And there we have it folks, your final two.
Jeremy Hunt vs. Boris Johnson.
Let’s rattle through this quickly and get straight to the pub, eh?
The Final Furlong
It’s appropriate that the Conservative leadership race has been whittled down to two candidates during Royal Ascot. The Bookies have been beside themselves for the last few weeks with odds that were updated by the hour on who would hold the keys to Number 10 by the 23rd of July.
And, after Sajid Javid was knocked out in the fourth round of votes, followed a few hours later by Michael Gove, we have our final two runners.
What comes next is unclear. While the formats are pretty straightforward (two televised debates, followed by votes from the Conservative Party members), there is every chance that Boris will find some way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
He is, lest we forget, under the most intense scrutiny he has ever faced – to watch last night’s Question Time is to see the true level of vitriol levelled against him by some corners of the country.
Even the voting process by which he became the victor yesterday came under scrutiny, as it had when Raab and Stewart were eliminated – someone with as many votes as him could easily ask some of his fellow Tory MPs to vote tactically, by pledging support for no-hopers (like Stewart) to eliminate rivals (like Raab) before the die was even cast.
And, at the end of it all, Jeremy Hunt is the man tasked with stopping the Boris machine.
At least Gove would have been weirder-looking than BoJo.
Who Will Win?
Unless he catastrophically destroys his own campaign.
Gove or Stewart would have been worthy adversaries to Boris, in that they would have been able to take some pretty sizeable chunks out of him before he was elected Prime Minister.
Hunt will probably do some cosmetic damage and little else.
But again, as Between the Lines has already predicted, whoever takes over next will be their own undoing. All of the hyperbole, all of the utter bullshit that has been spouted over this leadership campaign, will come home to roost in just a few weeks’ time. The EU will deny a change to the withdrawal agreement, and Parliament will deny a no-deal Brexit.
If it is Johnson who takes over next, he will face the same issues that May did.
In the words of Ramsey Boulton from Game of Thrones…
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