The UK Leadership Race Update: Boris Johnson for the Next British PM?

Boris Johnson took the 1st Ballot. Next Tuesday’s 2nd Ballot will likely garner plenty more interest…
Bob Mason
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The First Ballot

On Thursday, the 10 candidates who entered the leadership race got cut to 7 following the first Tory Party Ballot.

The results of the first ballot certainly left its mark on the leadership race.

Coming in well ahead of the rest of the contenders, Boris Johnson scooped 114 votes. Jeremy Hunt came in a distant second, with just 43 votes.

Outsiders Andrea Leadsom (11 votes), Mark Harper (10 votes) and Esther McVey (9 votes) left the leadership race.

Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock, and Rory Stewart are now the outsiders. Sajid Javid received 23 votes, while Hancock and Stewart got just 20 votes and 19 votes respectively.

Who’s Left in the Running

From the Thursday vote it’s clear that even if all of the votes for the departing contenders go to Jeremy Hunt, Boris Johnson will continue to be the clear favorite.

With Boris Johnson, a pro-Brexiteer, further support would likely come from MPs that had voted for Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey

Jeremy Hunt could end up with Mark Harper’s 10 votes but, with Harper considered to be on the Brexit fence, Hunt will need to also muster votes from elsewhere to have a chance.

The leadership race remains split into 3 camps:

Pro-Brexiteers

Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid, and Dominic Raab

Fence Sitters

Matt Hancock

Pro-Remainers

Jeremy Hunt, Rory Stewart

What Lies Ahead

The next ballot is scheduled to take place on 18th June. To stay within the leadership race, contenders will need to garner at least 33 votes. Looking at the 1st ballot, there are 30 votes up for grabs, assuming that the rest of the voters stick with their first choice.

Both Rory Stewart and Matt Hancock look as though they are on their way out and it’s going to be close for Sajid Javid.

It will get interesting after that. If Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock and Rory Stewart are ousted on Tuesday, there’ll be additional 62 votes up for grabs. So it’s going to boil down to how many of the 30 extra votes Boris Johnson can take on Tuesday.

It’s not looking good for Jeremy Hunt when considering the fact that 3rd placed Michael Gove has 37 votes that would likely go to Boris Johnson late on in the race. That is assuming, of course, that Johnson and Gove don’t go ahead to ahead. Quite a big assumption to make…

For the Pound,

As expected the Pound showed little reaction to the 1st ballot result.

The Pound will likely respond to Tuesday’s ballot results, however. Who goes out and where the losing votes have ended up will be key as the candidates fall away.

We would expect the Pound to continue to find support should Boris Johnson maintain his clear lead. One important consideration, however, is Johnson’s Brexit vision.

The EU has frequently stated that there would be no further renegotiations on Brexit. If the current deal is not good enough for Parliament, will Boris Johnson deliver a no-deal Brexit?

At the time of writing, the Pound was up by just 0.01% to $1.26718.

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