Winning the support of 37 members of Parliament in the most recent Conservative Party leadership ballot on Tuesday, Rory Stewart has shown he’s the candidate with the big momentum. Because of the Conservative Party’s effective majority in the House of Commons, whoever wins the party’s leadership will automatically replace Theresa May as prime minister.
Yes, by winning 126 votes, Boris Johnson remains the firm favorite. But Stewart’s increase of 18 votes on his last ballot is a very impressive feat. Getting out onto the streets and speaking eloquently in various forums, Stewart has shown off his finest characteristics: his intellect, patriotism, and passion. He comes across as a younger, more energetic conservative outside the traditional staple of stuffiness.
In my view, that makes Stewart the best placed candidate to defeat Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in the next election (something all Americans should wish for).
Stewart also has a sensible position on Brexit: renegotiating a deal and avoiding a no-deal outcome reflects the desire for a Brexit which restores British parliamentary sovereignty but ensures close economic connectivity with the European Union.
Stewart now has the prospect of offering a serious underdog challenge to Boris Johnson when the Conservative Party’s members vote on their favorite of two final candidates next month. Until then, Stewart has to establish himself as the the right person to oppose Johnson — three other candidates are still challenging Stewart for that spot in the final ballot.