History / Politics

The donkeys

UPDATE – 13 June 2019

We’ve just had the results of the first round of voting in the Tory leadership election. Never mind the big names, what we’re interested in here is how badly did the back-runners do? To put today’s results in context, here’s how they fit into the bottom of the all-time charts:

9.5 per cent – Anthony Meyer (1989)
8.6 per cent – Dominic Raab (2019)
7.3 per cent – Sajid Javid (2019)
6.9 per cent – Geoffrey Howe (1975)
6.9 per cent – James Prior (1975)
6.4 per cent- Matt Hancock (2019)
6.1 per cent – Rory Stewart (2019)
6.0 per cent – Hugh Fraser (1975)
5.0 per cent – Enoch Powell (1965)
4.8 per cent – Liam Fox (2016)
4.0 per cent – John Peyton (1975)
3.5 per cent – Andrea Leadsom (2019)
3.2 per cent – Mark Harper (2019)
2.9 per cent – Esther McVey (2019)

Three candidates broke John Peyton’s record for the worst ever performance by a leadership candidate – a record that had stood for 44 years. But what a performance by the others as well. There have now been fourteen candidates who’ve polled in single-figure percentages, seven of them today.


ORIGINAL POST – 5 July 2016

It was in 1965 that Conservative Party MPs were allowed to vote on their leader for the first time. Since then, there have been eight leadership contests. The rules have changed a couple of times, but even now – when the final decision is taken by the party’s membership – MPs get to do the early selection. And today we get the first round of voting in the process to choose David Cameron’s successor.

Barring truly exceptional circumstances, we’re not going to get the winner today, but we will find out who the loser is. And these are the benchmarks by which to judge that loser’s performance. These are the six men whose percentages have failed to reach double figures in those eight contests:stalking-donkeys

9.5 per cent – Anthony Meyer (1989)

6.9 per cent – Geoffrey Howe (1975)

6.9 per cent – James Prior (1975)

6.0 per cent – Hugh Fraser (1975)

5.0 per cent – Enoch Powell (1965)

4.0 per cent – John Peyton (1975)

Back-marker John Peyton – the man who made compulsory the wearing of motorcycle helmets, and who privatized Thomas Cook (as though you needed reminding) – set the record by attracting just eleven votes. There are hopes that it might be broken today.


UPDATE: The results of the first round of voting are now in, and unfortunately Dr Liam Fox was unable to break the 46-year-old record. With the support of sixteen MPs, he secured a full 4.8 per cent of the votes.


 

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