As Andrea Leadsom has just withdrawn from the race to be Conservative Party leader:
Andrea Leadsom says her backing from MPs is not “sufficient support to lead a strong and stable government” if she were to win the leadership election.
Additionally, a not-too-subtle dig at the opposition party.
This opens up several questions, most namely the on-again, off-again snap election. Given that May will only have faced her fellow Conservative MPs in deciding the PM, and not the much broader electorate (and highly representative of the general UK population!) of Conservative Party members, combined with the somewhat disorganised state of the Labour Party, it’s in her interests to call an election as soon as possible. I’m willing to bet that we can find record of her and a good chunk of the Conservative front bench criticising Gordon Brown’s lack of calling a snap election in 2007 when he assumed leadership of the Labour Party uncontested.
While May was Remain, she was even more puke-warm than Corbyn. She’s on record today making it clear that there’s not going to be any back-door attempt to remain in the EU.
I’m on the radio in half an hour or so about political predictions for the remainder of 2016, and one of the points I was going to make was not to rule Leadsom out, even though the only poll we’ve seen had May ahead 63% – 31% among the Conservative Party membership. While not an explicit prediction, its veracity is consistent with any prediction I’ve made of late.