Inevitably the Tory leadership contest is totally dwarfing coverage of other political developments including the battle for the leadership of the party that totally out-performed the Tories in last month’s Euro elections. Yet given the parliamentary situation the outcome of this postal members’ ballot could be crucial.
Last night I attended a hustings in London, sponsored by the New Statesman and hosted by its political editor, Stephen Bush. There are two candidates both of whom were ministers during the coalition government – Jo Swinson and Ed Davey – the latter having been in the cabinet.
The question which caught them both to when they were asked over what they were most illiberal. It was a bit like the famous question to TMay during the GE2017 when she was asked what the naughtiest thing she had ever done. Perhaps that could be asked to Boris whenever he gets pinned down.
Both were impressive in different ways and clearly the process of doing successive hustings meetings in different parts of the country has honed up their skills. Whatever this is good training for general elections.
I continue to be a Lib Dem member and would be happy with either of them and find it very difficult to choose, The challenge for Davey, who is someone I have known since before he became an MP, is that there is clearly a feeling within the party that the next leader should be a woman. He does, however have the most experience.
The LDs are going through something of a renaissance simply because, unlike LAB and CON, they have a clear view on the overwhelming main issue of the day – Brexit. The “Bollocks to Brexit” slogan from last month might have been unedifying but at least it was clear.
Swinson is the favourite having tighter odds on Betfair at the moment than Boris has in the CON leadership betting.