The three camps

Tory leadership: the rivals
Click to follow
Indy Politics

Michael Portillo

The contender: A chameleon. A hard right-winger before electoral humiliation in 1997, now stands on a low-taxation-with-social-responsibility ticket. Will defy hardliners to make the party more appealing to women, ethnic groups and homosexuals.

The team: Francis Maude, shadow foreign secretary, is campaign manager. Core team includes David Willetts, ex-Asda boss Archie Norman, former deputy chief whip Andrew Mackay, and Tim Yeo, shadow agriculture minister. Pro-Europeans including Stephen Dorrell and Eurosceptics such as John Bercow also back him.

The winning ways: Had the confidence to declare early, winning support.

The fault-lines: Some Tories insist a pledge at this stage "isn't worth the paper it's printed on".

The look: "Always nicely presented, compared to most MPs. Smart-suited, middle-class, good-quality fashion. And he has got nice-looking hair."

Kenneth Clarke

The contender: The champion of the euro has been, certainly since 1997, standard-bearer of the Tory left. Stands for a pro-EU agenda without obsession with Europe, which allowed the Tories to forget key public services: health, education and transport.

The team: Ex-ministers Ian Taylor and David Curry. Also backed by the former party chairman Sir Brian Mawhinney. Now she is not running, Ann Widdecombe could back Mr Clarke as she did in 1997, bringing a large bloc of support. Michael Heseltine and Sir Leon Brittan are also supporters.

The winning ways: Popular in the country, even among non-Tories.

The fault-lines: Portillo has stolen a march on all potential candidates and with it some key MPs from the pro-European wing of the party.

The look: "His slightly dishevelled, overweight appearance is engaging. He is a more extensive and human person and has nice, floppy hair."

Iain Duncan Smith

The contender: From the right of the party. Has backed the leadership line on Europe but is known to have principled views against euro membership.

The team: If he emerges as the candidate of the right, he is likely to win the support of leadership hopeful David Davis, who has a loyal band of friends including ex-ministers Eric Forth and John Redwood. Other support is from the "never to the euro" faction, such as Bill Cash, Sir Peter Tapsell and Sir Teddy Taylor. He is also said to have the backing of Lord Tebbit and Baroness Thatcher.

The winning ways: Could give the anti-European right a single candidate and a more powerful voice.

The fault-lines: Little known outside Westminster.

The look: "Iain Duncan who? I am trying desperately to summon him up. That's the problem with the Shadow Cabinet. They are people of such obscurity. Is he the bald one?"

"The look" was contributed by Peter York

Comments