Well, that’s that. The disastrous premiership of Liz Truss will come to an end next week after fifty-two days in office, the shortest tenure in British political history. Who can replace her? Someone with a strong stomach, a glutton for punishment and a taste for sipping from a poisoned chalice. To reach the ballot, a candidate must garner the support of 100 Tory Members of Parliament. Below Cockburn runs his eye over the likely candidates to be the next prime minister — and a few no hopers…
The obvious favorite but there’s still a sizable anti-Sunak caucus in the Conservative Party. The detractors may call him “fishy Rishi” but his supporters crow that he got the big calls right.
Can at least claim some kind of mandate, having won the 2019 election. As Churchill’s biographer, Johnson will be all too keen to encourage talk of a comeback. But what about that Privileges investigation?
Missed out on the final two last time by a handful of votes. Since then she became the face of the accession of King Charles as Leader of the House. Sunak-backers are pushing a pact with Penny but surely she craves the premiership herself?
One of the few fixtures of British politics is Ben Wallace leading the ConservativeHome cabinet rankings table. But will the personal reasons which kept him out last time prevent him from running again?
The dark horse of the last race, she won fans in the grassroots and the media with her tough-talking no-nonsense approach. Yet with just two months’ cabinet experience, might she back Sunak in exchange for a better post in his top team?
A staunch Brexiteer and the toast of the European Research Group, she clashed with Truss over migration commitments. But given the higher threshold this time, can Braverman, who couldn’t muster thirty votes in July, really go the distance?
Polls better than any of the leading contenders and shown to have more shelf life than the current incumbent.
This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.