This Tory leadership contest may already have a clear winner but Tuesday’s debate revealed a glimpse of the future.
Dominic Raab was the latest candidate to be eliminated from the Conservative Party Leadership Contest, in a significant evening in the race to become Britain’s next prime minister.
After gaining the sufficient number of votes to progress into the third round of the contest, five candidates then faced each other in the BBC’s televised debate.
Key Headlines from the Debate:
All candidates agreed not to hold an election until at least Brexit was resolved.
Significantly, all spoke of the need to move away from the public service cuts of the Cameron/Osborne era.
None of the candidates revealed their Brexit plans in detail, mainly out of fear of alienating (especially for Boris Johnson) their uneasy coalitions of support between Remain and Leave Tory MPs.
Rory Stewart was the headline result from Round Two increasing his votes by 18MPs — reflective of his increasing momentum in the contest. Rather than, as expected, the debate isolating Boris Johnson, Stewart deliberately appeared isolated from the others in his attempt to portray them as unrealistic in both Brexit and taxation proposals.
Continuing his unique stance, Stewart was the only candidate who refused to promise cuts to taxes, saying that he would not be able to do so because of the current economic situation. However, his repeated rhetoric of being a realist was not translated into clear policy proposals either, making it unlikely that we will switch to Stewart. It will be difficult for him to succeed in Round Three. Read more