Theresa May gave a tearful speech on Friday, May 24, calling time on her stint as Prime Minister. Her withdrawal from the role came after heavy criticism on her Government’s handling of Brexit. With the date she will step down decided as Friday, June 7, a new Tory leader will have to be selected.
How will the new Conservative Party leader be chosen?
As Mrs May has announced her departure from her position, it is up to the Conservatives to elect her successor.
The same process will take place as when David Cameron announced his exit in 2016.
For a candidate to be chosen as Tory leader they must be formally proposed and then seconded by fellow MPs.
Under the terms of the Conservative party constitution, the 1922 Committee presents “as soon as reasonably practical” a selection of candidates to choose from for the position of leader.
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The Conservative Chief Whip – currently Julian Smith – will be given nominations from party members.
If only one MP is nominated, they are automatically established as party leader.
However, if multiple names are put up for the task, a ballot of Conservative MPs is held.
After the vote is held, the candidate with the lowest support is removed from the list.
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This process is repeated until just two candidates remain.
Once two candidates have been decided by MPs, the Conservative Party’s 150,000 members will then vote to choose the winner.
Currently, odds on to be the next leader is Boris Johnson at 6/4 according to bookmakers Coral.
Next is Dominic Raab at 4/1, followed by Michael Gove at 5/1.
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Whoever is elected will have the task of regaining confidence from voters on the issue of Brexit, as if the European elections are anything to go by confidence in the governing party is at a low.
The Tories lost 15 seats in the European Elections, with only four MEPs elected compared to the previous EU election total of 19.
The party currently has 8.7 percent of the vote share, putting the Tories in fifth position with the Brexit Party, Liberal Democrats, Labour and Green party ahead of them.
There are only 3 MEPs from Northern Ireland still to be announced.
Odds of who will be the next Conservative leader according to Coral
- Boris Johnson – 6-4
- Dominic Raab – 4-1
- Michael Gove – 5-1
- Andrea Leadsom – 12-1
- Jeremy Hunt – 12-1