British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party, although he will remain the head of government until the ‘tories’ choose their new leader.
After less than three years in office and after winning the Conservative Party’s biggest victory since 1987, the continuing scandals that have marred Johnson They finally forced him to resign.
The Conservative Party now has to decide who will be his successor, but how is the proccess?
How does the Conservative Party choose its new leader?
Once the leader of the Conservative Party leaves office, the election of a new party leader is triggered. According to the rules established in 1997, if there are more than two candidates for leadership -it is expected that there will be around 10-, they must have the support of at least eight Conservative MPs.
After all the candidates to lead the Conservative Party are elected, parliamentarians will hold a series of votes until only two remain. In the first round, candidates must get at least 5% of the votes, or the support of 18 deputies, to continue in the race. In the second round, they need to achieve the 10% support of Conservative MPs and in the following rounds the candidates who obtain the fewer votes until only two remain.
The final two candidates are voted on by members of the Conservative Party in a longer process that includes electoral campaigns. The chosen candidate will become leader of the ‘tory’ party and then prime minister, as the Conservatives have a majority in the House of Commons.
How long can the process take?
The length of the process to elect a new Conservative Party leader can vary, depending on the number of people running. Following David Cameron’s resignation in 2016, Theresa May became the Conservative leader less than three weeks later. For her part, Johnson took office two months after May announced her intention to step down in 2019.
In that year, Johnson faced former Health Minister Jeremy Hunt in the runoff of Conservative candidates. The two campaigned for the final vote for a month, from June 7 to July 23, and Johnson ultimately won about 66% of the votes.
On other occasions, voting has taken place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but on July 21st the British Parliament will interrupt its activities for six weeks for the summer. For this reason, the process may need to be sped up.
Will there be general elections?
General elections in the UK are held at most every five years. Unless early elections are called, the next would take place in January 2025. The last ones were held in December 2019, when Johnson achieved his best results of the ‘tories’ since the third victory of Margaret Thatcher in 1987.
With Johnson resigning, the Conservative Party will select a new leader and that person will become the next UK prime minister. the new prime minister would not be obliged to call early electionsthough he has the power to do so. For this you should first request it from the queen Elizabeth II, although she could reject it.
How long will Johnson remain in power?
Boris Johnson has announced that he is resigning as leader of the Conservative Party, but will remain Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. until the ‘tories’ choose their new leader in the fall.
Staying in office until a new Conservative leader is selected is quite normal. His predecessors Theresa May and David Cameron already did when they presented their resignation.
Should she step down as prime minister immediately, Queen Elizabeth II could appoint someone else to take over until a new leader is elected.