So, we have a system whereby we divided the country into 650 regions, each has an elected MP. The majority of these seats are held currently by members of the Tory party, and the party leader of whichever party holds a majority is the PM. (If no party has a majority, it’s then whichever parties can form the larger coalition to make a majority. There are some cases where a minority government can serve but they’re unlikely to get much legislation passed.)
Essentially what we’re looking at is the Tory party trying to figure out who their leader is. All the rounds of voting so far have been by the MPs themselves to whittle down to two candidates, and the Tory party members (regular folks who paid their fee and decided “yes this is where I want to be”) get to vote. There are some 160,000 party members at this time, and they are essentially going to decide the PM for the rest of the term, until December 2024 at the latest.
Personally I think resignation of the PM should mean a general election so that we, the public, get to decide and give the new PM their mandate by voting their party in, but the Tories aren’t going to go for that, especially not now, because the winds of fate are not on their side right now. I don’t think it would matter who was party leader for the GE, anti Tory thinking is probably strong enough to get them out of power even if it ends up needing a Labour-LibDem coalition to do it.
But the Tory planners are doing the math and figuring out if they can hold on until 2024 when the “current struggles” should be over. Presumably by then the war between Ukraine and Russia will be over and they will have found a new excuse to rally behind as to why the prices are going up and peoples‘ living standards keep going down.
However, the fuel price cap rise in October is going to go down like a shit sandwich especially with what’s going on - it’s one thing to raise the heating bills headed into summer, and a warm summer at that, but to do it again in autumn heading towards winter? Cold, hungry people with no ability to fix their situation is absolute breeding grounds for civil unrest.
Unless the new Tory PM demonstrably eases this for ordinary folk, they probably won’t last much past Christmas. Sunak is absolutely the wrong candidate on that particular issue - as someone with a track record of not getting the very real struggles of ordinary people. Truss just strikes me as a little more in touch, but not a lot.
I am quite a lot afraid this is going to get much worse before it gets better, and the damage done in the meantime may not be recoverable - the NHS is going to come in for even more of a beating, I’m afraid.