Will the PM face a challenge or not?
In the immediate aftermath of the disappointing general election for the Conservatives George Osborne suggested that the the Prime Minister was “a dead woman walking” a view that was shared by many who expected an early resignation.
The Tories, after all, are the party that is said to be most ruthless with a failing leader and in those few days after the election she was at her most vulnerable. Yet she didn’t going to the backbench 1922 committee saying that she was the one who had got the party into the situation where it had lost its majority and she was the one who would get the party out. Brave words and, as it turned out, ones that resonated.
Coming up though she has to face her party conference in early October and there’s been speculation over whether she’ll make an apology or not.
Perhaps more difficult is whether a challenge will be forthcoming. We all remember IDS in 2003 securing 13 standing ovations in his conference speech and the longest ever ovation any leader has ever enjoyed at the end. Within less than a month, however, he was out and Michael Howard got the leadership with a coronation.
Could the same happen this autumn with TMay? The big difference between her situation and IDS is that the latter was never able to fight an election as leader. TMay has and she lost the CON majority with a a net loss of 25 seats in England & Wales ameliorated by Ruth Davidson’s 12 Scots CON gains in Scotland.
The real issue is whether there will be a challenge and if so will it succeed?
Surprisingly the bookies have really not picked up on this and the only market I can find is the Q4 exit date betting on Betfair which prices her going as a 23% chance.
Her great strength is that there is not a unified view on who would be the successor.