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TORY LEADERSHIP: Politicalite’s Guide To The Battle For The Iron Throne

WINTER is coming. Imagine the scenes after the next Tory leader is announced; what does it look like? What does it spell for Brexit? With Game of throne now over, Politicalite is pleased to give you the next installment. There is turmoil and division in Britain. Winter is coming. Imagine the streets littered with the undead; Imagine Corbyn shuffling along down Westminster; head tilted, eyes-fixed, drooling… now try to imagine him as a ZOMBIE. 

but how did we get here? And WILL it even come to this? Could we be heading for a split of the vote big enough to let the undead hoards of Corbynista socialists spilling in? Will Labour, the Lib Dem, and the left sweep up in the next GE? Will Farage’s Brexit Party charge in to save the Brexit?

In this quick guide, we lay out and analyse the many politicians jostling for power, and try to predict the answer to that all important question: with May handing back the crown this month, who will sit on the iron throne?

The Tory Challengers:

Boris Johnson – odds at 7/4

Boris Johnson is the front-runner in the Tory leadership contest and has said the party could be “fired from running the country” if it does not deliver Brexit.

He said voters in the EU election issued a “crushing rebuke” to the Conservatives and have issued the party with a “final warning”.

Mr Johnson said: “If we go on like this, we will be fired: dismissed from the job of running the country.”

The MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip has clearly set out his view that the UK must leave the EU by the end of October.

Dominic Raab – odds at 4/1

Dominic Raab told the BBC he would fight for a “fairer” Brexit deal with the EU.

However, Mr Raab has been clear that if this is not possible, the UK will leave without a deal in October.

He even hinted he could override the will of MPs to carry out a no-deal Brexit, saying it would be difficult for Parliament to legislate against it.

Michael Gove – odds at 5/1

Brexit-supporting environmental secretary Michael Gove has said he will allow EU nationals living in the UK at the time of the referendum to apply free of charge for citizenship if he becomes Prime Minister.

Mr Gove has said the next leader must not only believe in Brexit but have the “wherewithal to deliver it”.

Although a former Vote Leave campaigner, Mr Gove has said he would run as a “unity candidate”, suggesting he would push first and foremost for a deal.

Andrea Leadsom – odds at 12/1

Former leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom said she would be a “decisive and compassionate leader” who could unite the country.

Mrs Leadsom, who quit Theresa May’s government over Brexit, has said she supports a no-deal Brexit “if necessary”.

She told the Sunday Times to “succeed in a negotiation, you have to be prepared to walk away.”

Jeremy Hunt – odds at 11/1

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt – perhaps the most slipperiest of the candidates – has warned the Conservative Party will be committing “political suicide” if it tries to push through a no-deal Brexit.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hunt said: “Trying to deliver no deal through a general election is not a solution; it is political suicide.”

He added Tories would be “annihilated” and “face extinction” if there was a general election before Brexit happened.

However, he has been clear that a no-deal is better than no Brexit.

Rory Stewart – odds at 13/1

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart has promised a “listening exercise” on Brexit.

Dubbed the “softest Brexiteer” running for Prime Minister, Mr Stewart has said he wants to leave the EU with a deal.

He has stressed the importance of the union and would appoint a new secretary of state of defend it.

The International Development Secretary is not keen on a second referendum.

Matt Hancock – odds at 25/1

Health secretary Matt Hancock has said it is “mission critical” to deliver Brexit before a general election takes place.

Mr Hancock said Tories must “hold their nerve” and “get on” with leaving the EU in a bid to “win back” voters lost to both the Lib Dems and the Brexit Party in the European elections.

He wrote in the Daily Mail: “We’ve lost many long-standing voters to the Brexit Party – not because of any details of the deal we proposed – but simply because we haven’t delivered Brexit yet.

It’s not that most people want a No Deal Brexit, but because so many rightly think we should have left by now and want us to get on with it. So it is mission critical we deliver Brexit before any general election.”

James Cleverly – odds at 33/1

Junior Brexit minister and pro-Leave politician James Cleverly is the latest to join the leadership race.

Cleverly – a soldier in the reserve army, laid his tanks upon the Downing Street lawn this Thursday, marching in to try and con the public out of getting Brexit delivered. 

In a letter to his constituents in Braintree, Mr Cleverly said Brexit must be delivered, adding that “it would be best for the UK to leave the EU with some form of deal”.

He said he has “never been blind to the complexities of the process”, and condemned those who offer “artificially simple solutions”.

In 2017 Mr Cleverly said that he’d “love to be prime minister”.

Esther McVey – odds at 50/1

Easter McVey has the hardest Brexit position of the so far eight Tory leadership candidates.

Holding out against Theresa May’s deal through the various votes, Ms McVey said she would take the UK out of the EU without a deal regardless.

She said: “The withdrawal agreement ship has sailed and needs to be put out of its misery.”

Sajid Javid – odds at 20/1

Home Secretary Sajid Javid entered the racing by arguing that he wanted the Tories to be the party of social mobility.

Mr Javid tweeted: “I’m standing to be the next leader of @Conservatives & Prime Minister of our great country.

We need to restore trust, bring unity and create new opportunities across the UK. First and foremost, we must deliver Brexit. Join @TeamSaj to help me do just that #TeamSaj.”

Kit Malthouse

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse wants to develop a compromise on Theresa May’s Brexit deal and said there was a “yearning for change”.

Writing in The Sun, he said: “This leadership campaign cannot be about the same old faces, scarred by wars that have split the Tory party over three years.

We need to end the Brexit paralysis, and while I voted to leave the EU, I know that without unity across the UK, we cannot get a deal over the line.

It’s time for a new generation to lead the charge into our future with boldness and vision.”

How does it work?

Under the rules of a Tory leadership race, candidates bidding for the crown must be nominated by just two fellow Conservative MPs.

The Party have announced nominations will close in the week commencing June 10.

If there are more than two hopefuls for the party reins (which there certainly will be), a series of ballots is held.

Those rounds of votes are traditionally held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, meaning it could take a few weeks to whittle down if there are a whole string of candidates.

The MP receiving the fewest votes is knocked out in each round until only two remain.

The Party say this process could continue until the end of June.

They go to a run-off of the wider Conservative Party, with its estimated 160,000 members eligible to vote.

The candidate who wins the most votes becomes the leader.

The process will involve a series of hustings around the UK, and voting will take place to allow the result to be confirmed before the Summer recess, which is expected to be the end of July, with the winner becoming leader of the Tory party and taking his or her seat on the Iron throne.

Our prediction? Probably a Boris win on this one, and then let’s hope that he sticks to his word and delivers Brexit. Many of the other candidates would be a continuation of remainer May.

An outside threat?

But as the leadership race begins, and the candidates battle their way through the ballot stages, Nigel Farage’s Brexit party grows in strength, with eyes firmly fixed upon the political seat of Britain and praying for a snap general election. Do they pose a threat? Will the outcome of a by-election in a small city in rural Cambridgeshire be the one event that will determine what happens next – more of the same or a complete shake-up of British politics? Just see the numbers below; enough to put fear in the belly of even the most confident of Tory members – although must, as you can see, have switched to The Brexit Party.

Farage has a decision to make – and he needs to make it fast. MEPs can’t stand in Parliamentary elections to become MPs and obviously vice versa. A European Council decision of 2002 states that “the office of MEP is incompatible with that of member of a national parliament”. An MEP who is elected as an MP, or appointed a Peer, therefore has to stand down from the European Parliament.

Thus, for Farage and all the other Brexit Party MEPs, the ‘option’ of being allowed to try and win a seat back home in Parliament is completely off the table.

Farage is a close friend of Trump, our strongest ally.

So what should Farage do next? What would YOU do next if you were in his shoes?

Of course, you could simply remain as MEPs, and declare that you will NOT be fielding any candidates in the General election. But that will only ever result in a new prime minister from either the Labour (i.e the Night King Jeremy Corbyn) Party, and, as Farage – whom isn’t stupid – will well know, leaves the Brexit Party with nothing more than a group of soon-to-be-made-redundant MEPs sat in Brussels on a temporary license, with public interest and media attention towards it fading with every one of the four years that passes in the drama-filled build-up to the next GE in the UK. It will sit there, post-Brexit, gathering dust, knowing that, come their next and only chance to seize power of the country, the public will have lost interest in them and in Brexit altogether. Brexit’s done and dusted now. Do we need a new party?

This, on another note, is something the Tories would do well to understand, and most probably does.

The Brexit Party will then resort to either a sort of ‘pre-referendum UKIP’: excellent in the elections in Europe (except there now won’t be any), but not so hot back home and getting much worse…except, of course, without the pay packet or the profile that accompanies having MEPs (no longer an option). Many of the former MEPs will shift to other, more successful parties that strengthened and grew while you were ‘doing time’ locked-up in a stale parliament chamber in Brussels; the black keep, the wall; patting your own backs, and drifting into relative insignificance – mere side-column fodder for the Express or Daily Mail. Few will stay, some will join, no-one – certainly not the party – will win in the long-term.

Farage will go back to being the loveable rogue and champion of the people – respectable, but unelected thanks to both the waiver in interest in Brexit, and bias from the left-wing media. And everything will return to the status Quo as though nothing had happened. Thus, this option results in the slow death by self-asphyxiation of The Brexit Party, and a golden opportunity – through lack of courage, fear of the risk, plain naivety, or all three – completely wasted.

Farage campaigning in Clacton, a former UKIP stronghold.

No sane-minded person would, especially not someone smart enough to have just devised a plan to take a 6-week-old party into astounding victory in the recent euro election, i.e. Farage, isn’t going to go for that option, So we shall strike it off as no option at all.

Unless I’m mistaken, there are only two real options going forward:

The first is to remain as MEPs and to simply field other candidates to stand as parliamentary candidates in the next GE. But although it’s likely that they will still see success, it certainly isn’t a given, mainly on the grounds that the ‘VIPs’ themselves won’t be standing, and far lesser-known names than Farage, who himself won’t be on the ballot, might not fair as well by themselves whist standing up against a regrouped, re-energised Labour or even Tory Party.

Thus, the end result could well be the same as the first option we struck-off altogether, albeit with a more drawn-out death after perhaps some ‘fond, flitting moments of brief success’; going to the grave thinking; well, we did our best. This; number one, is perhaps, despite the risk – taking into account the current wave of support – the safest option.

OR

(here comes the second, and final credible option – bit of a gamble, this one though).

What if Farage was planning to pull-off the best political publicity stunt seen outside of Washington for centuries.

Option Two: Declare that all your MEPs are resigning immediately – abandoning the sinking ship of Brussels – to fight ‘for the ‘future of Britain’ in the General Election. Gain massive publicity for it, the public (every beautiful voting one of them) see it as you wanted thm to – as a gesture that you’re ‘dedicated to Britain’ and have made a ‘big sacrifice’. Sweep-up in said GE, take over government… and all at the cheap price of a few months-worth of given-up EU salaries.

The Iron Throne.

The Brexit Party’s success – as must be in the forefront of Farage’s mind – hinges on timing – the understandable exploitation of the popularity of the near distant Farage- made breeding ground for the Brexit Party’s very existence; Brexit. Stray too far away from it – let someone else take the mantle or linger too long in the false limelight, and the only end result is that attached to option One. Therefore, logically, there’s only one real answer; one option that Farage – if he wants to secure the future of his party as a leading force in British politics – ,must opt for: Option B, standing-down and instigating a remarkable PR stunt that would secure a real Brexit, and which could very well eventually see The Brexit Party dominating the houses of Parliament for decades to come.

We shall have to wait and see. For now, we’ll be manning the defences, sending out our ravens to gather the latest information, and reporting back to you as the battle unravels. It is fight or die time. Winter is coming.

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