- By 5pm today we will have the full list of candidates to be the UK’s next Prime Minister
- Under the new rules, each candidate requires 8 MP supporters
- Round 1 of voting by MPs will then take place this Thursday, 13 June, 10am-12noon. Result expected 1pm.
- Here is the BlondeMoney forecast based on our MP-by-MP analysis:
- And here is this support versus each candidate’s BM Brexit Rating (which runs from -15 for the most pro-Remain MP in the House of Commons, to +15 for the most pro-Leave)
We therefore conclude:
- Boris Johnson should immediately hit triple figures and burst into the lead. Johnson received a huge boost in the form of ERG leader Steve Baker’s endorsement, exemplifying that the Brexiteer wing of the party is on board.
- Jeremy Hunt has emerged as the moderate alternative and is currently favourite to join Boris on the ballot. In receiving a surprise endorsement from Liam Fox, Hunt has shown the first signs of the broad appeal that will be necessary if he is to go all the way. The support of Amber Rudd has also boosted his credentials.
- As illustrated by our Brexit rating chart, the bulk of support currently lies on the extremes of the party. But could a compromise candidate emerge?
- Sajid Javid – Sitting almost perfectly between Johnson and Hunt, he could pick up votes from MPs hoping to keep the party united after a divisive leadership race.
- Michael Gove – in recent media interviews, Gove has tried to soften his image as a hard Brexiteer and move himself towards the centre ground that Javid currently occupies. This has been somewhat successful as he has picked up endorsements from both Remainers like Nicky Morgan and more pro-Brexit MPs such as Richard Bacon.
- If our predictions are correct, the field could shrink by nearly half after just one round of voting. If a unity candidate is to emerge, they will require a large proportion of support from the first eliminations in order to mount a serious challenge on Hunt and Johnson at the front of the pack. It is their supporters who will decide who wins the overall contest.
- The real question here is whether middle-of-the-road Conservatives will look to Johnson or Hunt once their first preferences have left the race.
- If polling continues to indicate that Johnson is popular among the membership, then they will rally to his side in the hope of currying favour once the contest is over.
- If moderate MPs continue to make noises about resignation in the event of a Johnson victory, or of bringing down the government over the risk of No Deal, then Hunt will gain support as the man to keep the party together moving forward.
- Whoever wins, note that the leading Brexiteer candidates are now promising potentially undeliverable tax cuts along with reopening the Withdrawal Agreement. Boris says he will withhold the £39bn divorce bill until the right deal is done. Meanwhile on the parliamentary time available until the new October 31st deadline, today would be equivalent to January 15th, when the first Meaningful Vote was held. Tick tock goes the Brexit clock, counting down to No Deal….
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