Hours after Liz Truss announced her resignation on Thursday (20), the race for her seat had already started behind the scenes of her Conservative Party – as well as the betting at specialty houses.
According to them, the current leader of the dispute is Rishi Sunak, who commanded the finance portfolio under Boris Johnson and had been defeated by Truss in the last indirect elections.
It is the second place in the contest, however, that draws the most attention — Boris in person, who, some say, can lead a triumphant return to office after being defenestrated even by former allies three months ago.
Lastly, comes Penny Modaunt, defense minister under Theresa May and popular with members of the legend. Other speculations include Suella Braverman, Truss’s head of the Interior Ministry whose resignation as interior minister precipitated the prime minister’s downfall.
None of the politicians formally declared their candidacy.
Conservative Party leadership aspirants must submit their names to the 1922 Committee, the group that organizes the internal dispute, by next Monday (24). To be accepted, they must receive the support of at least 100 members of the acronym – and each of them can only endorse one leader.
As the legend has 357 seats, only three names have a chance of advancing to the vote. In this case, the least voted of the trio is eliminated, and the remaining duo goes through another contest.
In the following days, the decision passes to the approximately 200 thousand members of the party, who will be able to vote on the internet until the following Friday (28). It is then that the result will be announced.
There is, however, the possibility that only one candidate will reach the support of 100 parliamentarians. This will then be declared the new leader of the Conservatives and, consequently, the new prime minister in the second.
Find below the main candidates for Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Apparently, it was not for nothing that the former British prime minister ended his farewell speech to Parliament with the phrase “hasta la vista, baby” — taken from the blockbuster “Terminator 2”. But Boris may struggle to get the 100 votes needed for his candidacy after three in power were tainted by scandals.
Today, his name seems to divide the party. Some say he is unlikely to reach the endorsement goal, having alienated dozens of allies over the course of his tenure. But others argue that the leader may be the conservatives’ best bet to calm the population and the market at a time of energy crisis and rising cost of living, consequences of the Ukrainian War.
This was the case with the current Defense Minister, Ben Wallace. It was speculated that the former soldier would test his chances in the election, having emerged with his credibility intact from the recent turmoil in the party. But he, who has spearheaded the country’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said he would prefer to remain in charge of his portfolio, saying he was concerned about public opinion at the pace of succession in the leadership.
Another current minister to defend Boris was Business, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who even launched a hashtag on Twitter, “#Borisorbust” (Boris or failure), to mark his position.
The former financial analyst can say “I told you so” to the risks of Liz Truss’s daring economic plan of tax cuts and new bailouts – which sent a shockwave like few others in the market and ultimately led to the prime minister’s downfall. .
Appointed finance minister at the time the coronavirus hit Europe in February 2020, he was lauded for the rescue package he launched to combat the pandemic crisis.
But his name remains unpopular with some MPs for his role in the rebellion against Boris. His departure from the financial portfolio was one of the first in a series of layoffs that forced the then prime minister to step down.
Current government leader in the Legislature, she stood out as Secretary of Defense under Theresa May in 2019 and even competed against Liz Truss and Sunak for leadership of the party in the last indirect elections.
His name has the advantage of not having been tarnished by scandals from previous administrations. But she is also a rookie and so far has not been able to outrun Boris and Sunak at the bookmakers.
A representative of the most right wing of the party, defending anti-immigration agendas, for example, she resigned as head of the Interior portfolio the day before Truss’ fall.
Even so, his participation in the former prime minister’s government may have burned his credentials with the acronym, and his chances in the election seem limited according to analysts.