gazing is that DD's chief spokesman would have been Boris Johnson's Guto Hari and his camapign chief would have been Boris's strategist Lynton Crosby. An interesting pair of name-checks. A sign perhaps that Boris's relations with the Eurosceptic Right are very warm.

In the next leadership contest, say 2018, that may prove decisive.


Joe Murphy





Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.