Bookmaker’s favourite Boris Johnson has again come first in a poll of Conservative Members of Parliament choosing who they would have replace Theresa May as both party leader and, thanks to the makeup of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons, as Prime Minister of the nation too.
The second round of voting — repeated every Tuesday and Thursday until just two contenders remain or one is chosen outright — took place in the grand but innocuously named Committee Room 14 in the Palace of Westminster Tuesday evening. Favourite Boris Johnson once again came head of the pack, taking 126 votes of 313 cast — slightly less, perhaps than expected — while Dominic Raab fell below the 30 vote threshold and was eliminated.
313 Votes Cast
Boris Johnson – 126
Jeremy Hunt – 46
Michael Gove – 41
Rory Stewart – 37
Sajid Javid – 33
Dominic Raab – 30
Raab had presented as the strongest Brexiteer through the competition, saying when he launched his candidacy that he is a “conviction Brexiteer with a plan”. The former Brexit secretary had attacked Boris Johnson’s political style, asserting that “bluff and bluster” wouldn’t deliver Brexit.
Raab’s elimination from the contest after Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey in previous rounds leaves Boris Johnson as the most prominent Brexiteer, a matter of concern for some. While he has vowed to respect the October 29th Brexit day while others — including Michael Gove — have said they would consider delaying Brexit again, Nigel Farage has raised doubts about Johnson’s dedication and reliability.
Farage has previously said he had “really quite serious concerns” about Boris Johnson’s sincerity and ability to deliver Brexit. Indeed, Johnson hit the headlines in 2016 when it transpired before coming out in favour of Brexit during the referendum campaign he’d written two versions of one article — one for leave and one for remain — before declaring for the out campaign. He subsequently claimed the second article was to aid his thought process.
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