The F*cking Tory Leadership Contest
No! You can’t make me. I won’t do it. Can’t I just stay in bed and rewatch Killing Eve? No. No. No. Nope. No. No! Okay. Okay! Fine. I’ll write about The Fucking Tory Leadership Contest.
I hope you’re happy. There’s a million things I’d rather do than write about this smug gatherings of pricks deciding who the smuggest prick is. Boris Johnson’s going to win anyway. What? I know! I’m not happy about it either but that’s the way it is. Let’s start by explaining how The Fucking Tory Leadership Contest works.
Firstly, it’s fucking dumb and it shouldn’t work like this. In fact, last time it didn’t. Theresa May “won” after everyone else dropped out halfway through. That’s like claiming you won a boxing match after your opponent got tangled in the ropes between rounds and couldn’t get back out again. And due to Theresa May being so spectacularly bad, some shit on a stick looks good in comparison, the number of MPs who believe they could be the shit on a stick this country needs right now has resulted in the rules being changed. I’m not going to explain the usual rules. Much like Mark Harper, they’re boring, don’t matter, and not worth the time it takes to google them.
Usually, a Tory MP needs to be nominated by 2 fellow Tory MPs to stand. But, due to the aforementioned shit-on-a-stick psychology mentioned above, this has been increased to 8. Even with this higher threshold, 10 Tories stood in the first round. Only other Tory MPs can vote in this stage. Anyone with less than 5% of the votes in the first round will be eliminated. Anyone with less than 10% in the second round will be eliminated. Then they will keep holding more votes with last place getting eliminated each time until the two shittiest sticks remain. It will then be put to the entire Tory membership.
Who are the 160,000 members of the Conservative Party? They will decide who will lead the party, and therefore what stance we take on Brexit, and therefore the political direction of the UK for decades to come. So you’d assume that they must make up a sizable percentage of the population. I did the maths and they make up just 0.2% of the entire UK population. Firstly: that’s too small a percentage. Right? I double checked it and it was correct. Then just to make sure I passed it onto a graduate of maths and they informed me it was actually 0.02%. Jesus. The other assumption you’d make is that the majority of these members will be wealthy, middle aged, white men. How dare you be so narrow minded. Oh wait. 86% are in the top socio-economic bracket (ABC1), the average age is 57, 97% are white British, and 70% are male. Cool. Nice.
So now that we’ve established that we’re fucked, let’s have a look at the shit sticks that are vying to fuck us. After the first round of votes on Thursday 13th of June, we’re already 4 candidates down. Former TV presenter and your right wing Dad’s political crush Esther McVey got 2.9%. Previously used punchline Mark Harper got 3.2%. 2nd place to Theresa May in 2016 and 7th to Boris Johnson in 2019 Andrea Leadsom got 3.5%. And joke that writes itself Matt Hancock limped over the line with 6.4%, only to flaccidly drop out after a disappointing performance.
Now who’s left? It doesn’t matter. Boris Johnson will be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. How can I be so sure? Look at this:
If you ask people “How will you vote in the next general election?”, 23% of people would vote for the Tories and 27% for Labour. Bad news for the Tories. But if you change the question to “How will you vote in the next general election if Boris Johnson was the leader of the Conservative Party?” that jumps to 37% voting Tory and 22% voting Labour. That translates to a conservative majority of 140 seats. Considering they currently have a working majority of 13 thanks to the DUP, that would be an incredible change of fortune. Under no other leader does the polling show they would even come close to a majority.
Tory MPs hate Boris. For many of the same reasons we hate him, but also because they know him personally and that can’t help his cause. But they love their jobs as MPs. And the best way for them to keep their jobs after the next general election is to vote for Boris. He’ll go through to the final 2 against a more centrist candidate and the membership will vote him in because wealthy, middle aged, white men love Boris Johnson. And then he’ll win a landslide in the next general election before or after taking us out of the EU without a deal. I told you I didn’t want to write this piece. It’s bleak. *Insert joke here to lighten the mood*
But who do you want to win, Jake? Rory Stewart. For starters, he understands how bad a no deal Brexit would be. He’s also the stick with the least shit on, but that’s mainly because he’s only been a member of the cabinet for just over a month and hasn’t had time to accumulate much shit. Hugo Rifkind called him “the Tory people who aren’t Tories want to be leader”. Which is exactly why Tories don’t want him to be leader. Jeremy Hunt has the best chance of beating Johnson by appealing to the more moderate wing of the party. But while Hunt may be more popular within parliament, Boris has the numbers within the wider membership.
In short, we’re fucked. The Fucking Tory Leadership Contest is basically 0.0005% of the population deciding who 0.02% of the population gets to decide is the leader of our country. Wealthy, middle aged, white men continue to control the future of our country. An Islamophobic, racist, out of touch, incompetent narcissist will represent our entire country. And to be honest, that’s probably pretty accurate. Can I go back to bed now?