The mounting pressure on the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has fueled speculation about a possible resignation or dismissal and, in parallel, about the names of the person who would be called to move to Downing Street. At the moment, nobody moves tab.
The opposition and even leading members of the Conservative Party have openly called on Johnson to resign. The ‘premier’ has limited himself for now to apologizing for his attendance at a party in May 2020, but new controversies do not stop coming out, the last one around some events held on the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April 2021.
If Johnson followed in the footsteps of his predecessors Theresa May and David Cameron and resigned, a succession race would start among the Conservatives, no need to call new elections. The ‘tories’ can also force the departure of the prime minister, with a motion of censure.
The former foreign minister Dominic Raab He currently serves as deputy prime minister, but ‘a priori’ his loss of political weight leaves him out of some pools that do include, on the other hand, other members of the current government, including the finance minister, Rishi Sunak.
Sunak, 41 years old and the son of immigrants, has been seen in recent months as the natural replacement for the Conservative Party, but his popularity seems to have dropped recently, especially among the ‘Tory’ leaders who will have in their hands the final decision on the future prime minister, according to the newspaper ‘The Guardian’.
Some 46 percent of conservative voters believe Sunak will do better than Johnson, according to a YouGov survey published last week. Only 16 percent consider that he will govern worse than the prime minister and 30 percent believe that there will be no significant changes.
The poll also places Sunak as the favorite to replace Johnson, with a support level of 33 percent, seven points above Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. However, the head of British diplomacy is ahead of Sunak in another study published at the end of December by the Conservative Home website, with 23 percent compared to 20 percent of the head of Finance.
In fact, analysts and the media agree that Truss is trading on the rise in this race buried by the succession. The Foreign Minister, a former defender of the permanence of the United Kingdom in the European Union, is now the main person in charge of negotiating relations with the community bloc and has a discourse on freedoms, patriotism and trade that certain conservative sectors like.
Sunak and Truss are the main favorites in a list that also includes the names of the Minister of Health, Sajid Javid, of the Interior, Priti Pattel, of Business, Kwasi Kwarteng, or of Education, Nadhim Zahawi, among others. There are also MPs, like Penny Mordaunt, Steve Baker and, above all, Jeremy Hunt.
The latter, a former foreign minister, was Johnson’s main rival in the last primaries. He was clearly defeated in the final vote, but nobody considers him discarded after continuing to remain under Johnson’s tutelage during these years and being scrupulously loyal to the current leadership.
Hunt is listed as the third most named candidate in the YouGov poll, with 8 per cent, and is fifth in the Conservative Home poll, behind Mordaunt and Baker.