UK Conservative Party begins secret ballot to choose next leader

UK Conservative Party begins secret ballot to choose next leader

Conservative Party member will begin the first round of voting today in a process that will determine the successor to

conservative party leadership ballot

Photo: AFP/Daniel Leal-Olivas

Conservative Party member will begin the first round of voting today in a process that will determine the successor to Prime Minister Theresa May.

The front runners are former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, current Environment Minister Michael Gove and May’s former House of Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom. They all campaigned for Brexit during the 2016 referendum campaign and have all called for a tougher negotiating position with the EU ahead of the extended deadline expiry in October.

Johnson is most likely to attract a higher share of votes from his party’s Eurosceptic wing due to his position that a no-deal is a better outcome than the current arrangement. His views on tearing up May’s withdrawal agreement also gained the endorsement of US President Donald Trump during his state visit to the UK last week.

If Johnson or another frontrunner prevails they are expected to be officially installed as PM by the end of July. The deadlock in the British Parliament over Brexit has significantly raised the prospect of a no-deal outcome to above 50%. As a result of the hardline stance of the main front runners, Britain crashing out of the EU in October shouldn’t be ruled out.

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