David Cameron will almost certainly lose the leadership of his party if he’s kicked out of 10 Downing Street in 2015. But who would take over as the next Conservative leader?
Boris Johnson evades questions from the media about his leadership ambitions but insiders say he’s desperate for the top job. Boris previously told voters he wouldn’t be an MP during his time as mayor of London. But he’s standing for election in a safe Tory seat in 2015 and plans to do both jobs at the same time until his second term as mayor comes to an end. He’s arguably Britain’s most popular politician; will this popularity secure him the leadership?
A survey by the influential ConservativeHome website in December found that Theresa May is favourite among Tories to be the party’s next leader. The Home Secretary’s hardline stance on immigration and the EU’s Human Rights Act has won her a lot of admirers inside the party. Rumours of a frosty relationship with David Cameron also make her stand out to Conservative voters who are frustrated by how the current Prime Minister is running things.
George Osborne is David Cameron’s wingman. He successfully managed his Conservative Party leadership campaign in 2005 and has been by his side as Shadow Chancellor and then Chancellor of the Exchequer ever since. Many see him as Mr Cameron’s natural successor. He’s not very popular with the electorate though. However, known as a master strategist within the party, does Osborne have one last trick up his sleeve to secure him the top job?
Once tipped as a strong favourite to take over the Conservative leadership, Michael Gove’s star has faded over the last year. His public approval ratings plummeted and he lost his job as Education Secretary in Prime Minister David Cameron’s reshuffle. He’s still highly rated by grass-roots members of the party though, and if Mr Cameron loses his grip on the top job he may be tempted to challenge for the leadership.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has been described as an ‘icon of social mobility’. He’s the son of an immigrant from India who arrived in the UK with only a pound in his pocket and went to a comprehensive school. This sets him apart from Prime Minister David Cameron and fellow leadership contenders George Osborne and Boris Johnson, who are Eton-educated and were members of the University of Oxford’s infamous Bullingdon Club.