Boris Johnson has resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party. He resigned amidst a series of political scandals over him attending illegal lockdown-parties. He also backed an MP for Deputy Chief Whip with a record of inappropriate sexual behavior. Boris Johnson resigns amid a lot of turmoil.
However, he remains in office as British Prime Minister until a successor is chosen. Which could take a couple of months due to a complicated selection process. The Opposition has criticized that decision considering a vote of no-confidence to have Johnson removed. Even many of his own party members demand his immediate resignation as PM.
Either way, Johnson is done as Prime Minister. The UK is set to witness its third change in government since David Cameron’s resignation in 2016. This could lead possibly even to a fourth general election since 2015 – which brings up the question of succession.
Boris Johnson Resigns
Out of the party’s prominence, quite a few candidates could choose to run for office. This is including: Rishi Sunak, Sajid Javid, Ben Wallace, Liz Truss, Jeremy Hunt, Nadhim Zahawi and Priti Patel.
Who has the best chances to succeed Johnson? In which direction could they steer the country and the party? Could they undo the damage Boris Johnson’s tenure has seemingly done to the government and the Tories? And could they lead the Conservatives to victory in a general election?
By rights, the Tories should want a more reliable helmsman who can steer the party into more conservative policies. Which will in turn woo back their core voter base. Fairly safe to say that podiums in the leadership elections will be based on cutting tax and relieving the cost of living crisis.
A lot can change in a few weeks or months. However, from where we are now it seems likely that the new leader will be (provided they run) either Ben Wallace, Rishi Sunak or Penny Mordaunt. Also with Ben Wallace tipped to sweep the member’s vote if he makes it to the final two candidates.
Covid, Ukraine and External Forces
So can a new government undo the issues of the past couple years when Boris Johnson resigns? Maybe—the pickle the country is in at the moment is primarily due to external factors. Factors such as COVID and the war in Ukraine. It’s hard to know right now how much the crisis was exacerbated by the outgoing government’s policies. How much they could even have done to stop it. There’s no going back to “normal” for a long time. Certainly a new government could get the country moving forward. Though it may end up taking some Thatcherite decisions to do so.
After Boris Johnson resigns, as for the image of the Tories and their hopes for the next election? A general election is probably theirs to lose, as difficult as it might be to believe. So much of the population see Boris as an incompetent law breaker and liar. Yet the Tories are still only lagging behind at around a 6 or 7 point average in the polls. This is keeping in mind that only half of those would have to swing. Labour’s troubles lie in their difficulty to stand for anything that isn’t “not being the Tories.”
12 years out of power and difficulty connecting with the general public has left them with a bit of an identity crisis. It seems now their purpose has simply become being the opposition. So yes, if Labour remain static in their current form, and if the country does begin to recover, then there will certainly be a large rebound in the Tories’ polling numbers. We’d probably be looking at another Conservative victory in the next election, though with a much reduced mandate.