The race for the next leader of the Tory Party has been going on for some time now, but it is only now starting to get into full swing. The prime candidates have set up their metaphorical stalls in Parliament, almost all defined by their positions on Brexit, and trying to get away from that fact. Over the next few weeks, the fight will only intensify, as the drama and passion over the votes in Westminster increases.
Sajid Javid, having begun this year as the prime favourite, has suffered and lost the support of many of his colleagues. He has been viewed for a long time by fellow MPs as a hopeless opportunist, and his actions in the Home Office have decimated his brand as a compassionate Conservative.
Dominic Raab is seen as the practical face of the Leave cabal, as if one such thing could possibly exist. In opposition to the reckless nature of Boris Johnson, Raab was Brexit Secretary for a short while before giving up that responsibility to impress Leavers. Whether he has anywhere near the political experience or wider reputation to take the thrown very much remains to be seen.
Jeremy Hunt has quietly emerged as the current favourite, with his apparent breakfasts to drum up support working their function with fellow MPs. His time as Health Secretary was long, and whether he can be seen to be a viable electoral candidate after that may be a stumbling block to him being approved by grandees.
Matt Hancock currently occupies the Health post, and has been seen as a positive face of the Department, which is always opposed to much reform. His support is growing, especially with his old Cameroon, Notting Hill set buddies.
Andrea Leadsom, not at all respected in Whitehall, is still popular within Parliament, and offers a passionate, positive Leave ticket. She has seen to be a rather capable Leader of the Commons, but it will be hard to see her win over those didn’t support back in 2016.
There are others: Boris Johnson, of course, Michael Gove could have another go, James Cleverly potentially, Tobias Ellwood and Philip Lee have all been testing the waters.
Sit back and relax. Let the battles begin, Gerry says…
Meanwhile, in Lib Dem land, Jo Swinson and Layla Moran look to be fancying their chances as leader. Ed Davey has also been preparing to replace Vince Cable, but many want a woman leader.
Gerry thinks Davey would be good, Swinson as well. Moran comes across infuriatingly…