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Even on the final MP ballot she only got 31.6%

One of the problems about the Conservative party’s system for electing a leader is that it is entirely possible for the person who is chosen not to be the choice of MPs – something that looks set to happen in the current contest.

It used to be the case before the rules were changed during William Hague’s leadership that it was the MPs who made the decision and the MPs alone. Now the final selection is in the hands of party members and we are going through the ballot process at the moment.

An issue about giving members the final say is that you can end up with a situation where the choice of the parliamentary party is ignored. This is what happened with Labour after GE2015 when Corbyn came top.

Looking at the voting figures in the various rounds of MP ballots and you can see that Liz Truss only got 14% of the first choices on the first round and less than a third on the final one.

It also means that during the campaign itself the amongst membership tends to move to the extremes hence some of the policy announcements that have come from both Sunak and Truss.

Mike Smithson

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