Can Leigh force his party off the middle-ground?
This is Edward Leigh – the anti-abortion, anti contraception, anti-genetic research and anti-gay rights campaigner who is calling for his party to shift the policy focus away from the centre ground back to traditional “Tory values”.
Perhaps he ought to read this piece by the usually well-informed writer, who also uses the term “Mole” in the First Post. Earlier in the week he wrote on the Davies defection: “..What is becoming increasingly clear is that the defection of Quentin Davies and the appointment of non Labour ministers is part of a much wider and more sophisticated strategy by Gordon Brown to pull the rug from under David Cameron…Brown aims to relentlessly undermine Cameron’s leadership of his party to encourage a rebellion by the Tory right against the Leader of the Opposition…Brown wants the Tory right to flex its muscles to force Cameron back from the centre ground. Davies’ defection will fuel the pressure on the leadership to return to traditional Conservative values.“
Clearly that makes absolute sense for Brown knows more than anybody that the heart of New Labour’s appeal in the past three elections was that it had abandoned much of the policy platform that had made it unelectable. Cameron knows that too and the support the Tories have picked picked up since he became leader has been mostly from the centre.
Quite simply traditional Tories don’t matter any more. Their views are as irrelevant as they are quaint. The only small hope they have got is to force the party leadership to abandon its appeal the centre voters thus continuing the party’s long-drawn out suicide.
What Gordon can do to cause this dissent will be the battleground for the next election. He’s a great strategist but will he succeed?
I don’t know and cannot call the next election.