First vote on UK Conservative Party leadership

Missy reporting from the UK:

On Monday the Conservative Party leadership campaign officially began. Ten MPs officially entered the race, they were:

Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Rory Stewart, Esther McVey, Andrea Leadsom, Matt Hancock, Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid, Mark Harper.

This morning was the first round of voting by the Parliamentary Party, after a change of rules a couple of weeks ago candidates must get more than 16 votes from fellow MPs in order to progress with the candidates with the lowest number of votes being eliminated if all are over 16 votes, as opposed to previous rules which stated that only the candidate with the lowest number of votes was to be eliminated at each round regardless of number of votes of second lowest. The new rules mean that multiple candidates can be eliminated at once.

In today’s voting Boris Johnson received a higher number of votes than originally expected, this could be due to some polling this week which shows that Boris is the candidate most likely able to win a General Election.

The results from today’s vote is:
Johnson: 114
Hunt: 43
Gove: 37
Raab: 27
Javid: 23
Hancock 20
Stewart: 19
Leadsom: 11
Harper: 10
McVey: 9

The odds for Johnson winning have been slashed to 1/5.

Gove’s campaign suffered a bit earlier this week after he admitted over the weekend to using cocaine about 20 years ago. The admission came ahead of an unauthorised biography due to be released that details his drug use.

Conservative contenders

There are five confirmed contenders for the leadership of the UK Conservative Party and the country.

Particularly now Boris Johnson is out the contest Theresa May is the favourite. Of course the British bookies are onto it. Current odds:


  • Theresa May -4/6 William Hill, 10/11 Ladbrokes
  • Michael Gove – 10/3 William Hill, 4/1 Ladbrokes
  • Andrea Leadsom – 6/1 William Hill, 12/1 Ladbrokes
  • Stephen Crabb 16/1 William Hill, 16/1 Ladbrokes
  • Liam Fox – 28/1 William Hill, 25/1 Ladbrokes


Two will be chosen from this list and that will go to a vote of all Conservative Party members, with the new leader being decided and announced by September 2.

That’s another two months with Cameron as caretaker Prime Minister.

Details on these contenders at the Mirror in Odds and profiles for Conservative Party contenders after the EU referendum

Boris’s bid bumbled and burned

Boris Johnson’s bid to become Conservative leader and British Prime Minister has been badly bumbled and has now crashed and burned.

The Mirror has reported that Johnson has not put himself forward as a candidate.

Live: Boris Johnson has ‘ripped the Tory Party apart’ storms Lord Heseltine after he quits leadership race

It is just one extraordinary week since voters went to the polls in the EU referendum – and the twists keep on coming.

Five Tory MPs put themselves forward to be the leader ahead of the noon deadline – but Boris Johnson is NOT among them.

Lord Heseltine launched an astonishing attack on Boris for “leaving the battlefield”after his departure but others launched furious rants at Michael Gove, who stabbed his pal in the back to take his place on the ballot.

And Michael Gove has dumped on Johnson and is standing for the top job himself.

BBC: Michael Gove: Boris Johnson wasn’t up to the job

Michael Gove has said he chose to run for the Conservative Party leadership after deciding “reluctantly but firmly” that Boris Johnson was not capable of uniting the party or the country.

“It had to fall to someone else… I felt it had to fall to me,” he said.

The justice secretary was set to back his fellow Leave campaigner. Mr Johnson pulled out after Mr Gove’s switch.

In an interview with the BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Mr Gove, explaining his reasons for standing, said following last week’s Brexit result he felt the country needed a leader “who believed heart and soul in leaving the European Union”.

“I also believed we needed someone who would be able to build a team, lead and unite. I hoped that person would be Boris Johnson,” he said.

But he added: “I came in the last few days reluctantly and firmly to the conclusion that while Boris has great attributes he was not capable of uniting that team and leading the party and the country in the way that I would have hoped.”

Johnson was always going to be a contentious candidate.

The Mirror suggests that Johnson effectively brought his bid to an end with one self-inflicted sentence in his Daily Telegraph column:

British people will still be able to go and work in the EU; to live; to travel; to study; to buy homes and to settle down.

The Mirror says:

This single sentence may have killed Boris Johnson’s leadership bid.

The former London mayor angered Brexiters by performing what appeared to be a massive U-turn on Monday.

After weeks of hardline campaigning about migration in the EU referendum, he wrote [the above sentence].

He was forced to backtrack on it, with friends telling the Times it was written too quickly and he would make clear he wanted to crack down on free movement.

But by that point the damage may already have been done.

So Boris’s leadership ambitions are over. As Martin Kettle writes at The Guardian:

Boris Johnson would have been a disaster. Bring on Theresa May

Once again the Conservative party has proved why it has a PhD qualification in political ruthlessness, while at the same time the Labour party is struggling to even manage a GCSE retake. When most of us were cleaning our teeth this morning, Boris Johnson was still the bookies’ favourite to win the Tory leadership and succeed David Cameron as prime minister.

Yet by lunchtime Johnson was a political corpse with Michael Gove’s lethal stiletto between his substantial shoulder blades.

The Johnson bubble was always going to burst. Some of us said this long ago. The only question was whether it happened before or after his leadership bid. Luckily for the Tory party, they made it happen now.

Everything about the supposed public appetite for Johnson as leader of the nation was potentially damaging for Johnson himself, for the Tory party, for the country and for politics. He would have been a disaster.

Where does one start? With the flawed character himself, perhaps. All politicians have ego, but Johnson is a narcissist. He’s a lightweight, a first-degree self-publicist with a second-rate mind. He has a shabby back story, with the truth, with details, with responsibility and with women, any one of which could have ruined his prime ministership if he had been allowed to get that far, and may have had something to do with what happened to him on his way to work.

So Kettle isn’t a Johnson fan.

Regardless, Johnson is out of the contest to take over leadership of the Conservatives and the UK.