In trying to create a strong Conservative government Theresa May lost a Tory majority in parliament last week, leaving the country without a majority party in power. Although the PM managed to cling on to her job, with every hour that passes it becomes more apparent that her days in number 10 are few. The question many are asking is ‘What happens when May inevitably resigns’? Well, whilst Corbyn does a victory lap around the country thinking he’s won the election (despite losing by 56 seats) The Conservatives (yes, the party that the people actually voted for) begin looking for a new leader. However there are many questions surrounding this leadership election, such as when it should be called and who will be running.
Although a very large majority of Tories think May should resign, they almost all agree that the most important thing is to keep Corbyn out of power. The easiest way to do this is to first get the government into a less volatile state where the Conservatives are in no place to be overthrown, then calling an election. As of now there are 5 most likely candidates for the job:
- Amber Rudd
Rudd is MP for Hastings and Rye, and is currently Home Secretary. She stood in for the prime minister in debates running up to the election, showing her competence for the role to the party and likely making her a popular candidate. Rudd’s stance is more liberal of that than May’s, perhaps leading to a desire for a softer Brexit. This would likely strengthen the ‘unofficial coalition’ between the DUP and Tories, as they would take a very similar view on leaving the EU. However, Rudd only held on to her seat by 346 votes, if another election was called there a fairly high chance of seeing the party leader removed from her seat, making her a less popular choice than the other candidates.
- Boris Johnson
Johnson came second to May last leadership election, perhaps meaning that it is his time to step up as leader in many people’s eyes. The Brexiteer lost a lot of popularity last year when the country believed some of his more questionable stats about the benefits of leaving the EU, despite this he does still remain very popular within the party, however in increasing numbers, people are starting to feel like he is a liability after several slip ups and bad press headlines such as his failure of an IQ test back in 2013 on live radio. On the other hand he could well be a popular choice due to his strong Brexit beliefs making him appeal to a large amount of people who voted leave. Could history repeat itself and see him in second place yet again?
- David Davis
Davis is the oldest candidate, also the most experienced, after a career at Tate & Lyle Davis then went in to a long career in politics. He is currently Secretary of State for Exiting The European Union and has been a Brexiteer since the 1980s, making him a popular candidate for stealing May’s job. To further his support Davis is very anti-Corbyn, in the run up to this election he tore apart the Labour manifesto (metaphorically), pointing out a £45bn ‘black hole’ in the costings. Davis shares many of Thatcher’s beliefs also, only increasing his popularity particularly among those on the further right side of the party.
- Michael Fallon
Fallon is Secretary of State for Defence and MP for Sevenoaks, he takes a similar view to May on Brexit and has stood firmly with her on it, potentially leading to popularity with those who voted for May last time. However, it is likely that many who did vote for her want to see a different type of Conservative in power, luckily for him he has had a further right wing past, whilst almost all MPs encouraged Thatcher to resign he stood with her, perhaps allowing him to tap in to the vote of Thatcherites also.
- Priti Patel
Patel is currently MP for Witham and Secretary of State for International Development, the youngest candidate on this list but also one of the most right-wing and authoritarian. She is a self-proclaimed Thatcherite, attracting many members who class themselves as ‘Hard-Right’. Patel was also a strong Brexit supporter, increasing her popularity with fellow Tory Brexiteers. recently Patel has also developed the following of more libertarian conservatives after she seems to represent many of their views within the cabinet. She is perhaps one of the stronger candidates in this election.
Many are now asking which candidate to vote for in the inevitable election, but to very briefly summarise all previous points and put them in context:
Those who think it is most important to form a coalition with the DUP and keep labour out will vote for Rudd. The majority of people that think May should stay on and a few Thatcherites will likely vote for Fallon. Davis will probably recieve the majority of Thatcherite votes (mainly due to his long term commitment to the ideology). Many Brexiteers are likely to back him also because of how strongly he believes in the matter, Patel is likely to collect many votes of members on the further right wing of the party as well as almost all libertarian Conservative votes, and finally Johnson will get the vote of the remainder of Brexiteers and the majority of those unsure who to vote for as he is currently the Bookies’ favourite candidate.
So, who will you vote for if and when the election comes around? Vote in this Poll and let us know.