These are three quotes about Ralph. The first is from Chapter One:
This toy of voting was almost as pleasing as the conch. Jack started to protest but the clamor changed from the general wish for a chief to an election by acclaim of Ralph himself. None of the boys could have found good reason for this; what intelligence had been shown was traceable to Piggy while the most obvious leader was Jack. But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch. The being that had blown that, had sat waiting for them on the platform with the delicate thing balanced on his knees, was set apart.
This quote is interesting, as it lays out the reasons why the boys would vote for Ralph over Piggy or Jack. Piggy certainly has the brains for the job, and all the best ideas on the island are often traced back to him; however, he lacks the appearance and the charisma, and most of the boys see him as a joke. Jack has the charisma and the experience, having been the head boy in his choir and being used to bossing around his fellow singers. Ralph’s distinguishing feature is essentially his maturity. He’s not reaching for authority or getting overly excited in the way that Jack is, so he reminds the young boys of the adults which had previously been in charge of them. Ralph is nearly unanimously voted in.
Ralph shaded his eyes and followed the jagged outline of the crags up toward the mountain. This part of the beach was nearer the mountain than any other that they had seen. ‘We’ll try climbing the mountain from here,’ he said. ‘I should think this is the easiest way. There’s less of that jungly stuff, and more pink rock. Come on.'
In this opening chapter, Ralph has an easy-going leadership style, and seems to naturally have an idea of where to lead and how to do it. Simon and Jack follow him easily up the mountain as they explore the area and get a sense of their surroundings. Ralph is a good leader here, not only because the boys trust in him at this moment, but because he explores the dangers of the island himself, rather than sending a delegation. Ralph shows time and again that he leads by example, as he will also be one of the main participants in building the shelters and organizing the camp.
From Chapter Five:
The time had come for the assembly and as he walked into the concealing splendors of the sunlight he went carefully over the points of his speech. There must be no mistake about this assembly, no chasing imaginary…
He lost himself in a maze of thoughts that were rendered vague by his lack of words to express them. Frowning, he tried again.
This meeting must not be fun, but business.
Ralph, thinking to himself before he meets with the boys to reprimand their lack of discipline around camp, considers the seriousness of his position and their situation. He is one of the few boys who understands the importance of these meetings, while everyone else now sees them as a joke. This is why Ralph is the leader the boys need, but unfortunately, starting from this chapter, he is not the one they choose to follow.