The Conservative leadership race

Two factors make this race to be Tory leader and PM unusual. First, it comes hot on the heels of the referendum, which means backbench MPs have recent experience of when they can give, withdraw, or withhold their public support for one side or the other to maximum effect. Second, the incumbent Prime Minister does not have a chosen candidate in the competition, which makes it much less likely that the party machinery can sway the vote (as happened when Michael Howard appointed Francis Maude as Party Chairman to boost David Cameron, for example).  

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