Strange column in the Sunday Times from Portillo. After previously backing Basher, he seems to have jumped back on to the fence with an ambiguous but sympathetic article about Cameron. Incidentally, whilst we are on the subject of Portillo, when commentators ask where is the Tory Kinnock? (A leader who remodels his party and takes it to the verge of electability, but loses.) It seems to Guido that Portillo was the Tory Kinnock, Portillo’s agenda is now mainstream, his language, his critique and his prognosis are now the Tory establishment’s own. Guido thinks therefore that Portillo was the Tory Kinnock/prophet. He didn’t need to lose a general election, only a leadership election.
Michael Spencer, the demi-billionaire City money-broker who has previously backed Davis financially, has become a Cameroonie, telling the Sunday Torygraph “He has a killer combination of conviction and inspiration. The Conservatives should choose him.”
YouGov’s Peter Kellner reflecting on his firm’s polling of Tory party members said that he had “never seen such a big change in such a short time in 35 years of reporting and conducting opinion polls”.
DAVID CAMERON: 39% (16%)
KEN CLARKE: 26% (30%)
DAVID DAVIS: 14% (30%)
LIAM FOX: 13% (13%)
MALCOLM RIFKIND: 1% (4%)
As Basher’s party support halves, an increasingly forlorn Wat Tyler, the online cheerleader for Basher, is becoming a conspiracy theorist. He reckons it is an Oxford University / liberal media conspiracy of toffs to do his hero down. He may well be right…