Liz Truss has become the first-ever British Prime Minister in the UK politics as she announced her resignation outside the 10 Downing Street in London on Thursday. As the 56th British Prime Minister, Truss was in office for just 45 days. While her resignation is not completely unexpected, the future of the British politics remains uncertain as ever.
Okay, so Liz Truss has resigned! What will happen at 10 Downing Street next?
The Conservative Party has said that Truss will remain in the office till October 28. This is a deadline that the ruling party has set for itself to elect the next Prime Minister of Britain.
Amid fast-paced speculations, several names are doing the round. Among them, Rishi Sunak remains the frontrunner with scandal-hit Boris Johnson, Truss’ predecessor tipped to be part of the race. There are others in the fray too. Several British media reports by the BBC, The Telegraph etc says that current defence minister Ben Wallace, Penny Mordaunt and finance minister of the UK – Jeremy Hunt – are also major contenders for the top job.
Fine, the Tories are electing another leader! Why no general elections?
The Conservative or Tories will remain in the power till 2024. With UK’s economy facing the financial turmoil, the party is no mood to force the country into a general election. It also means that the lengthy poll process would leave the UK with no effective government for a considerable period. Instead, the party leadership has decided to give its lawmakers more say in the selection of the next PM.
Alright! So, what the numbers say?
The Tories have 357 lawmakers. The next Prime Ministerial candidate must get the support of 100 MPs by Monday i.e. October 24. This essentially translates to three contenders in the race. By Monday, three candidates would emerge. The one placed last would be eliminated and then it be a battle between the top two candidates.
In this Hunger Games of Westminster, what the odds say?
Several reports say that Rishi Sunak has emerged as bookmakers’ favourite candidate. For Sunak, it’s 13/8, For Johnson, it’s 16/1, for Mordaunt, who was placed the last in the earlier contest, it’s 9/2. As for defence minister Wallace, it’s 10/1.
Interesting! So, give me a recap on Sunak please
Sunak, 42, lost to Truss in the last leadership race. The ex-Treasury Chief had received 60,399 votes against 81,326 votes garnered by Truss. The man who is known for tell cold truths has helped the British economy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic impact in 2020.
However, him attending elite high education institutes – Sunak studied at super-exclusive Winchester College and Oxford – and work experience at Goldman Sachs puts him at disadvantage with the general public. Sunak was heavily criticised for his rather slow response to the cost-of-living crisis in the UK. Despite this, it is Sunak who remains the frontrunner for the top job.