The final race to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister United kingdom It will be between former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and Secretary of State Liz Truss.
The finalists’ decision was made on Wednesday (20) when party lawmakers held the fifth round of voting. Sunak received 137 votes while Truss received 113 votes. In doing so, the Secretary of International Trade, Penny Mordaunt, dropped out of the race for being the least voted, with 105 votes. (See How the Elections Run at the end of this report)
Rishi Sunak maintained his lead throughout the first phase of the electoral process, but a YouGov poll published by Sky News showed he would lose in the second phase, when all party members vote.
The poll was conducted prior to determining the finalists and indicated that he would lose to Liz Truss as well as Benny Mordaunt or Kimi Badenoch, the last to leave the fray.
Sunak and Truss have made policy proposals to try to give their campaigns a boost, in an effort to shift focus away from promises of tax cuts, at a time when the UK’s weak economy has left the biggest strain on their finances for decades.
The two have bolstered their right-wing credentials in seeking support from members of the party, which, according to a 2020 survey, tends to be older and male from the south of England and pro-Brexit.
Now, in the final step, nearly 200,000 members will vote by mail. The end result was set on September 5 and the new party leader would automatically become prime minister.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss during the election campaign for UK Prime Minister (Image: REUTERS/Toby Melville)
sonakThe 42-year-old rose to prominence after becoming Chief Treasury in 2020, distributing billions of pounds to help businesses and workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
But he has faced criticism for not doing enough to alleviate the rising cost of living crisis. His popularity also declined after he was fined by police for attending a party during the pandemic lockdown in Downing Street.
trussThe 46-year-old took up a high-ranking ministerial post in September after serving as Commerce Minister. She is also the UK’s chief negotiator with the EU on post-Brexit issues.
Truss, popular with many conservatives, said he wants to cut taxes “from day one” and reverse the income tax increase. Read the full profile of the candidates here.
How is the prime minister elected?
The leader of the Conservative Party, which has a majority in the British Parliament, is also the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Several rounds of voting are held among Conservative MPs. In each of them, the least voted is excluded from the dispute. When only two candidates are left, all party members, numbering about 200,000 people, can participate in the selection and votes are mailed.
The dates were set by a group called the 1922 Committee. According to the committee’s chair, Graham Brady, the timeline for determining the replacement after Boris Johnson’s resignation looked as follows:
- July 12: The nominees are officially nominated on this day. They must have the support of at least 20 other MPs to participate in the dispute.
- From 13 to 21 July: Preliminary rounds of elections. Conservative MPs vote for their candidates. The lowest vote was disqualified until only two contestants remained.
- July 21: The British Parliament is in recess.
- July to September: Voting continues by mail between the last two candidates. At this point, all party members can vote.
- September 5th: The winner of the contest has been announced, who will become the new leader of the Conservative Party and the new British Prime Minister.
The video and podcast below explain the scandals that led to Boris Johnson’s resignation:
Understand the scandals that led to the downfall of Boris Johnson
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