Conservative MPs have cast their nominations for the next Conservative Party leader, with the final result due to be announced by 9 September.
Those standing for the leadership are:
- Theresa May, Home Secretary
- Michael Gove, Justice Secretary
- Stephen Crabb, Work and Pensions Secretary
- Andrea Leadsom, Energy and Climate Change Minister
- Liam Fox MP, Former Defence Secretary
Boris Johnson, who was widely considered to have been one of the two front runners, confirmed shortly before the nomination deadline that he would not be standing; resulting in Theresa May becoming the clear favourite to succeed David Cameron.
Conservative Leadership Process
The rules that govern the Conservative Leadership process were introduced in 1998. Known as the ‘Hague rules’, they are designed to ensure every Party members has a say; previously the process was undertaken solely by MPs.
1. The rules stipulate that when the position of Leader becomes vacant, the election should start “as soon as practicable” but the process can take several weeks. In 2005 it took two months for the Party to elect David Cameron as Leader.
2. Any Conservative MP wishing to become Leader must then be proposed and seconded by two other Conservative MPs.
3. The Chairman of the 1922 Committee, which represents Conservative MPs, and is currently Graham Brady MP, acts as the returning officer for leadership elections.
4. Nominations must be received by Thursday, 30 June 2016.
5. If one nomination is received they automatically become the new leader of the Party.
6. If two nominations are received, they are immediately put to the full Party membership in a postal ballot.
7. If more than two people are nominated, a secret ballot of Conservative MPs is held “on the Tuesday immediately following the closing date for nominations”. The person who receives the fewest votes on each occasion is eliminated and subsequent ballots are held on Thursdays and Tuesdays until two names remain. This can take a number of separate votes depending on the number of candidates.
8. The final two candidates are then put to the full Party membership in a postal ballot.
9. The result will be announced by 9 September, at the latest.