TORY LEADERSHIP ELECTION : Ministers weigh up their chances : THE CABIN ET CONTENDERS?

Click to follow
The Independent Online
MICHAEL HESELTINE

President of the Board of Trade, failed to defeat Major in the post- Thatcher second ballot in 1990. Pledged to support Major, but poised to throw his hat in the ring, if Major is forced out on the first ballot.

MICHAEL PORTILLO

Secretary of State for Employment, heavyweight Euro-sceptic in the Cabinet. Would be in a run-off against Heseltine and result would be too close to call. Has the right-wing vote, but could scare off the centre-left of the party.

GILLIAN SHEPHARD

Secretary of State for Education, an ally of Major, but would enter the race if he fell at the first hurdle. Hard-hitting common-sense right- of-centre former school inspector who would like to stop Heseltine winning the crown.

MICHAEL HOWARD

Home Secretary, right-wing Euro-sceptic. A member of Major's campaign team, who could run if the field became open. A smooth operator, who could pick up centre votes, in addition to the right wing.

KENNETH CLARKE

The champion of the Tory centre-left and a big hitter, but has blown it with the Tory right by his recent insistence that Major should keep open the option of a single currency. His best chance has now gone, but he still could be a strong runner.

STEPHEN DORRELL

National Heritage Secretary, a young pretender from the left of the party. No chance of winning, but worth running to put down his marker for the future on behalf of the old "wets" wing of the party, which may have its day again.

Comments