Conservative leadership election

There are, by some accounts, as many as twelve possible candidates for the Conservative leadership. And why not? There is a long period for debate and reflection. The majority will not even be nominated. The question is, how do we get from here to there? Tim Yeo is calling for there to be one candidate from what the media likes to call the left of the party. It is likely that the voting system will involve some sort of exhaustive or preferential ballot that will allow the numbers to be reduced to a final shortlist of two, so coalescing to just two candidates - presumably David Davis and one other - before the voting starts is actually unnecessary.

What we do not yet know is, how will the voting take place and who will vote in each of the rounds.

I would like to suggest one possibility. How about a series of regional hustings? This would involve party members going to rallies to hear the candidates speak and then voting. The results of the ballots would be advisory, but would certainly help eliminate some candidates, and establish who the main contenders are. The Parliamentary Party could then have its vote, but would be able to take account of the views of Party members.

Clearly such an approach would sometimes be impractical. This time we have a long window between knowing of the vacancy and the actual election. This will not always be the case. Let's take advantage of this window while we have it.

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