The race to fill the position of leader of the Conservative Party, and as a consequence, that of next Prime Minister of the UK, sees a full list of 10 candidates who won enough backing among Conservative MPs to enter the first round of voting that commences tomorrow Thursday 13 June.
A recent opinion poll put former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson with 43% first in the leadership race. Johnson stated that, if elected Prime Minister, he will not pay the £39 billion Brexit bill to Brussels unless a better deal with the EU can be made. He also made very clear again that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October, with or without a deal.
Next to frontrunner and former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson, current Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Environment Secretary Michael Gove, former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, and Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock have the highest chances of becoming the next leader of the party. Broadly, the opinions within these candidates are divided between those who are in favor of leaving the EU on 31 October with or without a deal and those who want to have more time to negotiate the current Brexit deal with Brussels.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon already attacked the frontrunners claiming that they are the people responsible for the chaotic political situation in the UK. She added that she wants that Scotland remains a loyal ally of the EU. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker also reacted on the Tory leadership race, claiming he was not satisfied with the situation and that there will be no option to change the deal agreed with May.
Tomorrow Conservative MPs vote in a first round to elect the new Tory leader. The candidate earning the least votes is eliminated, along with any candidates who secure only 16 votes or fewer. Next week the second round of votes to become the leader of the Conservative Party will take place. Candidates need more than 32 votes to progress. MPs will continue voting in successive rounds until two candidates are left to face a ballot of Conservative Party members. In the week of 22nd July the party is expected to present the new Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister. But whoever will be the next Prime Minister, the big question is: will he or she make a difference and succeed in finding a solution to Brexit?