Can Boris Johnson stage an extraordinary political comeback? What about bookmaker favorite Rishi Sunak, who lost to Liz Truss in the last game? Or Penny Mordaunt, little-known but well-known among Conservative Party members? Or could someone else emerge as a key candidate for the hopefuls to become the next Conservative Party leader?
The front pages of Britain’s famously boisterous tabloids on Friday have put Truss firmly in the rearview mirror as they focus on “Boris v Richie: The fight for the soul of the Conservative Party”, with the Daily The Post said. The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and the Daily Express have all put Johnson on the front page, while the left-leaning Mirror has a big-character poster calling for a general election “now”.
It was less than 24 hours before Truss said she would step down as leader, giving her the coveted title of the shortest-serving prime minister in history. The party has surprisingly short working hours and plans to end the game within a week.
No one has officially announced they are running, but supporters of the top three — the new rules ensure there can be no more than three — have begun announcing their support.
How Liz Truss became the shortest-serving prime minister in British history
Rishi Sunak is the bookmaker’s favorite.The runner-up in the last leadership contest, himself surprisingly quiet, but his The “Ready for Rishi” team is up and running. They noted that his candidacy received the most support from colleagues in the last race, and said many of his economic ideas proved prescient.
His critics believe he betrayed Johnson and accuse him of helping to end the era. But he has made more public statements of support than any other candidate, according to The Telegraph.
Dominic Raab, Johnson’s former deputy prime minister, is also among those backing Sunak.
“He has a plan and credibility: to restore financial stability, to help reduce inflation and to deliver sustainable tax cuts over time; and to unite the Conservative Party by bringing the best people into government to serve the British people, ‘ he wrote on Twitter.
Johnson’s supporters want him back from his plowshares — just as the classical-era hero Cincinnatus was brought back to deal with the crisis, Johnson mentioned in his resignation speech.
Rumors abound that Johnson, the 55th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, may also want to be the 57th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Those in the “Bring Back Boris” camp believe Johnson is the only candidate with the “mandate” to lead. In 2019, Johnson helped his party win the general election. Not sure if others can inspire the populace in the same way — or if Johnson himself can still.
“Before January ’25, the British public elected a man based on a manifesto and mandate. If Liz Truss is no longer prime minister, the previously unsuccessful candidate will not be crowned,” tweet Nadine Dorries, a big fan of Johnson.
Popular Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, seen by some as a contender, announced his withdrawal from the race on Friday, saying he was “leaning” to Johnson.
For its part, the Ukrainian government also appeared to support Johnson’s return, posting a meme next to Johnson’s face on a poster for the Netflix series “Better Call Saul,” which was then quickly deleted.
Johnson is the first choice among 170,000 Conservative Party members. But there is also widespread disgust among the general public. Scandals followed during his tenure, and voters and his own colleagues were upset by his refusal to be held accountable. He is the first sitting prime minister ever to be fined by the police.
Johnson is also under investigation by the House of Commons for misleading lawmakers over his notorious Downing Street party, and he remains at risk of being suspended.
Truss’ brief time as prime minister comes with a lifetime of financial constraints
It was under his leadership that the Conservatives began trailing the opposition Labour Party in the polls earlier this year for the first time in years. Johnson remains under investigation for lying to parliament. Not so long ago, 41 percent of his own colleagues said they had no confidence in Johnson’s leadership.
Few would be surprised if he officially announced he was running. After all, with Cincinnatus mentioned in his last speech, Johnson seemed ready to leave the farm again for his country.
A third potential successor seen by many is Penny Mordaunt, who is looking to become a household name but may still have a long way to go – in one survey, the majority of respondents can’t name her When showing her photo. But her “PM4PM” supporters are seeking to change that, noting that she is doing better in the polls than Sunak among the most important Tory members.
Mordaunt’s tenure in Truss was coming to an end in the days following the collapse of the economic plan, where she served as prime minister in parliament and deftly handled hostile issues that greatly boosted her profile.At the time, many people speculated that it might be Bid on a trial run for yourself Earned the top job because it demonstrated her parliamentary sparring skills.
Truss implosion shows dramatic change in financial environment
Candidates don’t have much time to garner support. The match has been truncated, so it will happen quickly. Britain could have a new prime minister as early as Monday.
The rules were changed on Thursday so that the country could quickly replace the trusses. Candidates must have the support of at least 100 Conservative colleagues to advance in the race. Given the high bar, only one candidate may be presented before 2pm on Monday, the deadline for nominations.
If there are more than one, hopefuls will be cut before the last two are presented to 170,000 Tory members. Officials say the competition will end on October 1. 28 at the latest.
Some argue that this approach is undemocratic. The new leader is either made up of about 350 Conservative MPs or elected by members and then chosen by 170,000 people – hardly the same as elections across the country.
“By the end of October, the UK will have three prime ministers replaced within eight weeks, two of whom will come to power without a general election…” the Financial Times wrote in an editorial. “The prospect of electing another Conservative prime minister without a general election ignores not only Britain’s growing democratic deficit, but also the incapacity shown by its miserable government.”
But despite growing calls for a general election, that seems unlikely. The Conservatives are not expected to push for something that could lead to its annihilation based on current polls.