CAMPAIGNS: What The Media Say - Eurosceptic tone to fore as IDS wins

Organisation: Conservative Party

Issue: Iain Duncan Smith wins leadership election

Was it the beginning of the end for the Conservative Party or the dawn

of a new unified era as the Tory members chose the inexperienced Iain

Duncan Smith (aka IDS) as its new leader after 'one of the most bitterly

fought leadership contests in recent history'? (The Daily Telegraph,


Divided opinion from a divided party and the nation's voters filled

fewer column inches than usual in a media overwhelmed by the atrocities

of the terrorist attacks in the US.

Commentators united in their view, however, that the new leader of the

'shattered Tory Party' (BBC Online, 17/9) faced a huge challenge and

'one of the most daunting uphill struggles in modern Tory history' (The

Guardian, 14/9).

The Daily Telegraph (14/9) proposed that the leadership contest proved

the Conservatives were 'alive and well'.

The Guardian suggested that there was now a question over the 'long-term

significance in British political life of the once great Tory


BBC Online (17/9) queried whether the Tories had 'consigned themselves

to political wilderness'.

With the announcement of the Shadow Cabinet, BBC Online (17/9) was not

alone in its conviction the Party was now set on a 'right-wing,

Eurosceptic path'.

The Guardian (17/9) highlighted a 'sense of crisis in Tory ranks',

despite IDS's assertion he would be able to unite the party and would

concentrate on voters' concerns about public services.

The new leader - 'a man of solid principles who will provide superb

leadership' (BBC Online 17/9) - was not without supporters but many

doubted his ability to bring the party back to the centre ground.

The Daily Telegraph (14/9) commented about the 'impossibility' of his

leadership. 'A social neanderthal' was the damning indictment of The

Guardian's (17/9) Polly Toynbee.

The three-month leadership campaign had 're-opened Tory divisions over

Europe' (, 16/9).

Whether IDS could heal those rifts remains a matter of conjecture.

The Financial Times (14/9) thought there was 'not much cause for

optimism' but even The Guardian (14/9) urged 'never, ever judge a leader

until he has had time to do some leading'.

Analysis and commentary by Echo Research. More information can be found


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