The Leadership Race Begins


The words of the Arch Plotter Littlefinger in Game of Thrones have a certain truth about them.

The Conservative Leadership contest and its aftermath will offer opportunities as established figures depart and the policy ground shifts, leaving gaps for ambitious politicians to fill.

This is particularly true for candidates and I’m working with my own clients to ensure they make the most of this period of change.

So what should ambitious candidates be doing as the contest gets under way?


As a candidate you would be well advised to get involved with a Leadership campaign. First you need to pick a contender to support.

With the field wide open, it is hard to make predictions. Picking a Winner is a tough call this time.

If you back the winner you might expect some sort of reward or recognition – but you might not get it.

So it’s probably better to pick a candidate you already know or are close to. They will be aware of your strengths and be able to deploy you to best advantage.

Most of them are not going to win, but you will still get some great experience which will look good on your CV. And don’t forget to take lots of pictures for your website.

You will also be able to build your network. With the fall of Boris Johnson the age of political Astronauts has ended – for now – and the Mountaineers are back in charge.

So Networks are important.

And for candidates outside the Westminster Bubble the contest offers a rare opportunity to build links and gain experience that just isn’t available most of the time.

The Leadership Contest should provide the party with a poll boost. Even Jeremy Corbyn got one…


The October Conference in Birmingham has now gained a new importance. It’s going to be time for the new Leader and their team to set out their stall.

It is likely to attract more attendees than usual so make sure you book your place early.

For Candidates the Conference should be hard work – speaking at fringe meetings and building your networks.

If you spend the whole time Eating and Drinking at receptions you aren’t doing it right…

And the Conference should provide another poll boost if it is managed effectively.


Those poll boosts make an Early Election more likely.

The new PM will be facing the same dilemma that Gordon Brown did in 2007. Vanity prevented Brown calling an election in which he might get a smaller majority than Blair managed. The delay meant that he didn’t get a majority at all in 2010.

Ten years later Theresa May encountered the same dilemma and went for it. The result was a disaster – but she still won the biggest vote share and arguably the campaign was going well until the publication of the Suicidal Manifesto.

So Candidates need to be prepared. You should have:

A Website

An Application CV that you can easily adapt to any seat you apply for.

An opening speech – ‘Why I would be a good Candidate for This Seat’

An Interview Plan


I’m launching a Special Wave of Candidate Mentoring to make the most of the valuable opportunities that are now available.

You can read more about the programme here.

And I’ve got some great testimonials here.

An initial 30 minute consultation is absolutely free and will provide you with some useful pointers even if you don’t get to work with me. You can contact me here.

And there’s lot’s of free advice for candidates on my blog.

I’m rooting for you.

But I won’t wish you Good Luck because success in politics is about Preparation, not Fate.

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