How the Next British Prime Minister Will Be Chosen

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Just over six weeks after Britain’s Conservative Party picked Liz Truss to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister, a new leader must again be selected.

This time, the process is expected to be much faster than the two-month affair that put Ms. Truss into office. There will be no prolonged campaign, with plans to have a result as soon as Monday.

Here is how the next leader will be chosen.

Like Ms. Truss, the country’s next leader will not be selected by a vote of the general population.

Instead, the 357 Conservative members of Parliament and, perhaps, about 170,000 dues-paying members of the Conservative Party will choose the party’s next leader, who will then become the prime minister. Members of the party are far more likely than the rest of the country’s 67 million residents to be male, older, middle-class and white, according to demographic research published in 2018.

The 357 Conservative members of Parliament have until 2 p.m. on Monday to submit a nomination for their preferred candidate. Candidates must receive at least 100 nominations to be considered, meaning no more than three can advance in the process.

If only one candidate earns 100 nominations, the process will end, and that person will be the next prime minister.

If two candidates reach the threshold, the Conservative members of Parliament will vote to indicate which one has more support. If the second-place finisher does not drop out, the roughly 170,000 party members will participate in an online vote that ends on Friday, when the result is to be announced.

If three candidates receive 100 nominations, the vote by lawmakers on Monday will eliminate one candidate, with the top two finishers advancing to the online vote.

Basically, but under a different process. When Mr. Johnson stepped down in July, eight Conservatives were nominated for the position, with the field whittled down over five rounds of voting among members of Parliament. Ms. Truss triumphed over the runner-up, Rishi Sunak, in a vote among the 170,000 dues-paying party members.

It took nearly two months from when Mr. Johnson resigned on July 7 to Ms. Truss being selected on Sept. 5.

It could be as soon as Monday if only one candidate gets more than 100 nominations, or if the second place finisher drops out. If it is put to an online vote among party members, the vote will end on Friday.

Mr. Sunak, the former chancellor of the Exchequer under Mr. Johnson, is among the favorites, as is Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the House of Commons.

And a familiar name considered a comeback: Mr. Johnson, who resigned after a series of scandals, was thought to be a very real possibility before he pulled out of the race on Sunday.

Read more on the candidates here.


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