Here's a synopsis of the First Round of Leadership Voting.

The odds on Boris Johnson becoming the next prime minister are now 1/5, down from 4/7 this morning, the betting website Oddschecker says. That’s an implied probability of 83.3% that he will win the Conservative leadership contest.

I had Johnson at 80% from the outset. The betting odds were way off before. Don't go by them.

Rory Stewart says he will bring down the government if Boris Johnson tried to prorogue parliament to facilitate a no-deal Brexit. Porogue means not hold a parliament session until the legal default of no deal automatically kicks in on October 31.

He [Johnson] won’t be able to. I guarantee you, if he were to try, I and every other member of parliament will sit across the road in Methodist Central Hall and we will hold our own session of parliament and we will bring him down, because you do not, ever, lock the doors on parliament in this country, or in any other country with any respect in the world.

Stewart cannot make any such guarantees other than on his own behalf. If he tries, he will find himself ousted from parliament.

Johnson has not ruled it prorogue. Dominic Raab is the Brexiter leadership candidate who explicitly ruled it in.

16 Final Hustings

Once whittled down to the final two candidates, there will be 16 Hustings where candidates address voters.

  • The first hustings will take place in Birmingham on Saturday 22 June. The final hustings will take place in London in the week commencing 15 July. There will also be an opportunity for the public to question the final two candidates online during the hustings period.
  • Conservative party members should receive postal ballots between 6 and 8 July. The result of the ballot will be announced in the week commencing 22 July.
  • The campaign spending limit for each candidate is £150,000, commencing from 7 June.

What's Next?

  • Tomorrow 1pm: Deadline for candidates who want to announce they are withdrawing from the contest.
  • Sunday 16 June: Channel 4 News broadcasts a hustings for the remaining candidates, chaired by Krishnan Guru-Murthy. Boris Johnson is not expected to participate, but other candidates, including Michael Gove and Rory Stewart, have said they are keen to be there.
  • Monday 17 June: Second round of hustings organised by the 1922 Committee, starting at 3pm. These take place in private.
  • Tuesday 18 June: The second ballot takes place between 3pm and 5pm, with the result announced at about 6pm. The candidate coming last will drop out, as well as any candidate receiving fewer than 33 votes. At 8pm, Emily Maitlis will chair a BBC hustings.
  • Wednesday 18 June: [I believe the Guardian means the 19th] The third ballot will take place, with voting between 3pm and 5pm and the result due at about 6pm. The candidate coming last will drop out.
  • Thursday 19 June [I believe the Guardian means the 20th]: Two further ballots will take place, if needed, the first in the morning, with the results announced at about 1pm, and the second in the afternoon, with the results announced at about 6pm. By the end of Thursday, the 1922 Committee hopes to have whittled the list down to two for the ballot of party members.
  • Week beginning Monday 22 July: The winner of the election is due to be announced this week. The Conservative party has not yet said exactly when that will be, but Wednesday 24 July is likely to be the new leader’s first PMQs, or Theresa May’s last.

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It's a smart move by Johnson to not participate on the 16th.

The Remoaners will all unite behind either Gove or Hunt in a fool's mission to stop a no-deal Brexit.

Kiss Stewart Goodbye

The next vote is Tuesday, June 18. Candidates who will vote against their own party have no chance.

Word About Guarantees

Stewart made a foolish "guarantee" that is not his to make.

Johnson's current total of 124 does not "guarantee" him a place at the table for the final round.

More accurately, 105 votes in the final elimination round does. MPs can change their minds in the next week.

At this stage, only Johnson can do Johnson in. It's possible, but don't bet on it.

In politics, one month is long time. That's the only reason not to give Johnson higher than an 83% chance right now.

The current odds are about where I expected them to be. But 16 Hustings are coming up. Anything can happen.

To the huge advantage of BoJo, polls (which I believe are accurate) show the Tory membership likes Johnson far more than the Tory MPs do, and it is the party, not the MPs that makes the final call.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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