15 MARCH 1963, Page 7

Question of Form

However strongly one may suspect that Mr. Macmillan will be with us for some time yet, the candidature for the Tory succession is open enough to attract the interest of the pollsters. Supporters of Mr. Heath must feel encouraged by the results which show him leading by 1 per cent. over Mr. Butler—a lead which is increased to 6 per cent. if Tory voters alone are taken into the count. If this trend continues, it must inevit- ably influence opinion within the party, which will naturally be on the look-out for a leader who is a vote-getter. Were Mr. Macmillan to do what rumour has it he intends, and make Mr. Heath his Foreign Secretary, this would be widely taken as indicating that his own mind is made up on the question. However, there's many a slip, etc., and no doubt there will be plenty of cutting and thrusting before the thing is finally decided. Mr. Heath must also expect that certain opponents of the European connection will not hesitate to play it very tough indeed against him.