May ’til Christmas?│Sebastian Cousins

Grassroots anger is growing. Demands for Christmas to be an exodus and genesis increase in volume. The end of May is nearing.

To be honest, that was a tad melodramatic. And, though almost everyone on the political spectrum wants her to go for various reasons,  May is not going to jump, nor does the party’s establishment want to push her. The possibility of another election happening, for a new mandate of all things, would be electoral suicide now; Corbyn has become popular, the public have moved to the left on the economy and the handling of Brexit by the Government appears incompetent.  The party may hate May for losing the Tory majority to the impossible – a socialist demagogue – but they can’t axe her and hope her loyalists will stay quiet (though few, there are enough in the context of a minority government to cause havoc). For Britain’s grand old party, it’d be a massive risk to give her the chop, though I’m sure the brutal, bloodthirsty, machiavellian Tory machine wants to bury the hatchet they have with her (in her head).

The Tory grassroots are demanding May goes by the Christmas holidays. However, without any obvious Tory MPs to wield the knife (the traditionalist Mogg seems to be quite happy as an eccentric backbencher and internet meme, while moderate Conservatives Heidi Allen and Anna Soubry seem to lack support and experience for a credible challenge), it’s unlikely. Plus the credible, electable names mentioned in the press (Davis, Johnson and ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ Hammond) have all ruled themselves out when they had the chance to stab her in the back before the Queen’s Speech. So I doubt that the members, desperate though they may be, will be able to crucify her in some sort of reverse Spartacus. Or indeed, Jesus; though I would not equate the two.

Unlike Labour or the Lib Dems, the Grassroots of the Tories (though none of the aforementioned parties can directly do so anyway without MPs triggering a contest) have very little choice over who becomes leader. In Labour, everyone votes on for the leadership at the same time, thanks to Miliband’s One Member One Vote (which, if you’re a Blairite like me, has been such a stunning success), and the same in the Lib Dems (though with the AV system as well) apart from the recent coronation of Sir Vince Cable.  The Tories- while having membership vote – don’t vote at the same time as MPs.

Instead, the Conservative leadership candidates receive nominations that go to the head of the 1922 Committee. The nominated candidates (unless you’re Boris) declare their candidacy before the deadline. In 2016, there were five candidates so the party used rounds to narrow it down to two. What then happens is supposed to be a postal vote but that didn’t happen last year because Leadsom pulled out for making vicious remarks before the start of campaigning, which is rather quite amateurish for a Conservative Leadership candidate. Then on the ballot, the member has a generous selection of two candidates to pick from and the last time that happened was in 2005, between David Cameron and David Davis. We can all agree the Tory Grassroots lack power, just as Spartacus did.

So, will she go? Well yes, she will go one day- she is not (though the far left may think so) a demon or a literary character (though less developed than one) or even a robot (though debatable). I think, as the Tory party is not in the mood for another election where they are likely to lose to the Labour party (and everything a Corbyn premiership entails), they will not risk having a new leader who will be toxified by an unpopular austerity programme and, potentially, a bad Brexit, which everyone will be banging on about regardless if they helped to enable her to do so. The Tory elite will let May take the fall, and like that season of the same name, her decayed tree of ‘Strong and Stable Leadership’ will be blown over by the gale force winds of an angry electorate, a populist Labour manifesto and the energised youth vote. Only then will they rebuild themselves, recreate and regenerate.

So my answer to the question would be the next election (which is either next season or 2022, depending on who you ask).  Only then will May end for the Tories and the Labour leader (Corbyn or whoever is in at that time; Labour still has internal problems) will be the PM. I am certain, 100%,  this is going to happen. Then again, I was also certain Hillary would be president, remain would win and the Labour/SNP coalition was going to come to power in 2015.

Therefore I am most likely wrong, but only time will tell.

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