In my opinion he is probably the most erudite politician of his (my) generation - but.. he can potentially be a bit of a liability.
This video shows him referring to Enoch Powell as one of his political influences.
To a large of proportion of the electorate, the name Enoch Powell is associated with racism - 'Rivers of Blood'. So when Dan Hannan, as a Conservative, says such things, he drags into people's conciousness, one of the uncertainties that the voting public have about the Conservative party.
No doubt Dan revels in the controversy.
Perhaps it is deliberate. Perhaps his comments about the NHS a few weeks ago were designed to get people like Prescott hopping about and generating lots of publicity - which then turns people's attention towards Dan and he then has the opportunity to start arguing his case in more depth about the issues that he chooses to take on. In so doing perhaps he gets the chance to start making people really question if 'sacred cows' such as the NHS can continue as they are.
I guess many people, and in particular many Conservatives, will criticise Dan. But personally, on balance, I think his contoversial approach works. It creates attention, not for the sake of it, but to enable him to make a worthwhile and relatively complex argument that challenges some staid, conventional thinking that is long overdue some challenging.
It's what we need. He is a politician who speaks plainly, assembles his arguments logically and has an outstanding command of language.
Keep up the good work Dan!