The former editor of ConservativeHome.com has called on Conservatives not to decide how they vote next year based on David Cameron’s leadership, as the party is likely to change leader soon after. Tim Montgomerie said voters should “forget presidential-style politics and vote for a party’s underlying beliefs”.
Montgomerie claimed “the Tories may change leader within days of the election and almost certainly within two years.” He cited unhappiness with Cameron’s leadership amongst the right of the party, and suggested Cameroons are now “at war with once loyal colleagues such as Theresa May.”
The Conservatives have haemorrhaged a large amount of support to UKIP since David Cameron became leader. This has led to unhappiness amongst the grassroots and on the backbenches in parliament.
He said: “I’m not encouraging you to vote for another party. I’m simply warning that you’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you vote for a party’s leader rather than for its core brand — particularly now. After all, every party leader is in a perilous position.”
Although Montgomerie has left ConservativeHome.com in favour of The Times, he is still considered a significant voice to ordinary Tories. His intervention is likely to be seen as a plea for ordinary voters to stick with the party long enough to ensure Cameron’s unpopularity does not destroy the party.
Mr Montgomerie continued: “So forget presidential-style politics and vote for a party’s underlying beliefs. If you think we still live in tough times vote for the party most capable of making tough decisions — the Tories. Vote Labour if you think we can afford to take our foot off the austerity pedal. Vote Ukip if you don’t like any politician and prefer the 1950s to now. And if you’re not sure what you believe you’ll probably be at home with the Lib Dems — they’re not sure either.”
He established ConservativeHome.com in shortly before the 2005 general election. He also established the Centre for Social Justice, where he worked closely with Iain Duncan-Smith, and as a result is considered a Westminster insider.