Home WORLD EUROPA Who will succeed Boris Johnson in the UK?

Who will succeed Boris Johnson in the UK?

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1. Who are the candidates?

He salutes with his left hand.

Ex-finance minister Rishi Sunak came first in the fourth ballot.

Photo: Getty Images/Carl Court

Rishi Sunak, ex-minister of finance, 42 years old

Mr. Sunak was one of the very first to position himself in the race that he himself provoked, explains Thibaud Harrois, lecturer in contemporary British civilization at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris. It was he who was a bit of a maneuver in this story because he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, one of the most important positions in finance. And it was after his resignation that the process that led to the withdrawal of Boris Johnson began.

His departure, immediately followed by that of Health Minister Sajid Javid, started the wave that finally swept the prime minister away.

Born in Southampton, on the English south coast, to parents from India, Rishi Sunak made his fortune in high finance.

If elected, it would be the first time that a person of Indian origin has found himself at the head of the United Kingdom. However, Thibaud Harrois points out, there have already been several ministers from the Indian subcontinent, including Mr Javid and former Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Apart from their origin, they are politicians taken from a mold that could not be more classic, specifies Mr. Harrois.

Rishi Sunak is a product of Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics and economics, like most recent prime ministers. He has a traditional conservative profile. After an MBA at Stanford University in California, he was an analyst for Goldman Sachs and a partner in two hedge funds.

He is not someone who comes from a working class or who has a different upbringing. »

A quote from Thibaud Harrois, lecturer at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris.

This fairly elitist environment could work against it insofar as the Conservatives are trying to widen their electoral base by going in particular to seek votes in the north of England, which is more traditionally Labor, argues Mr. Harrois.Sunak doesn’t have that profile”,”text”:”Mr.Sunak doesn’t have that profile”}}”>Mr. Sunak does not have this profilehe adds.

Tax reduction was at the heart of the exchanges between the candidates, notes Brian Lewis, professor in the Department of History at McGill University.Sunak is the most realistic since he does not propose immediate tax cuts. But he is vulnerable because as Chancellor he has raised taxes to levels not seen in years1940 to deal with COVID-19. Moreover, he is a billionaire and not really a man of the people.”,”text”:”On this question, Mr. Sunak is the most realistic since he does not propose immediate tax cuts. But he is vulnerable because as chancellor he raised taxes to levels not seen since the 1940s to deal with COVID-19. Besides, he’s a billionaire and not really a man of the people.”}}”>On this issue, Mr. Sunak is the most realistic since he does not propose immediate tax cuts. But he is vulnerable because as chancellor he raised taxes to levels not seen since the 1940s to deal with COVID-19. Besides, he’s a billionaire and not really a man of the people.

Portrait of Liz Truss.

Liz Truss is Foreign Secretary in the Johnson government.

Photo: Reuters

Liz Truss, Foreign Secretary, 46

Over the years, Ms. Truss has held several cabinet positions that have placed her in the spotlight. She is known for her unequivocal support for free trade.

She is the candidate for the hard right and Boris Johnson’s campobserves Brian Lewis. But she is mocked as being a chameleon, lacking substance and possessing poor debating skills.

Although the finalists are all relatively young (under 50), none of them offer anything new or visionary, points out Brian Lewis. They tend to position themselves as hardened Thatcheriteshe notes.

They offer no solution to the Conservatives’ main dilemma, which is how to hold together a fragile coalition made up, on the one hand, of wealthy Conservatives, supporters of low taxes and a disengagement from the State, and, on the other, white Brexiters belonging to the working class. »

A quote from Brian Lewis, professor in the Department of History at McGill University.

They also have no proposals to reach the youngest voters, who have massively turned away from the Conservatives, adds Mr. Lewis.

2. How is the selection of the chef carried out?

It is the 358 Conservative MPs who choose the finalists in a multi-round ballot which began on July 13. At the end of the last round, Wednesday, there are only two candidates left.

It will then be up to party members (between 160,000 and 200,000) to decide in a postal vote during the summer. The result is expected on September 5.

Whoever takes the lead of the Conservative Party will automatically become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In the meantime, Boris Johnson remains in office.

Boris Johnson gives two thumbs up in victory

Boris Johnson celebrates his victory after the announcement of the results, December 12, 2019.

Photo: Associated Press/Aaron Chown

3. When will the next legislative elections take place?

As in Canada, the resignation of the leader of the ruling party does not trigger a general election.

The British last went to the polls in December 2019. The Conservatives, led by Boris Johnson, then won a majority.

The next elections are scheduled for December 2024. But a new leader could decide to call voters to the polls long before, believes Thibaud Harrois.

We can imagine that a new Conservative Prime Minister seeks to take advantage of the weakness of the opposition and calls an election before Labor manages to rise in the polls and organize to winhe said.

This would allow him to immediately secure five years in power rather than having to wait until the 2024 deadline without knowing what the situation would be at that time and whether Labor could recover.

In addition, argues Mr. Harrois, anticipating the election would allow the new prime minister to gain legitimacy with the entire electorate.

A protester outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

A protester holds up a placard quoting Boris Johnson which reads: ‘No one warned me. The suite reads: “Seriously? »

Photo: Getty Images/Dan Kitwood

4. What do voters think?

Not all Britons have a say in the Conservative leader election, as only party members can vote. Nevertheless, expectations are high, says Mr. Harrois.

Boris Johnson is extremely maligned and his way of managing crises has been much criticizedhe recalls. The scandals which have accumulated over his person, and not only over his politics, have stirred up passions.

People are now eager to see how the person elected as Prime Minister will handle the difficult economic situation the country is going through.

This worries voters. They are waiting to see how the new government will be able to respond to these very serious concerns and in what direction we are going. Will it be more liberal or more interventionist? »

A quote from Thibaud Harrois, lecturer at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris.

However, Brian Lewis is not quite of the same opinion. The British, he believes, have other fish to fry. Most people are more concerned about the cost of living crisis, high energy prices and sweltering heatobserves Lewis.

Especially, he believes, since the vast majority of them have no voice in the matter.

The choice of the next prime minister will be made by the 160,000 members of the Conservative Party, who are disproportionately white, wealthy, aging men from south-east England. »

A quote from Brian Lewis, professor in the Department of History at McGill University.

Many think it’s a funny way to elect a prime minister, he concludes.

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