4 Nov 2003
United Tories look like winners
On the Tory leadership, your postbag consensus [letters, 1 November] is that the change of leader will not be sufficient to win the next general election. However as the recent "shock and awe" leadership campaign has demonstrated, the ruthless professionalism of the Tories still operates when the men in suits take charge - and this ability to organise, whilst not a sufficient condition to win, is a necessary one.
Divided parties don't win elections either. The Tories have clearly addressed the further necessary condition: party unity. They are choosing an able leader who is the least unpopular amongst their own ranks and one who has the clearest open record of party loyalty.
Governments lose elections; opposition parties don't necessarily win them. The most vocal opposition to Labour, on both its domestic and foreign policy, has come from the within the Labour party itself. despite being competent at government, its popularity has tumbled.
These three necessary conditions - a professional Tory party, a united Tory party, and a divided Labour party - represent an overall sufficient condition for a convincing Tory party victory at the next general election.