When Theresa May announced she was hanging up her briefcase as the Prime Minister of this fair land, she set forth a battle of wits and morals that are now traditional for any leadership war.
Smear campaigns, falsities, drug taking guilt and dodging the question are all in the usual day’s work for a politician, and all of the candidates for the role of new Conservative Party leader – and thus Prime Minister – have engaged liberally in the last spectacle that proves that our elected representatives are just as morally lacking as the rest of us!
Ten potential candidates made themselves known, and these went straight to the ballots almost immediately to whittle down the number to seven.
The first ballot removed Mark Harper, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey from the running, and then Matt Hancock announced his intention not to be the Prime Minister – which is like me announcing my intention not to be the 10,000m champion at the 2020 Olympics.
And then, well, things started to get a bit more interesting….
The Second Ballot
Just two days before the second ballot took place, Channel 4 announced they would be hosting a televised debate for all the candidates left in the race.
Everyone accepted the invitation apart from one man: Boris Johnson. He was ‘advised’, you suspect, not to take part for fear of unveiling himself as a dithering, incompetent buffoon. Who knew?
It was a controversial show with the hosts really seeming to go to town on the Brexiteers among the candidates, which is hardly a fair way of going about a balanced and impartial discussion.
As a result, it was Rory Stewart who came out smelling of roses. He seems to be a thoughtful, articulate man that appears almost human – unusual for a politician. But sadly, he also has the air of a geography teacher that is desperate to be ‘down with the kids’; the sort that winds up wearing their tie on their head at the office Christmas party.
The ballots reopened on Tuesday for the second vote, where the candidate that finished last – and anyone else not securing at least 33 votes – would be eliminated from the race.
The Brexit bungler, Dominic Raab, picked up just 30 votes and departed the scene. Sajid Javid hung on by the skin of his teeth with the threshold 33 votes to progress to the third ballot.
At the top of the leaderboard, Boris Johnson was miles clear on 126 votes, with Jeremy Hunt (46), Michael Gove (41) and Rory Stewart (37) lagging behind.
The Third & Fourth Ballots
Prior to Thursday’s third ballot there was another debate show, this time on BBC One.
Once again, the supposedly impartial Beeb appeared to round on the Leave supporting candidates, with a number of controversial individuals allowed to grill the panel including an imam that has since been suspended from his job for allegedly making anti-Semitic remarks.
Nobody came out of the chaotic husting in any great light but especially not Stewart, who at one point took off his tie and perched on the edge of his seat like he was about to launch into a key-change with Westlife.
It would prove to be his last act in an entertaining/excruciating campaign. Stewart was voted out in third ballot on Wednesday, accumulating just 27 votes and being removed from the race.
The fourth ballot took place almost immediately on Thursday lunchtime, with Sajid Javid dropping out of the hunt with 34 votes.
And then there were three: Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt.
So What Happens Next?
The voters go back to the ballot on Thursday afternoon, and once the votes have been counted and verified we will know which of the remaining two candidates will be left in the race to 10 Downing Street.
There is likely to be two more TV debates – the first a Question Time style show on the BBC, the second a similar format on Sky News, and then the Tories will pick their favourite in a postal vote system.
The results will be announced sometime in the week of July 22, with the winner taking their post shortly after.
In truth, it will be a shock of epic proportions if Boris Johnson is not crowned the next PM. He is leading the race by roughly 100 votes, and with neither Hunt or Gove likely to win much support the result appears almost inevitable.
And then the people of the UK will have to buckle up for what will undoubtedly be a bumpy ride through post-apocalyptical Brexit Britain.