The United Kingdom has voted to Leave the European Union. PM David Cameron (Witney), has resigned to allow the Conservative and Unionist party to elect a new leader and subsequently a new Prime Minister by their party conference in October. Which means the Brexit process won’t properly begin until that time. This means that the new Prime Minister will be a Conservative and Unionist party member that probably supported Leave. This raises the question: who will be the next Conservative and Unionist party leader, and therefore, also the next Prime Minister?
Firstly, not the Deputy Prime Minister – because there isn’t one, currently (Cameron chose not to select one). The election process will involve Conservative and Unionist party members voting on standing candidates, in a process of elimination that will leave only two candidates remaining – of those two remaining candidates, one will be voted Conservative and Unionist party leader, and subsequently Prime Minister. Cameron himself was elected Conservative and Unionist party leader in this way in 2005 after the Labour party formed the government in the 2005 General Election. Cameron has also specified that his successor will be able to choose when Brexit will be officially instigated. That successor is currently tipped to be one of five people: Boris Johnson MP (Uxbridge and South Ruislip), Michael Gove MP (Surrey Heath), Liam Fox MP (North Somerset), Andrea Leadsom MP (South Northamptonshire) or Dominic Raab MP (Esher and Walton) – though this is only media speculation. Per the Conservative and Unionist party’s rule, a member is only eligible for leadership if nominated by at least two other members, of-which there are currently 331. The elimination process will only be necessary if more than two members are nominated – were this to happen, there will be as many voting rounds as there are more than two nominees, with the nominee receiving the fewest votes being eliminated; this process will continue until only two remain, with the victor between the two being elected party leader. Parliament officially recesses on 21st July, meaning that the party leadership elections will need to be held before that time if a new leader is to be elected by the annual party conference on 2nd October. The result can be expected in September.