[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 17:02 GMT
Can Iain Duncan Smith survive?
This is a second page of your comments on Iain Duncan Smith's leadership of the Conservative Party.


The comments below reflect a balance of views received:

There had been an urgent need for a revolution towards modernisation within the Conservative Party since the days of John Major. Unlike Labour under Tony Blair, the Tories are too Conservative in their membership, views and policies to effect such a radical change. They are conservative after all.
James, Cameroon

Democracy demands a stronger Leader of the Opposition
Eric Callway, UK
For our democracy to function it needs an effective Opposition to keep government in check. Our present Opposition is ineffective, largely, but not entirely, because IDS is inadequate as its Leader. This is not a problem confined to the Conservative party. Democracy demands a stronger Leader of the Opposition.
Eric Callway, UK

I resigned my membership of the Conservative Party after the election of Iain Duncan Smith. I am shocked and appalled that he has the temerity to ask for loyalty when as a new MP he undermined the last Conservative government and is one of those responsible for the catastrophic defeat of 1997. As an activist in that election questions on the doorstep included how I could ask for votes when the government wasn't even supported by elected MPs in the party. The Conservative Party will never recover under his leadership, he must go.
Dan, UK

The great shame of this whole sad scenario is that there is nobody within the party to unite it. Even if IDS goes the alternatives will not stop the infighting or the obvious splits regarding policy or unity. The Tories now have credible policies and could be effective opposition. However, without unity, they face years in opposition and are depriving the nation of alternatives to this wounded Labour government.
Jay White, England

Changing their leader yet again is not going to make them any more relevant to the majority of voters
Rob, UK
The knack that the Tories have for shooting themselves in the foot is astounding. They only recently voted IDS in and the whole thing was a shambles. Once again they show that they are incapable of uniting and mounting serious opposition to a government whose weaknesses are there for all to see. They would not be fit to lead the country in their present state, and changing their leader yet again is not going to make them any more relevant to the majority of voters.
Rob, UK

In common with many "floating voters" I was surprised when the Tory part elected IDS. He may well be a decent man but he gives the impression of a weak leader who left previous careers due to lack of success. The Tory party is as divided as the Church of England and needs a strong leader who has some attraction to the voters. If I had a vote it would be for Portillo.
Martin Husbands, Wales

The silly thing about the Conservative leadership system is that it allows rank and file members to elect a leader who is wholly unpopular with his parliamentary colleagues, then allows the Conservative MPs to vote out that leader. So the party as a whole cannot decide the leader in any decisive, long term way. It also has the effect of allowing a leader to be voted in who has little or no support from his fellow Tory MPs.
David Farmbrough, UK

Far from unite or die, I say unite, unite and unite again
Geoffrey Brooking, England
Iain is a great leader, who leads from the front.
There are 3,000 party members for every Tory MP. You don't see them on television or ringing up the press every day so why should Iain have to be put up with it.
The plotters should be deselected, so Conservative Central Office can put new honourable candidates in place. Far from unite or die, I say unite, unite and unite again because Iain is something special.
Geoffrey Brooking, Lincolnshire, England

IDS is a joke. After two years of "leadership" he still can't coordinate hand gestures with what he is saying. His setting of an unenforceable Wednesday deadline for plotters to out themselves is yet another in a long line of gaffes. I wish the Tories the speediest possible demise but, with a long and distinguished history, the least they could do is muster a little dignity about their leaving.
Tom, UK

Over recent years the Tony Blair has been savaged for a being control freak. It only takes a look at the state of the Tory party to see why this is necessary. The Tories are committing electoral suicide fighting over there own self interest. It says so much about the party and the people in it.
Vince, UK

Tory leaders have never survived a general election loss in modern times so, with such a loss guaranteed at the next election it is not surprising that nobody wants the job. I think Portillo will be the next Tory Prime Minister but not until the election after next. IDS or someone who topples him in the next couple of weeks will only last until the first day of Labour's third term in office.
Geoff Crawford, UK

The Conservative Party is in worse shape now than Labour were in at their depths of opposition. Changing the leader or the policies will not be enough without root-and-branch modernisation to re-engage with the electorate. It is because IDS has shown no appetite for this modernisation that he must go.
David Holdgate, UK

Michael Portillo is the only person with the intellect, charisma and forward thinking attitude to lead the Tories back to office. My dream team - Francis Maude as Chancellor, Stephen Dorrell as Foreign Secretary and William Hague as Home Secretary.
Chris, UK

We have no credible Opposition at the moment. The Tories need to jump down into the abyss, see how bad it is, see if they can find a leader to get them out. If they do then they will be an opposition. If not they will have stood aside and let the Lib Dems have a go.
Steve Williamson, UK

Ken Clarke is the only possible Conservative leader who could make a dent in Tony Blair's huge majority. Otherwise, either with IDS or someone else, the party is headed for oblivion, which would be no bad thing! One hopes that after the next election, the Lib Dems will be the official party of opposition or in a coalition with Labour.
Mr Evan Parsons, Australia

Hopefully not if the Tories are to become an even half-effective opposition
David Russell, UK
Can IDS survive? Hopefully not if the Tories are to become an even half-effective opposition after the next election (since they're not going to win thanks to those who repeatedly vote Labour despite the fact that a lot of their policies are more right-wing than the Tories and the Lib Dems will do well to even win a few protest votes)
David Russell, UK

IDS calls the 'plotters' cowards but who really is the coward? There is nothing in the rules that prevents him from initiating a confidence vote. He could take a leaf out of John Major's book and call for a vote of confidence in his leadership when he attends the 1922 committee meeting on Wednesday. He won't, of course, because he knows he will lose it.
Peter Haymes, UK

One of his major difficulties is sounding interesting and capturing people's imagination. Tony Blair and Maggie T both had their catchphrases, but all he can do is say 'I simply say this' 20 times in one interview. Perhaps IDS stands for IRRITABLE DULLNESS SYNDROME.
Tim Sowter, England

How can IDS possibly be 'supremely relaxed' about the leadership challenge? The sooner he goes the better. Ken Clark is about the only Tory who won't ruin Britain's relationship with Europe, and he is capable of giving Tony Blair a hard time in the parliamentary debates.
Rob Holman, Chislehurst, Kent, England

Iain is a good and honest man with a hell of a lot more integrity than our Prime Minister but unfortunately he has not got enough charisma to be a party leader in today's political process.
Richard Sumner, Edgbaston, England

IDS is the Frank Spencer of politics
Elizabeth, UK
Over the past few weeks I have listened to IDS, in his party speech he crossed the realms of political decency and called the PM a liar and inferred that Charles Kennedy was an alcoholic. I've heard him ranting and raving in TV interviews threatening to "shoot" the prime minister and "fix" his critics and yesterday I heard him tell people that had the cheek to disagree with him to "push off". This man makes George W Bush look like intellect of the year, IDS is the Frank Spencer of politics.
Elizabeth, UK

In a time of increasing disillusionment with politics, especially amongst the youth, cannot the faceless politicians see that leaking whispers to stir up yet another media frenzy, not only damages the reputation of their party but politics as a whole. It is exactly this sort of bickering that the public are sick of.
IDS does not have the charisma of Blair but the only thing Blair has brought is Hollywood politics which is hypnotically blinding his supporters to the disgraces of the current government on issues of war, excessive taxation and other public service failures.
Spencer, UK

He should go purely because of the dreadful depths he sank to with that conference speech last month. Simply the worst I ever heard from any politician anytime.
Andrew M, UK

IDS should never have been elected leader in the first place. Always looked like a loser and now we know he is. Sooner he quits the better. As to the future Howard or Clark would certainly give Blair a run for his money but don't rule out an outsider such as Francis Maude.
Tony, England

IDS - he is the absolute personification of just how irrelevant the Conservatives have become
Robert Crosby, UK
It strikes me that Duncan Smith is ideally qualified to lead the Tory Party - he is the absolute personification of just how irrelevant the Conservatives have become. Who in their right mind would vote for them (whether led by IDS or any of the other suggested contenders)?
Robert Crosby, Nottingham, UK

How ridiculous! If those, now coming out of the shadows, after the damage is done, think a change is good for the Party at this moment they must be living with their heads stuck in the sand. They want to whinge and moan but where is the positive alternative? My choice from the start of all this (before William Hague) was Michael Portillo, we should never have let him slip away. He has charisma, punch and excellent presentation.
Joyce Thompson, United Kingdom

If the Tory Party had had any brains they wouldn't have elected him in the first place. He's currently the greatest asset Tony Blair's got.
John, UK

A change of leadership at this stage of the party's fortunes is not necessary. They need to find a new Supermac or Ted Heath to be a credible alternative administration. It looks like we might be stuck with Tony Blair for some time yet.
Bill Clarke, U.K.

If IDS resigns, Tony Blair will call an election within the year and then we're guaranteed of another labour victory. So it's about time the Tories realised how lucky they are, shut up and stopped arguing and put all their support behind IDS. He is their only chance right now and the best for a long time, let him get on with his job. Another term of Blair/labour rule will cost this country and ruin it completely - they have to be ousted.
CazM, UK

The Tories are finished as a major political force
Frank, Derry, Northern Ireland
Long may IDS reign. The Tories are finished as a major political force. They have become a ranting narrow minded fringe party who represent a time which is thankfully long gone. What is even more incredulous is that the author of the big idea of the 90s,"The Citizen's Charter", one John Major, believes he is qualified to give advice on leadership and unity. I hope IDS takes his advice which will guarantee Labour at least another two terms in office.
Frank, Derry, Northern Ireland

In this showbiz-obsessed age, it would seem that we are in danger of confusing politicians with every other celebrity, in that they must be photogenic, have a way with the media and be able to act sincere. Can no-one actually listen to what people have to say any more? I have listened to IDS in various interviews and am impressed with the commonsense he speaks. I think it would be as well for the Conservative party if anyone who is actually speaking out against him had the courage to identify themselves and stop the media from whipping themselves into this frenzy which prevents Tory policy actually being reported.
Lesley, England

I am disgusted at the antics of the so called plotters who seek to undermine IDS, too cowardly to do it themselves but encouraging the media with leaks and innuendoes to do the job for them. As a party member I did not vote for IDS but do believe in democracy. I am old enough to remember many prime ministers, not all had charisma but most did a good job and just who is this wonderful leader waiting in the wings and how much support (and respect) can he expect from the rank and file? I assume we will have a say unless the rules are changed! I am also concerned that wealthy donors should be considered so influential although I concede that some were led into calling for a vote of confidence by their interviewers.
Eve, Rugby

He's got to go. At first we thought he might be low on charm, but as an army man he would at least be steady under fire; instead he's incoherent. He deserves as much loyalty as he showed to John Major. On Radio 4 last week Matthew Parris suggested that Alan Clark would be a better leader. He hastily corrected himself just before the pips went: but, despite the handicap of being dead, could Alan Clark do much worse than IDS?
Alex, UK

The problem with the Conservative party is that it is given too much to introspection rather than looking beyond the party to garner support. When Labour came to power in 1997 it was because Tony Blair was able to swing a huge number of voters to Labour who would never have considered voting for Labour before. The Tories must do the same. Personalities DO count in politics and the likes of Letwin, Howard et al will make no difference. A poll for the BBC of cross-party voters on the day after the last election showed Ken Clarke to be the leader most likely to win votes from the undecided and the disaffected.
Paul Regan, Kensington, London

It is so strange to see a party that has ruled for most of the last century based on pragmatic politics slowly strangling itself in an idealistic drift to the right. I look at IDS and see a man so bereft of charisma and apparently so detached from the reality of modern British life that to think I voted for the Conservatives once seems laughable. The rot is much deeper than IDS himself, but change has to start somewhere.
Bill Richmond, UK

Iain Duncan Smith was elected by party members and only them should have the right to get rid of him
Saad, UK
I have recently become a British Citizen and I am looking forward to the next election so that I can exercise my right to vote. However, I am deeply concerned about these businessmen trying to influence the leadership of a political party just because they have money. Iain Duncan Smith was elected by party members and only them should have the right to get rid of him. I think Parties should be funded by the state and not by businessmen trying to influence decision by their chequebooks
Saad, UK

The Tories are still in the "Michael Foot" phase of opposition. An unelectable leader and policies designed to appeal to Tory activists rather than a majority of the electorate. Besides the present Government is the best centre-right administration for a long time. Leave IDS where he is!
Thomas Tierney, UK

The Tory leadership fiasco is a symptom of the profound malaise affecting the Party. This malaise relates to the fact that the Party no longer has any reason for being - if it cannot realign its political outlook and values then its future is bleak. There is nothing guaranteed in politics, and the Tory Party has no inherent right to infinite existence.
Angela Smith, UK

The 'plotters' should either come forward or get out for this long running saga continues to divert attention away from providing a credible alternative to this failing Labour government. Since his election as Leader, IDS has put forward a radical policy agenda which will deliver a fair deal for the British people. Moreover, in stark contrast to Blair, in IDS we have an honest, committed and transparent individual. I therefore urge all fellow Conservative members to unite behind him and get on board to expose the shambolic failures of this incompetent government.
Kabir Sabar, England

It took a while in the Netherlands for the centre right to regain its strength after a huge election defeat. It used the time in opposition to regenerate its ideology and changed its leadership three times in eight years. The Tories are going down that same path. They are regenerating its thinking by moving form Thatcherite conservatism to compassionate conservatism. Now is the time to change the leader. The message and the messenger should be evenly persuasive. IDS cannot do this. Michael Portillo certainly will.
Harry van der Molen, The Netherlands

The Tories need a leader for the future not one from the past. They need to come up with serious believable policies not the gimmicky populism of their recent ones on student fees and restoring the link between earnings and pensions. The other thing they need to do is be seen as the party of change not the one of an establishment who doesn't want to change. Britain needs a strong opposition so Tory Party: kick IDS out and get your act together.
Andy Davies, UK

I think that keeping IDS as leader of the Tories has become a matter about the survival of democracy. He was elected by a huge majority for better or worse. The fact that millionaire donors are threatening to oust him should be of concern to all democratic minded people.
Michael, UK

Hopefully into the dustbin of history - where the Conservative Party belongs. No matter how disappointed you may with Blair, never let us forget what the Tories did to this country.
William Burgeson, UK

I disagree with William Burgeson. Apart from their policy on railways which was catastrophic,the Tories under Thatcher kick-started the moping,economically failing society that was Britain under Labour in the late 70's into a more individualistic, dynamic society with the correct balance between management and unions.It learnt lessons and took corrective action which Germany and France ignored and which only now have recognised the need to emulate.The Tory party will be back eventually,once they have the right leader.If this was the US, IDS would not have got beyond the back office, let alone become the figurehead of his party.Once the shires wake up and recognise this and appoint a charismtic and one-nation leader, I predict they will have Labour on the ropes soon after.
Graham, UK

Forget about changing leaders and develop some policies instead. The Tory policy on Higher Education and Pensions is what I'd vote for and from what I can see they have made the first real effort to renew their thinking in at least 15 years. Stick with IDS - at least he's got down to work and not wasted his time since being elected
James Rae, England

This is reminiscent of the Labour party of the eighties under Kinnock
Francis O'Shaughnessy, UK
The Tory party is simply overdue a fallow period, much like the Labour party experienced in the eighties. Political parties are oddly organic in nature; they require rest in order to regenerate. Failing this, a little blood-letting is sometimes required to pep them up. Again this is reminiscent of the Labour party of the eighties under Kinnock. It healed itself before turning its thoughts to government. The Tories need surgery and a week in bed.
Francis O'Shaughnessy, UK

Why does the Conservative party choose to ignore the media's love affair with real characters such as Ken Clarke and Boris Johnson? If charisma and column inches hold the key to power, they must surely be a better prospect than IDS, if only for entertainment value alone!
Sophie, UK

The problem is British politics have changed, the Conservative Party has not kept up. New Labour has staked out the centre-right. The Lib Dems. have the centre-Left. The Conservatives have become a far-right fringe party whose more moderate (and hence electable) members are relegated to the back-benches. The sooner the Conservatives are consigned to history and the Lib Dems. take up the challenge as the official opposition the better for British democracy.
C Wright, UK

What about inviting Arnie to lead?
Frank, Scotland

Opposition leader is a job sent from heaven right now
Riddler, England
Opposition leader is a job sent from heaven right now. The government is failing on all counts and if not fit to oppose such a farcical regime there is little hope. The only trouble is that there is not one conservative who is even capable of organising a bunk bed in a brothel at the moment. Bring back Lord Palmerston
Riddler, England

Unfortunately, for the conservative party, it represents traditional values together with a section of society which is gradually dying out. Meanwhile British and, indeed, western society is changing so fast, with a declining trust in anything which represents 'the establishment', that the party no longer has any clear identity which is relevant to peoples' misgivings about the other political parties. It's all rather bleak - not just for IDS but for the party as a whole who must surely take some corporate responsibility for the wrangling mess they're in.
Peter Barraclough, England

Go on, ask the real question. What now for the democratic process in a one party state?!
Graham, UK

As a member of the Party, I am horrified that the Conservatives are turning against Mr Duncan-Smith, who in my opinion is a great leader. How can a leader function when those behind him are out with the knives? Support Mr Duncan-Smith and we'll be victorious.
Samuel Greenhill, UK

If electoral appeal was dynamite, Iain Duncan Smith wouldn't have enough to blow his nose
George Hughes, Cambridge
If electoral appeal was dynamite, Iain Duncan Smith wouldn't have enough to blow his nose. It is absolutely essential for the Conservative Party to elect a leader with voter appeal if they are to confront Labour successfully at the next election. It worries me that they may select a new leader from the same box of duds as before, if they do, they are destined to wander in the political wilderness for a lot longer yet.
George Hughes, Cambridge, England

Where is the substance in all this? Surely it's a simple issue that if the Tory party want to replace IDS then the plotters get the required number of letters and hand them to Spicer. But no letters have been put forward and I'm starting to wonder how much of this is down to the news making the news to fill web pages and air time.
Dan, UK

The Tories have got great new policies but they haven't got the "face" to launch them. When are they going to realize that image is important to the masses? They need someone who is attractive, has sex appeal and knows how to deliver a line. There are plenty of brainy people to do the real work and provide the lines. Michael Portillo gets my vote with Boris Johnson a close second. Ken Clarke? He dresses and looks as if he stuck in a 50's time warp. Michael Howard is yesterday's man and David Davis hasn't the charisma.
Msmo, UK

The party needs to stop this infighting as it could prove potentially disastrous
David C, UK
Labour are in their worse state for years. The Tories need to take advantage of this. Who would actually replace IDS anyway? Michael Portillo is the only viable option but he does not want the job, or does he? The party needs to stop this infighting as it could prove potentially disastrous.
David C, UK

The Tories are in much the same position now as Labour was in the early 1980s - unelectable and more intent on internal squabbling than on being any serious challenge to the government. Surely no one, not even IDS or William Hague (remember him?), expected either of these colourless politicians to lead a party to election victory. I think that they will have a long road back to recovery and it will take more than another change of leadership to achieve that.
Derek, U.K.

Why do people keep blaming the Labour party because the Tories are making such a hash of being in opposition? Blair seems to be taking the blame for everything lately, but this is just ridiculous. Blair hasn't disappointed me and the government have actually done a lot of good and positive things, perhaps people know this deep down and it is really this fact that is making things so difficult for IDS and frustrating his opponents causing the in-fighting that is synonymous with the Conservative party? Admit it the Tories are old fashioned, insensitive, incompetent and in trying to tell people they can have tax cuts AND improved services, they are barking mad. Sigh-nothing changes, certainly not the Tories apparently.
Lyn, UK

The Conservative party is finished. It is not so much divided as severed and adrift. They are split over everything from their choice of leader, to Europe, to having tax cuts. The truth is that the Conservatives do not have anyone of any calibre to lead them. All their old faces are synonymous with Tory sleaze and their new faces and nondescript, weak and ineffective. No one I know actually trusts the Conservatives they remember what they done to this country.

How can IDS want to lead this country when under the first signs of pressure he cracks and starts threatening court action, issuing ultimatums to his warring factions and threatening to shoot the prime minister and fight others who say anything about Betsy? The Conservatives are going nowhere, either with or without IDS as their leader.
Lucy, UK

Like many disaffected Conservatives, I voted for New Labour because I couldn't stand the sleaze, hypocrisy and arrogance of the old Tories. What we need now is not Portillo, or any of the old and still despised lot, but fresh faces and - get this - some POLICIES! Preferably right wing - not middle ground, or politically correct, but radical. Policies on education, law and order, immigration, state handouts, Europe, tax. Who dares?
Sue, UK

Fighting and bickering merely adds to the contempt for the weakest opposition in half a century
Terry Killeavy, England
The Tories best chance of re-igniting the fire of office, went out of the window, when the party failed to see the magnitude of the difference between Ken Clarke and IDS. Since that day anonymity has reigned and will be hard to reverse. Fighting and bickering merely adds to the contempt for the weakest opposition in half a century. The British public deserve at least a decent fight for government. The Lib Dems now have the best chance ever of closing this two party system gap.
Terry Killeavy, England

Two words: Boris Johnson
Trem, UK

What the Tories need to remember is that the whole point of a political party is that it is a grouping of people with broadly similar views. This phrase however would not describe this party.
The only reason they are still in existence is that none of them have got the guts to break things up and set up several smaller parties that are clear about what they represent.
The SDP did it and the Lib Dems are now a major force in UK politics. Has no one in the Conservative party got the guts to do the same thing?
Richard Hodson, UK

IDS is an ineffective leader. 'The Quiet man' isn't what the Tories need to lead the Party or win an Election. They need to find a more effective leader soon or they will continue to wallow in the doldrums.
Austin Walker, Northern Ireland

Michael Portillo where is he in our time of need? Whatever his long term political plans are, he should FORGET them. Democracy needs him now. The Tories must fight fire with fire for a balance that will stop the Blair/Brown team taking us into the uncharted waters of a dictatorship. Although I have right of centre views, I was glad to see an end to three terms of Tories. It is politically unhealthy to have a party in power for so long and I do not want to see Labour win its third term. Portillo should pluck up courage and challenge I.D.S. for leadership. It will make Britain a better place.
Alastair. UK

People keep saying that IDS is a "principled man". Where is the evidence for this? What exactly does he stand for? Why does he relegate the more talented Conservatives to the back benches? The only time IDS displays leadership qualities is in defending his own position. If he really was a principled man, he would do the decent thing for his party and stand down.
Brendan Fernandes, UK

The fundamental problem with the Conservative party is that it has almost become two different parties working along completely different lines
W Foster, UK
The fundamental problem with the Conservative party is that it has almost become two different parties working along completely different lines and opposing the other half on most of the issues in question; the most prominent of these being the issue of 'Europe'. A similar situation is to be found in the Labour party, where dissenters and rebels abound. The difference is however, that Labour MPs want their party to remain in power and when it comes to the crunch will stand by their leader. The leader himself is charismatic, enthusiastic and able to offer strong leadership. Unless the Tories manage to obtain these two basic attributes of the present Labour party, they will remain out in the 'political cold' indefinitely.
W Foster, UK

The problem with getting rid of IDS is I cannot see who would take his place. British politics has changed so much since Tony Blair re-wrote the rules when he became leader of the Labour Party. The problem is that the Tories seem to have a copy of the old rule book, and can't seem to understand why the old digs now seem so childish!
Joe O'Hara, Scotland

Leading the Conservative party is hardest job in the world today. The Labour party has moved so far to the right the Conservative party has become obsolete.
Geoff Payne, UK

It is not IDS who will lose the next election for the Tories, it is the faceless malcontents, who have not the courage to stand up and be counted. The electorate is quite capable of understanding that the Conservative Party is totally unelectable and will remain so as long as these cowards are allowed to continue. Throw them out IaIn, you don't need them. The defeat of this devisive and destructive government is of the highest importance, so remember your training, 'maintenance of the aim' and 'situation friendly forces', this should lead you to a plan!
Terry, England

Unfortunately since the demise of Thatcher the Tories have been ineffectual and leaderless - unless they choose someone that the electorate not the party believe in then they will wallow in the shadows! Personally the Labour party in just the Tories in another guise.
Nick S, UK

The Tories should get rid of IDS and try and find someone who has charisma and knows where he wants to take the party. Ken Clarke, Michael Portillo and David Davis are all excellent candidates. The country needs to be saved from Blair and his cronies who are bent on turning the Houses of Parliament into a local council by the EU. This is an awful government that needs to go and the Tories need to find a modern day Mrs Thatcher to save Britain.
Andrew Topham, England

The country needs the opposition to pull together and stop these school boy antics
Nigel, UK
It's about time the Conservatives stopped squabbling and get on with it. The country needs the opposition to pull together and challenge the government and stop these school boy antics.
Nigel, UK

Nick from the UK suggests IDS is principled. I don't think so. He was one of the plotters-in-chief against John Major's leadership. The expression "Live by the sword, die by the sword" comes to mind.
Rupert Langham, UK

IDS hold your nerve, Tony Blair hasn't got out of the muddy waters yet, the best has yet to come. I think it's called the Hutton Inquiry!
Rob Halse, UK

Stick with it IDS, your country needs you.
Graham Shelton, England

The conservatives need a political celebrity to have any chance of winning the next election. I think the closest they have is Portillo who has become more approachable over the last few years. The problem is that the Conservatives are so divided that whoever takes the reigns from IDS will suffer the same lack of support. For this reason Portillo is wise not to throw his hat into the ring - the Conservatives are not ready for him yet. I foresee turmoil within the Conservatives for at least another five to ten years, and then we'll see.
Sean B, UK

On the last two occasions that the Conservative Party have chosen a leader they didn't vote for, they voted for "anyone but Kenneth Clarke", and each time that's exactly what they got.
It'll be exactly what they get next time too, and every time until they stop looking in at the party and start looking out at the electorate.
Ian, UK

I think the next step for the Conservative party should be to realise that no matter how much people may by unhappy with Labour we're still never going to vote for them again. It is my hope to never see another Conservative party government in my life time. To that end I think they should keep Mr Duncan Smith in charge as he helps to keep the part unelectable and far enough away that it cannot cause any further damage to this country.
Steve Mortimer, UK

IDS must go, and a Tony-Blair-Style alternative must be found
Chris, UK
Tony Blair and his New Labour revolution changed the face of British politics. He introduced a semi-American style of politics (in opposition), with lots of glitz, sound-bites and charisma. This had much to do with Labour's landslide victory in '97. The Tories have made an effort to take much of this on board, but one major mistake has been made - they elected the world's dullest man as their leader!
IDS must go, and a Tony-Blair-Style alternative must be found. Otherwise 'New' Labour will stay in power past the next election.
Chris, UK

Seeing as the Labour party has abandoned its principles and is now pushing through right wing policies which the even the last Tory government wouldn't have got away with, why don't the Tories go left-wing and cosy up to the unions thereby stealing the 'traditional' labour voters!
Brian, Scotland

In this day and age of Labour and Conservative party's being so close on many issues, you need someone with passion and charisma, sadly IDS is seen lacking in both of these areas.
The Tories need a Eurosceptic Ken Clarke to revive their fortunes.
Phil, United Kingdom

The truth is that before the disloyal left restarted their quest for power, the Tories under IDS were climbing in the polls and had launched policy that was being supported both inside and outside the party. Furthermore, IDS has improved in every area he has been criticised - his performance at PMQs is better, his public speaking is better, he has developed good policy and has succeeded in turning the party away from its obsession with Europe and onto the Public agenda - which is what he said was his first aim.
The next step for IDS should be forwards towards Government.
Martin Curtis, England

Where next for the Tories?
Oblivion, where else!
Richard P, UK

I'm not 100% sure of where they're going, but it's clear they haven't got a paddle.
Pete Hazell, UK

I see no light at the end of this tunnel
Mark Parker, England
I was a Conservative until 1997, but since then I've been completely uninspired by the party. They keep missing wide open goals. They've let Labour get away with massive incompetence without landing a blow on them: the foot-and-mouth slaughter, aerial bombardment of Yugoslavia, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - all should have been vigorously opposed. The soaring tax bill and the proposed Euro-constitution need active opposition now! Instead the Tories squabble among themselves and IDS dithers and prevaricates. Hague was better, and proved it in the manner of his departure. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be anyone to take IDS's place. Portillo is the only halfway decent prospect, but he carries a lot of baggage these days and many people find him a turn off. I see no light at the end of this tunnel.
Mark Parker, England

Seek out the trouble makers within the party, and get rid of them as not fit to be members, no matter who they are. Back IDS or go. These people are destroying the Tory party. IDS warned of this but he is being ignored, unless these people are stopped the Tory party as we know it will die, and very soon. IDS, other than William Hague is the right man for the job, for goodness sake let him get on with it.
Roy, UK

Who would replace him? William Hague won't return to that role, Ken Clarke won't get the support of the Eurosceptics and Michael Howard won't get the support of anyone! The Tories are stuck with IDS and the rest of us can look forward to a third Labour term in government!
Andy, Southampton, UK

If Michael Portillo could be persuaded to stand, the party would have a chance at the next election. If the choice is Michael Howard and similar, we may as well stick with the one we've got. It is united leadership that counts, not the personality of the leader. If a leadership election is the only way to achieve this, so be it.
Frank, UK

The Conservative Party is a great institution of British political life that has fallen into disrepute. The party desperately needs a person of gravitas, charisma and great flair to blow Blair and his confused policies out of the water. The party must ask itself - does IDS fit that description?
Petr, Czech Republic

Iain Duncan Smith is a weak leader, even if he is a principled man. The Tories need a strong leader who might have a slightly more flamboyant past. They need colour, vibrancy and wit. They are a weak opposition to a strong government, and so a danger to us all. They must wake up.
Nick, UK




RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific