“Many Conservative activists are to the right of party centre and can usually be expected to back the more right wing of any two candidates. In this election, it is Sunak who was the original Brexiteer, but he has drawn much of his eventual support from the parliamentary party’s left, which voted Remain.” Paul Goodman in The Times today.
Note how Conservative Party politics are now defined by “Left” and “Right” (as they always were) but that now the go to policy area is “Leave” or “Remain”. They use the shorthand Left=Remain and Right=Leave. But in fact there is nothing remotely Left Wing about being a member of the European Union a quintessentially capitalist construct.
It seems that Brexit will play a part in the members’ choice – in which case the “Right” should go for Sunak who pre referendum was firmly for “Leave” – which Ms Truss certainly was not.
But in reality the referendum debate was primarily driven by xenophobia and nationalism. Note how the comfortingly white middle class girl next door surrounds herself with flags at every opportunity – expect more of this in the coming weeks.
I’m sure that Mr Sunak is no less patriotic than Ms Truss. But we are not dealing with a sophisticated electorate here. Some of the Tories’ ageing membership no doubt sympathised with Nigel Farage and a fair number voted accordingly. This may count against the Indian heritage Mr Sunak with his strong present day Indian connections – especially through his wife and her family.
Britain may well get its third female Prime Minister and is unlikely to get its first of Asian heritage. Whether this reflects the preferences of the country as a whole I’ve no idea. But as I say the electorate making the choice is far from representative of the nation at large demographically.
The last three Prime Ministers, all Conservatives , have been thrown out of office (or forced to resign) early. None was defeated in a General Election. Maybe this time at the end of the victor’s brief term in office we the people will decide in an Election who we want as our Head of Government. Maybe.