Published:

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter

…The answer is Maastricht-era rebel, IDS. The Work and Pensions Secretary also tops the latest overall Cabinet league table.

We asked the question "Who in the Conservative Party do you respect on the question of the European Union?" The Respect/ Don't respect numbers were…

  • Iain Duncan Smith 87% respect / 8% don't respect
  • John Redwood 80% / 13%
  • Liam Fox 76% / 18%
  • Dan Hannan 72% / 13%
  • David Davis 72% / 15%
  • William Hague 69% / 19%
  • Bill Cash 57% / 30%
  • Douglas Carswell 55% / 16%
  • Sir John Major 50% / 34%
  • Owen Paterson 47% / 9%
  • Benard Jenkin 39% / 18%
  • George Osborne 37% / 37%
  • David Cameron 34% / 49%
  • Ken Clarke 24% / 73%
  • Martin Callanan 21% / 12%
  • Michael Heseltine 20% / 71%

Paterson_Cabinet2 

I will take this opportunity to note the relatively strong showing for Owen Paterson, the Northern Ireland Secretary. He and IDS have worked closely inside the Cabinet to push the leadership towards a more Eurosceptic position. As Shadow Fisheries Minister he persuaded Michael Howard, then leader, to take Britain out of the CFP. David Cameron, unfortunately, did not retain the policy. Whether it is his opposition to gay marriage (not a position I share) or his support for corporation tax freedom for Northern Ireland, Mr Paterson is becoming a more and more thoughtful player.

PS This is the third of three blogposts reviewing yesterday's ConHome survey of more than 1,500 Tory members. We've already noted that 66% of members back David Cameron on the timing of an EU referendum and that the rebellion of 81 Tory MPs is credited as the most powerful factor in explaining why the Prime Minister has now taken the position that he has.

Comments are closed.