The 10 candidates to replace Boris Johnson on the starting list were decided by 357 British Conservative MPs, and now it’s up to 160,000 Conservative Party members to choose between the two finalists, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. August to do so, by postal vote. Who are these people, representing at most 0.35% of the British electorate, whose decision affects the fate of an entire country?
Donors, municipal councillors, activists… According to a study by Queen Mary University of London, party members are 70% men, not old (about fifty on average), and not representative of the country’s racial diversity. “They tend to be more radical and right-wing than the average Conservative voter – because they are committed activists who are willing to give money to the party.”confirms Chris Curtis, of the Opinium Research polling institute.
They worry, for example, about immigration more than they do about climate change, Because 90% of them will die in 2050 [date à laquelle le gouvernement britannique s’est engagé à parvenir à la neutralité carbone] »And the Conservative MP Chris Skidmore admitted a few days ago, citing a YouGov poll that found only 4% of Conservative Party members consider the national climate change strategy one of their three priorities.
Bids from candidates
“They are particularly radical on economic matters, very much in favor of tax cuts and very opposed to public spending, and on these issues they are much more different from Conservative voters.”Chris Curtis adds. This is why the candidates – with the notable exception of Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson’s ex-treasury secretary – have offered their promises of tax cuts, which were deemed highly unrealistic given the situation. Especially hospital and accelerating inflation).
On the other hand, party members will not have priority in terms of gender – the Conservative Party has already given two prime ministers for the country (Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May) – or the ethnic origin of the candidates – Mr. Sunak is of Indian origin. ‘They’re totally ready to vote for a woman of color’notes Michael Gove, Johnson’s former secretary of state, who backed the candidacy of Kimi Badenouch, a British-Nigerian (dismissed on Tuesday, July 19).
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