So, as we see the Tory nominations close and read in front of the 1922 committee (essentially the group representing the back benchers of the party). We’ve got ten candidates, who now need to think about the process ahead of them.
To get to where they are now, they need to be nominated by an MP and seconded by another. They also need six other MPs to sign their nomination papers.
It’s going to move pretty swiftly. Today and tomorrow they will hold hustings, which are essentially a space for the candidates to lay out their policies to the first set of electors. These are every Tory MP and MEP elected and currently representing a constituency.
On Thursday, the first vote will take place. Every elector will vote for the candidate they think should be PM. The person who gets the least votes, gets eliminated. In a new rule, because there’s so many candidates, if anyone gets less than 16 votes, they’re also gone.
One we have a shortened list, which we should know around 1pm this Thursday; we will then see round two on Tuesday the following week. The same happens again, everyone gets a vote and they’ll be tallied up, except the candidates must get more than 32 votes. By round three which will take place Wednesday or Thursday of next week, it will be the two highest votes candidates who will be put through to the next stage.
The vote will then go out to the 160,000 strong Tory membership, who will get a postal vote to choose from the two. It is thought that this stage will take around one month to complete. You have to have been a member for 3 months in order to get a vote; though I doubt there’s been many sign ups over the that time if the European Elections are anything to go by.
Members ballots have only been going since 2001, when Ian Duncan Smith beat Ken Clarke to the top job, although they were in opposition then.
This is the largest number of MPs going for the role in recent history, the next closest was five candidates in 1997, where William Hague won.
The winner will look to take office on July 22nd, when Theresa May will officially exit- as she’s still the acting leader of the party until the elected take over.
Exciting times ahead.