The British Conservative Party leadership contest is scheduled to continue for another six weeks. But that will likely be just a formality after today’s first-round vote in Parliament. Boris Johnson’s overwhelming lead means he’s almost certainly going to be Britain’s next prime minister — which could be just what Britain needs.
The Tory leadership contest is fought in two arenas. The first is that of Parliament, where the 313 Conservative members whittle down the contenders over a series of votes to a final two. Those two then campaign among the registered, dues-paying Tory members for the activists’ favor. The winner of that second round becomes the new leader, and hence the new prime minister.
Johnson wiped the floor with his contenders in today’s parliamentary vote. He received a whopping 114 votes, a massive haul considering he had nine opponents. His support is so large that it exceeds that of his next three highest-ranking challengers combined. The London bookies, who make markets on everything, have dutifully placed the odds on his win at 83 percent. Given Johnson’s massive popularity with the Tory activists, it would take either a stunning misstep or machinations that would amaze even Machiavelli to trip him up.