Nothing has been normal since the fall of Boris Johnson. While the 11 candidates prepared to compete for the leadership of the British Conservatives were already beginning to skin each other even before the official campaign began – wild dossiers, accusations of spreading informative rubbish… -, the party accelerated the decision to toughen the rules to appear at the primaries. If in 2019 8 endorsements from fellow deputies were enough to enter the first vote, the 1922 Committee (the body that brings together deputies Tories without a position in the Government, in charge of organizing the primary process and election of the new leader) has decided this Monday to considerably raise the bar: without the support of 20 conservative parliamentarians, no one will be able to compete.
“From the first ballot, any candidate who does not exceed 30 votes will be ruled out,” explained Graham Brady, the committee’s chairman. “We want a smooth, clean and fast process that offers enough time for affiliates to meet the two final candidates,” he assured before the Westminster Parliament, when the change in rules has finally been decided. In 2019, when the primary process was held after the resignation of the then Prime Minister, Theresa May, the support required to overcome the first vote was 17. The threshold of 30 makes the bet very difficult for some of the candidates less popular.
The final applications, with their number of endorsements, must be submitted this Tuesday. It will be known then who will reach the first vote. On Wednesday, deputies will be summoned to the polls. The procedure works by default. In the first round, the new threshold of 30 votes must be exceeded. In the following ones, the rival with the fewest votes will be eliminated. On Thursday there will also be a vote, and next Monday. It is possible that, by then, the two candidates who remain standing for the second phase will already be known.
Throughout the summer, they will have the opportunity to celebrate all the hustings (meetings with party members, and also with voters, in British political parlance). Brady has promised that the name of the winner will be made public on September 5, right at the beginning of the new session of Parliament after the summer.
With a country suffering from galloping inflation ―the worst of the entire group of G-7 nations―, standing at 9.1% in May, and with the prospect of a recession at the end of the year, as announced by the Bank In England, the Conservatives want Boris Johnson’s time at the helm of Downing Street as caretaker prime minister to be as short as possible. Johnson himself, who claims to be committed to carrying out a mere function of custodian of institutional stability, did not want to show his support for any of the candidates on Monday. “I would not like to harm anyone’s opportunities by offering my support,” Johnson acknowledged, aware despite himself that he has become toxic material for much of the Conservative Party.
can only be two
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By mid-afternoon this Monday, only 2 of the 11 applicants ―a data that is not definitive, but which indicates the trend of the competition—had already reached the threshold of 20 supports. At least half of the parliamentary group has not yet ruled on who they are leaning towards, with which it is very possible that this Tuesday the fate of some more of the candidates who today are far from having a chance of entering the election will change. race.
Former Economy Minister Rishi Sunak, the clear favorite, according to the polls, and the first to launch his candidacy, had 38 endorsements. Secretary of State for Trade, Penny Mordaunt, hugely popular with members of the Conservative Party, was 21. They were followed by the chairman of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, with 19; Foreign Minister Liz Truss with 15; They were tied with 13 endorsements each by former Health Minister and Johnson’s former rival in the 2019 primaries, Jeremy Hunt, current Finance Minister Nadhim Zahawi, and Kemi Badenoch. The latter, the Secretary of State for Local Government, Neighborhoods and Religious Affairs, of Nigerian parents, has been one of the surprises of the competition, with more than considerable support.
The state attorney general, Suella Braverman, who has the support of relevant deputies from the group of eurosceptics, has 11 endorsements. The former Minister of Health Sajid Javid, the first to resign from the Johnson Government and accelerate the crisis that ended with his resignation last Thursday, has 10 supports. The Minister of Transport, Grant Shapps, has 7. Finally, the Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, who has not yet made her candidacy official, but has given hints of wanting to compete, would already have 9 deputies committed to the cause of she. If she were to jump into the pool, this leader, who has made a name for herself as tough on her immigration policy, could garner a lot of support among staunch Brexiteers.