contest to find the next leader of the Conservative Party, and Prime Minister
has been a speedy process in the wake of David Cameron’s resignation. Yesterday
the party chose Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom as the two candidates to battle
it out, and the next few months will involve debates, scrupulous invasions of
privacy, and policy battles in the hope that one of them will win the support
from the majority of the party’s 150,000 members.
a time of seismic change in British politics, the current Home Secretary -
Theresa May, currently looks on course to be the winner, with polls giving her
a commanding lead over Mrs Leadsom. Amongst the recent mayhem surrounding
Westminster, Mrs May reflects an air of stability, calm, and calculation, ready
to take on the task of uniting the Conservatives and negotiating the UK’s exit
from the European Union; even when Mrs May was described as being a “difficult
women” by Ken Clarke earlier this week, she came out of it smiling, proclaiming
that she is a difficult woman, as Juncker (the President of the European
Commission) will soon find out. Passionate words indeed from someone that sat
in the remain camp, but this was clearly an appeal to the 150,000 strong party
membership, the majority of who likely voted leave and will, of course, vote on
the next Prime Minister.
against Mrs May is Andrea Leadsom, a fresh candidate and someone who campaigned
to leave the EU. With a former career in banking, and vocally in favour of
Brexit, Mrs Leadsom could be seen as a blue Nigel Farage, and is likely to
appeal to the party’s right wing. However, little is known about Mrs Leadsome,
with even the media having to piece together her views on a daily basis.
Questions have arisen over her tax returns and potential CV embellishment,
whilst a blog has also emerged in which Mrs Leadsome seems happy to see EU
subsidy cuts for windfarms, slightly controversial for the current Energy
Minister. An ITV interview this week has also revealed Mrs Leadsome will review
HS2, worrying signs for the Chancellor’s Northern Powerhouse project.
Nevertheless, with so much uncertainty post Brexit, the current debate is very
much about personality, and so far, Andrea Leadsom has proven herself more than
a match for her Conservative colleagues.
odds of 10/3 on Andrea Leadsom and 3/10 on Theresa May, it’s quite clear who
the bookies favour, and at present Theresa May looks like a safe bet. However,
as the past month has shown, anything can happen. The Conservatives should
strap themselves in for what could be a bloody leadership brawl which will
either fix party divisions or drive the party into a Labour-esque state of