On the 7th of July Boris Johnson resigned. Conservative MPs are currently selecting their next leader. There were eleven, now there are three. They will be whittled down to two by MPs and be put to the membership. Felix Hawes talks us through what Conservative MPs and members may be thinking as they choose a new leader.
The MPs’ current favourite is Rishi Sunak, who was Boris Johnson’s Chancellor of the Exchequer until he resigned in the week that brought down the former ‘Teflon’ Prime Minister.
In the Sunday ITV debate, Sunak labelled Truss’ plans and said that Mordaunt’s borrowing plans were more extreme than . Sunak meanwhile claims that he will run the country like Truss, also has attempted to replicate Thatcher in look and style.
Is it possible that [the Conservative Party’s] coalition of voters […] in 2019 is at risk of breaking down?
Thatcher ceased to be the leader of the Conservative Party in 1990, yet her political vision still dominates. However a replication of her ‘small state’ approach is unlikely to appeal to the new working-class voter base of the Conservative Party, commonly referred to as the . On the other hand is unlikely to appeal to the more socially liberal Conservative suburban seats, now referred to as the .
Is it possible that the coalition of voters that bought the Conservatives their largest majority in 32 years in 2019 is at risk of breaking down?
If the Conservatives retain their […] strategy, they can gain further seats in the Red Wall
It seems likely, yet there is still potential that the Conservatives could win a fifth term, which would be historic for any party. There are many similarities with the the last time the Conservatives were in their fourth term. The Conservatives are also . But they are not facing Blair. Starmer’s approval ratings hover . At a comparable time, Blair was approved of by
If the Conservatives retain their socially conservative but economically interventionalist strategy, they can gain
Rishi Sunak is potentially the best at the ‘levelling up’
Can any of the remaining candidates achieve this? Rishi Sunak is potentially the best at the ‘levelling up’ as he is the only candidate standing on But with his wife’s non-dom status, his green card and his phenomenal wealth he may struggle to appeal to working-class voters. poll showed that 36% of the population thought being much wealthier was a sign someone would not make a good Prime Minister.
Perhaps this is the Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party was referring to when she said on LBC that she was glad that Johnson had resigned as he was able to win over voters that any of the candidates vying to replace him may not be able to reach. Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell also said in an interview with ‘The House’ that “Boris […] was able to reach parts of the country that other Conservatives haven’t and won’t be able to reach.”
The battle for who goes against Sunak is important because they are likely to win the leadership election
However, Johnson could not carry on. Although Corbyn had resignations and and endured a but still carried on, the same can not be done by the party in government. Johnson’s and the stories following him showed no signs of ending, least of all that he is
In their backing for Truss, Rees-Mogg and Dorries stated that she was a supporter of Brexit than they were. This is odd when Truss campaigned for and and campaigned for leave. It is also odd that Truss is seen by them as the ‘Boris continuity candidate’.
Sunak, who was instrumental in furlough and record-breaking NHS spending, is the Johnson continuity candidate
She is a , . Johnson is not really anything; he is a vacuum, anyone can state he is whatever they want him to be (potentially how he is able to win elections so well), but the 2019 Johnson was a big state, Prime Minister. If anything, Sunak, who was instrumental in furlough , is the Johnson continuity candidate, despite the fact that
Another thing to note is the historic nature of the diversity of this competition. It is the case that the next leader of the Conservative Party will be a Prime Minister of ethnic minority or Britain’s third female Prime Minister. .
As we are not the USA, a new Prime Minister does not equal a new President and thus there is no such thing as a personal mandate that requires an election. To see how long the new Prime Minister will remain in office we may have to wait until we hear from the people in 2024.
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