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Who’s going to lead the Tory party next?

For a moment, let’s just imagine the Tories lose this election really badly. Crazy thinking, we know! Sunak will fall on his sword and we’re off to the races. So who will be the next Tory leader?

 

It’s a tricky question to answer because it rather depends on which Tory MPs are still standing, and that’s difficult to divine right now. Exactly what constitutes a ‘safe Tory seat’ at this moment is a rather moot point.

 

There is also the small matter of the election process itself. In essence, there is a ‘selectorate’ and then an electorate. The ‘selectorate’ are Tory MPs who decide via a run off which two candidates should be put before Tory party members. The membership then gets their one person one vote moment. If we recall, that’s how Truss beat Sunak; the electorate is typically to the right of Tory MPs. So this time round, Tory MPs may be rather more astute as to whom they select.

 

Let’s look at the serious runners and riders and take a punt:

 

Penny Mordaunt – Seemingly the eternal candidate who’s ego is perhaps rather ahead of her capabilities. She is a famously eloquent Commons performer, but with very rehearsed lines. There is a slight problem though: on most estimates, she is going to lose her seat. So she may not be around for the fun.

 

James Cleverly – He’s run before but apparently doesn’t want to have another go. So we’ll count him out for now.

 

Grant Shapps – Chance of losing his seat? Are we allowed to say 99%? So dead on arrival then, let’s move on, as we’re running out of candidates!

 

Robert Jenrick – An uber smooth media performer who was a Brexiteer and, wanting a tougher line on immigration, resigned on a matter of principle. Not many do that these days. Old school. He could go down well with the old peeps, sorry party members. He’s the son-in-law they’d all want to marry their daughter.

 

Kemi Badenoch – A Brexiteer and right winger, and also a calm media performer who relishes destroying the Woke and all their evil works. She’s a bookie favourite but has had little time in the frontbench trenches. Does she have the personality for it and could she win over the Parliamentary party? She is a woman however and from an ethnic minority, so take that Labour!

 

Priti Patel – Now a freshly minted Dame, in real life not as in ‘pantomime’, although some might not see it that way. She is a hate figure for the Left and has had some serious media slip ups, so may be seen as not exactly a steady hand.

 

Suella Braverman – Deary me, I think we can discount this one. She enjoys the media attention but is seemingly dead with the Parliamentary party. Ain’t never going to happen. Although she seems apparently blissfully unaware of that so will no doubt have a go.

 

Tom Tugendhat – Very much on the left of the Tory party and thus may have limited appeal to the Tory electorate. And for a long time stayed out of ministerial office, only recently finally achieving ministerial rank. So rather inexperienced.

 

In summary, who knows, as until we see which Tory MPs are still breathing post election, there is no way to guess who will even be at the start line let alone actually cross it. But what is striking is just how many female and ethnic minority candidates the Tories can field. There’s a lesson for other parties there somewhere.

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