As a non conservative I think Rory Stewart comes across sensible middle of the road a good talker and it would appear a good listener too. Brexit aside he seems to have some decent ideas on housing and other stuff too so if i was one of the 100k members then that's who i would vote for. I assume that means he has zero chance.
Just the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.