Boris Johnson has been elected the new Conservative Party leader after winning the votes of more than 90,000 Tory members.
Dame Cheryl Gillan, a returning officer for the election, thanked all candidates and organisers of the election campaign before announcing the results, where Jonson received around double the votes of Jeremy Hunt. Johnson received 66.4 per cent (92,153) of the vote compared to Hunt’s 33.6 per cent (46,656), with the entire Conservative membership representing around 0.3% of the UK’s total number of registered voters.
Johnson will take over leadership of the party from Theresa May, who has faced a troubled three years as prime minister. She failed to to get her Brexit deal through the House of Commons, failing to unite her party or the country behind her plans. However, as Brexit rolled on it sucked all the oxygen out of all May’s other policies, where she also failed to make much progress despite an initial strong-showing of support in the polls.
The new PM will face similar arithmetic in parliament, with a number of Conservative MPs already making clear they would prefer to bring down Johnson’s new government than allow him to push the country out of the EU without first finding a deal with Brussels. Allan Johnson MP resigned from his role as Minister of State for Europe and the Americas and in a surprise move effectively called for an immediate vote of no confidence in Johnson if he won the campaign.
Whilst the Tories currently enjoy a tiny working majority of two in parliament thanks to their confidence and supply deal with Northern Ireland’s DUP, the latest opinion polls show the party with under 25 per cent of the vote, with Labour, the Brexit Party, and the Liberal Democrats all on similar numbers.
In one recent poll from ComRes, Boris Johnson could in fact cost the Conservatives the next general election due to his unpopularity with much of the country.