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Rory Stewart and the Malcom Turnbull mistake

Rory Stewart currently has the ‘liberal media’ swooning over him and his cute little videos, such as this one:

It’s been noted, correctly, by quite a few people online that he’s the candidate who’s loved by people who would never, ever, vote Tory:


I want to make a more particular point. This is exactly what happened with Malcom Turnbull, the recent Liberal Prime Minister of Australia. He had the non-Liberal media swooning over him. Oh how they loved him, like they’d never loved a Liberal before. That helped him win the party leadership.

But it all ended in tears. The Liberal’s voter base drifted away with him in charge, and the media that initially loved him so much ended up not loving him quite as much once he’d made a few decisions they didn’t like, and the Liberals performed badly enough in the polls over a long enough period that the party had to get rid of him, which enabled them to win an election they hadn’t been expecting to win, because their base then came back to them once they abandoned Turnbull’s Labour-lite direction.

That’s exactly what will happen to the Tories if they install Rory Stewart as leader. It will all end in tears. The media will publish glowing profiles of him as the party’s numbers sink to the bottom, and eventually the media will go cold on him. But it’s improbable that he’ll get that far, as unlike the Liberals in Australia whose MPs elect the leader, the Tory members get a vote on the final two candidates (and he’s unlikely to make the final two anyway).

If the LibDems had any sense they’d try to poach him if the Tories install a clean Brexiteer. Now there’s a party he’d be a suitable leader for.

Update: Now even the Speccie has published a glowing profile of him with the author declaring that he’s the man to save the party:

How Rory Stewart can save the Tories


… Rory Stewart is a paradox – he lacks the dubious star quality of many of the big beasts parading through the studios, yet has life experience and achievements they could only dream of. I’ve seen it – he’s a good man in a tight spot. He’ll get my vote.

There’s no doubt that Stewart is an interesting, intelligent, resourceful and determined man, who could, without a doubt, be a big success in many fields. But that in itself doesn’t make him a good leader of the country. All those things were true of William Burroughs as well, and you’d hardly want him as PM, would you?

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5 thoughts on “Rory Stewart and the Malcom Turnbull mistake

  1. No chance he’ll be selected by the membership. None. The last two elections have proven, beyond doubt, that there is no room for the Conservatives on the left, a space occupied by the LibDems, Labour, Greens, Plaid, SNP and the soon-to-be defunct Chuks.

    Unless they sharpen up on Europe and everything else, they will lose the vast majority of their supporters to Nige.

  2. RS is a remainer of the arch variety and hates No Deal/WTO exit from the EU. Ergo he is a twat and has no chance of being selected.

  3. I’ve always thought his rather charming background story was a little fantastic (in the old sense of that word). I suspect some of his tales have grown larger in the telling.

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