There are 5 candidates in the race. I know them all reasonably well, two rather better than that. All 5 have great strengths, though in terms of political philosophy there are no huge differences. For me it's an embarrassment of riches. I would be content to see any of them as PM. No doubt you will read everything from their primary school careers to shoe size in the media. So I'm just going to reflect on my own (current) thoughts. Have sent out invite to all Montgomeryshire Tory members (the electorate in this case) to join me when the two runners who make it into the 'home straight' are known.
I am minded to support Stephen Crabb in the first vote on Tuesday. I've known Stephen for 20 yrs and been knocking doors in Pembrokeshire campaigning for him. Very calm, sound and thinks things through carefully. I suppose he's not much experience of high office, but has been an MP for 11 yrs. Not yet had long enough in difficult job at Work and Pensions to make his mark. But he has much more experience than David Cameron had when he became our Leader! So not sure great experience matters that much. I look on Stephen as a good friend, and when I mix in loyalty with respect, he probably wins my vote.
I also know Andrea Leadsom well. Andrea was the energy minister who responded to the Inspector's Report following the Conjoined Public Inquiry into onshore wind farms in Mid Wales. I so approved of her decisions that I feel I owe her now. I've also been involved in many long discussions with her as a member of Energy and Climate Change Committee. Had two hrs on Wed discussing Investor Confidence in energy generation. Andrea is tough, and single minded. More than a touch of 'Maggie' about her. I think she will make last two and be difficult for me not to support her at that stage.
Runaway favourite at this stage is Theresa May. She has been to Montgomeryshire a fair few times. Came to Dyffryn Farm, Meifod a few weeks back, home of Jonathon Wilkinson to meet farming representatives. First time I met her was in 1997, when she came door knocking with me around Argae Hall and the Revel. Caught the eye of Dai Pryce in very short skirt and open top BMW Sportscar. (Theresa not Dai). We had lunch in the Talbot. Great experience and very safe hands. Most interesting would be who she appoints to implement Leave, and to the Treasury. And of interest to me who she appoints to lead at DECC.
And then there is Michael Gove. Michael is not how he's portrayed. Very funny, bright and emotional. A nonstop fount of ideas. Radical, progressive and driven by logic. But many Tory MPs will not forgive him for derailing the Boris bandwagon. Not universally popular in our house. We have an English school teacher amongst us!! Sense he won't make last two. But he really believes in what he does. Would be great choice to negotiate UK exit from EU. Be no backsliding then.
And then there is Liam Fox. Nothing wrong with Liam. He'd be good PM. But I sense it's just not his time.
Must add a word about Boris. He delivered the vote to Leave. Wouldn't have happened without him. In reality Boris has had more impact on British politics already than several previous prime ministers have had. What really surprised me was Michael Gove deserting him basically because Boris doesn't do detail. We knew that already. Boris does engagement with the popular vote. Also has fearsome ability, which does his best to hide. What would have mattered would be who he employed to do the detail. Also generates strong antipathy in some. Lot of Remainers will never forgive him for defeating them. Anyway it's all over for Boris (for now anyway).
By tmrw morning, it might all look totally different!