How many Conservative Party members are there? The people choosing your next PM

Red Wall voters rage at Boris Johnson ousting

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Boris Johnson tendered his resignation to the general public yesterday in a speech on the steps of Number 10 that has rattled some within the Conservative Party. The speech laid the blame for his departure at the feet of the “Parliamentary Conservative Party” after ministers resigned en masse in a historic Government rebellion. That same party must pick his successor, with a long few months ahead as the first few candidates trickle in.

How many Conservative Party members are there?

Various levels of the Conservative Party will choose a new leader and Prime Minister.

Once every prospective candidate has made themselves known, Tory MPs will go first.

Each candidate will need at least eight Commons backers to make it to the first round.

Given the current supply of 358 serving Tories, their evenly distributed backing would produce up to 44 candidates.

But during the first round, the pool of successful candidates must receive at least 18 votes from their fellow MPs to go forward.

That requirement grows to 36 votes in the second round, leaving a maximum of approximately 10 if MPs distribute votes evenly again.

The number of votes needed will continue to multiply until two candidates are left over.

Once those two have come forward, the responsibility falls to paid-up general public members of the Conservative Party.

As of 2021, there were approximately 200,000 members, meaning 0.29 percent of the British population will choose the next Prime Minister.

The number is under half of Labour’s, which has around 430,000 paid-up party members.

Tory members will vote between two final candidates in a national ballot to choose their next leader, who will also become Prime Minister.

How long will it take to elect a new Conservative leader?

The Prime Minister’s resignation yesterday effectively kicked off the election.

In his speech, he said the process should “begin now” with a timetable “announced next week”.

That timetable is up to Conservative staffers and the party’s organisers within the 1922 Parliamentary Committee.

Sir Graham Brady serves as the committee’s current chair and will help decide how long the leadership race takes.

Initial impressions are that Tories will elect a new Prime Minister by the autumn, around October.

But it could take much quicker than this, as Sir Graham is reportedly considering cutting the timetable.

Instead of waiting until October, the next Tory leader may be in power by the end of summer recess on September 5.

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