Stylistics - Comparison between Guardian and the Sun
IDS becomes his-Tory
By SUN ONLINE REPORTER
IAIN DUNCAN Smith was tonight ousted as leader of the Conservative Party. He failed to win the required support of the majority of the 165 MPs who took part in this afternoon's secret ballot at Westminster.
After weeks of fevered speculation about his future the result, when it was announced at 7pm tonight, came as little surprise.
However, it was closer than many pundits had predicted with 75 MPs pledging their support and 90 saying they had no confidence in IDS - effectively meaning the outcome was decided by just eight people.
Afterwards, speaking on the steps of Conservative Central Office Mr Duncan Smith said it had been an "immense honour" to lead the party.
And he pledged to back his sucessor, whoever it might be, saying: "I will give that leader my absolute loyalty and support."
Now the Tories must elect their third party leader in six years - with shadow chancellor Michael Howard looking the early front-runner for the job. Howard quickly announced he would seek the leadership, while heavyweights David Davis, the shadow deputy prime minister, and shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin said they will not stand - instead choosing to back Howard.
Reports filtered out of Westminster last night that two possible 'wildcard' candidates - shadow trade supremo Tim Yeo and shadow foreign minister Michael Ancram - will not stand either.
This morning IDS had pleaded with his MPs to end a decade of bitterness and division and endorse his leadership.
He told them there was no "white knight" who could come charging to the rescue and win the next General Election.
In a 20-minute address to the Tory backbench 1922 committee, Mr Duncan Smith admitted he had made mistakes - but said any new leader would have to go through the same learning curve.
And he told them: "We must end the bitterness that has tarnished
our party, not just for two years but for the last 10 years."
But his plea fell on deaf ears - and now the race to choose his successor begins in earnest.
IDS loses confidence vote
· Vote: 75 for, 90 against
· Michael Howard to stand
· Davis and Letwin to support Howard
Matthew Tempest, political correspondent
Wednesday October 29, 2003
Iain Duncan Smith tonight lost the confidence vote on his leadership, forcing him out of office barely two years after he took over from William Hague.
The result - made public at 7pm - gave Mr Duncan Smith 75 votes, to 90 votes against, thrusting the Conservative party into its fourth leadership election in eight years. The turnout was 100%. In a rapid sequence of events, Michael Howard, the shadow chancellor announced he would stand - and David Davis, thought to be his chief rival, threw his weight behind the man who must now be an almost dead-cert. Mr Howard also has the backing of shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin and shadow health secretary Liam Fox. Mr Duncan Smith, the self-proclaimed "quiet man" of British politics, will now be forced to watch from the sidelines as former frontbench colleagues compete to replace him - with probably only 18 months to go to the general election he will now never fight. Making a short statement outside Conservative central office, accompanied by his wife Betsy, Mr Duncan Smith said he would give the next Tory leader his full loyalty, but will not make public who his favoured candidate is. Flanked by the entire shadow cabinet team, Mr Duncan Smith told reporters: "The parliamentary party has spoken and I will stand down as leader when a successor has been chosen."
"I will give that leader my absolute loyalty and support."
Forty-five minutes after Mr Duncan Smith's emotional farewell, Mr Davis made a short statement outside the Commons. He claimed he had enough support "to make me think I could win", but would be "stepping aside" for Mr Howard in order to maintain party unity. That makes it less of a political contest and more of a coronation - and puts some moral pressure on another possible candidate, Michael Ancram, not to stand. The act of political regicide gives rivals until November 6 to announce their candidacies, and the first ballot will be on November 11. The closeness of vote allows him to leaves with some dignity intact. Two years ago, when he competed in his successful leadership bid, he scored 39 votes, then built to 54 in the final ballot. Tonight's vote followed a hectic final day, which saw Mr Duncan Smith speak to his parliamentary party at the 1922 committee, tackle Tony Blair at PMQs, and give a gruelling series of interviews on TV and radio this morning. Mr Duncan Smith this afternoon arrived at his make-or-break 1922 committee hearing claiming to be confident and relishing a "gladiatorial" conflict ahead of tonight's confidence vote in his leadership. The Conservative leader then attempted to cajole his 164 fellow Tory MPs to back him before voting opened at 3.30pm. Arriving at the meeting, Mr Duncan Smith told reporters: "Confident? I have never been anything else.
It's like a sort of gladiatorial thing, isn't it?"
At lunchtime the Tory chief - in what proved to be his last prime minister's questions as leader - attacked the government over crime and Europe, two key Tory touchstones. With the hours ticking down to his vote of confidence, Mr Duncan Smith played it safe with a demand for a referendum on the EU constitution. He was cheered by his own backbenchers, however, Mr Duncan Smith failed to land a real blow on the prime minister in what was a competent though hardly rousing performance. This morning he took to the airwaves in a frantic last-minute bid to shore up his support ahead of tonight's vote. The embattled Conservative leader gave interviews to GMTV, BBC Breakfast and the Radio 4 Today programme at the start of a gruelling day which most predicted would end in his resignation. This morning Mr Duncan Smith was defiant, insisting that even a one-vote majority would be enough to save his skin. But the Conservative leader did begin publicly speculating about what would happen if he loses his job in today's vote. "Of course, I contemplate what happens next and the answer is, I get on with my life if I don't succeed," he told GMTV. The Tory leader's last-ditch line of defence was that a contest for the party would be disastrous - taking months while the government flounders over the Hutton report, foundation hospitals and the Queen's speech. "We have the opportunity to decide whether or not we want to plunge the party into internal warfare while this government gets away with absolute murder," Mr Duncan Smith told BBC Breakfast.