This Tory tussle will ultimately end with the British public either placing their faith in one of two options. The Brexiteer Boris Johnson gains momentum with each day, or Jeremy Hunt, who has cultivated a clean demeanour of wisdom during televised debates.
Hunt is far from the ideal candidate as far as Brussels are concerned, given his resolve to pass a withdrawal agreement that the EU has decisively ruled out. The argument spearheading his campaign is that he will act as a more pragmatic leader than Johnson and conduct politics with a clear head. Yet that word ‘act’ is particularly crucial. How long can Hunt preserve the persona of a man who conducts politics coolly when confronted with the barrier of Brexit?
Johnson has accumulated a hefty amount of promises to woo MPs and activists to his cause within the Conservative party. These include the ending of emissions by 2050 and the certainty of not having to pay the proposed £93 billion divorce bill from Europe until a new trade deal was agreed. While Johnson may sing his promises with more flamboyance than Hunt, the voters must question just how many of his proposed promises are viable for the future political climate within the UK.
Johnson promises to withdraw from the EU by October 2019.
Hunt has recently faced a barrage of discontent from voters after being unable to comment whether he would be able to navigate the UK out of the EU by the end of 2019, deflating his support in favour of Boris who is relying on his ‘do or die’ approach to Brexit in order to sway support.
US president Donald Trump has recently declared his support of both Tory candidates, suggesting that there is a chance of a continued healthy relationship with the US regardless of which PM enters number 10 on the 23rd of July.
The final ousting between the two candidates currently places Johnson in the lead, but Hunt assures voters that this vote will mirror the 2005 election where the supposed underdog wins the day with logical reasoning and argument. It will not be a coronation of another predetermined Tory candidate as the 2016 election showed, but a fair competition of opponents with differing ideas.
But can the UK expect the same phenomenon that America experienced in 2016? The phenomenon I refer to is the decision of the public to vote for the figure that is more likely to be the catalyst for media scandal and attract the more controversy. Western politics has been whittled down to an episode of Love Island. Whichever figure creates the most drama is likely to receive the most voter attention, in favour of the more vanilla politician. Johnson is known for his exuberant and unpredictable attitude making him the candidate that will most likely attract more attention, his past is chequered with various triumphs and scandals that frankly make him a more interesting choice. By contrast, Hunt is more of an unknown and has fewer ideas to outshine Boris’s established reputation with the British public. The ballot boxes will reveal who is the next Tory to take up the baton will be on the 23rd of July, hopefully yielding the figure that is capable of securing Brexit sooner rather than later.
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