Boris steps down - who will be the next British Prime Minister?

The Conservative now have to decide on an new Prime Minister. The field is very wide and there is no obvious front runner.

On whom would you place your bet?

It could be one of five or six people. Tories tend to elect the one who is least unpopular. Sunak might be favourite but he was fined for a lockdown party and had the whole non-dom wife thingy going on. As long as it’s not Nadine Dorris or Priti Patel - not because they are women but because they are absolutely nuts. Another female Tory, Penny Mordaunt, might be my bet.

This title is confusing. Johnson has not resigned. It would be better to title this thread “Who would be the next prime minister if Johnson steps down?”.

He has agreed to step aside as soon as his party elect a new leader. He has yet to make the speech saying that, but the leadership fight is well underway behind the scenes.

It is going to be long day in politics.

We wait impatiently to clarify the confusing messages coming out of 10 Downing St.

He won’t get away with it, of course. Surely this sort of delusion only makes another formal confidence vote more likely.

As for the runners and riders, here’s one summary:

Considering the downward trend in the human and political quality of the last tory British PMs they will have a hard time finding someone who is even lower than Boris. But Priti Patel might fill those shoes. Nadine Vanessa Dorries (née Bargery) is another frightening possibility. Godott help us!

It’ll be the one with the least enemies not the one with the most admirers.

Ben Wallace seems to be front runner.

Not a name with a lot of public recognition….like most of them.

Richard Branson.

I know nothing about British politics.

The Conservative party has 358 members of Parliament. The next Prime Minister will be elected by them from the candidates that decide to run.

It is a horse race. At moment there is a committee of MPs whose job it is to organise the election and it will get going early next week. There will probably be some qualification to be a runner to reduce the potential candidates down to a manageable number.

It is a purely internal party matter. The general public will look on bemused and political reporters will be doing lots of interviews and betting companies will be offering odds so anyone can place a bet.

Few MPs have said so far that they will be definitely running. Some prominent figures have said they are not interested. There will be lots discussion in the tea rooms and bars of Westminster as candidates try to rally their supporters.

The committee organising it all is the 1922 committee of Conservative MPs. It also has to decide on what to do about a caretaker PM. Many MPs want Boris Johnson completely out of the picture and will be making their feelings known. So all eyes are on it and it’s meetings early next week.

Quite an interesting time in British politics.

The 1922 Committee is itself having elections on (I think) Monday, and the results of that will give a steer as to the timetable for BJ’s replacement, as well as whether he should stay on as PM. I’d imagine calling his party a “herd” won’t have done him any favours.

I’ve seen it reported that he’d agreed with the current chairman that it should all be over in September. The procedure has been to go through successive rounds of voting among the MPs to whittle the list down to two candidates to put to the party members, but the summer recess is near, and the party conference due in late September (which they would want to be rapturously anointing the new leader), so it’s a squeeze.

Never mind.

How soon after the new PM starts does a general election have to happen? I thought when May became PM, a new election had to follow relatively soon? Or not, maybe?

Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for Defence. He’s got a good reputation, has been scandal free, and gets along with the media.

The Prime Minister is chosen by Parliament. The Conservatives have a commanding majority in Parliament, so it’s effectively a party decision who the next Prime Minister will be. There’s no obligation for an incoming Prime Minister to call for a general election. They can wait as long as five years* since the last general election. It’s very common for replacement Prime Ministers to be in office for a while before calling a general election.

John Major: Became Prime Minister on 28 November 1990, first general election on 9 April 1992.
Gordon Brown: Became Prime Minister on 27 June 2007, lost general election on 6 May 2010.
Theresa May: Became Prime Minister on 13 July 2016, general election on 8 June 2017.
Boris Johnson: Became Prime Minister on 24 July 2019, general election on 12 December 2019.

*Parliament has to be dissolved five years after it’s first sitting after a government is elected. There’s an election period, which is supposed to be 25 days, but can be extended or shortened by an act of Parliament. Then there’s however long it takes for a new government to be formed, which has been at most a few days in recent UK history, but has been much longer for other countries’ governments.

If a Yank may ask a question, why "1922”? Is that a year, or the number of some bylaw or rule, or just whimsey?

It was originally formed by MPs who were elected in 1922.