Britons reject general election to choose next Prime Minister – ‘This is Tory business’
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Around 160,000 Tory Party members have begun voting to decide whether Foreign Secretary Liz Truss or former Chancellor Rishi Sunak will succeed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. Following Mr Johnson’s resignation on July 7, David Mellor, who was a cabinet minister under John Major, questioned the fairness of a small electorate last month.
He told BBC News on July 21: “Why should 0.2 percent of the British public determine who the next Prime Minister is?
“Most of them [are] white men of a certain age as well. I would be an ideal Conservative Party member but I’m not proud of that fact.”
In a poll that ran from 11am on Monday, August 1, to midday on Monday, August 8, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should the UK have a general election to decide the next PM?”
Overall, 2,738 people responded with a majority of readers, 58 percent (1,587 people) answering “no” the UK should not have a general election to decide the next Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, some 41 percent (1,136 people) said “yes” and just one percent (15 people) said they did not know.
Dozens of readers shared their thoughts in the comments below the accompanying article.
Many readers commented that the UK should not have a general election as it would not comply with Britain’s constitution.
Username PhilCo58 said: “The general election is to select the party we want in Government. It is for the members of that Party to select their Leader. Until there is a new system in place that is how our Constitution works.”
And Username MolotovPrawnCocktail said: “It doesn’t matter which party is in power, if the PM changes there is no general election as that’s not how the voting system works.
“You vote for an MP to represent you in Parliament, you don’t vote for a PM.”
Meanwhile, username lla ma dos said: “We voted for the Party to run the country, not a single individual.”
Some readers commented that an election had not been held to choose a new Prime Minister previously and it should be left with the Tory Party.
Username parrot said: “No we have never had a general election when any other PM stands down so why now.”
Another, username prion88 said: “No, this is a Tory business. nothing to do with us. We voted for the Tories and they are in charge.”
However, other readers were in favour of Britain holding a general election.
Username Westsussex said: “Yes, there needs to be a general election.”
While username StellaHowell said: “A General Election for a total change. The Country is in shambles.”
A survey by Savanta ComRes for the Independent, published on Sunday, July 31, demonstrated that there is an appetite for a snap election.
The results show that 56 percent support the proposal that the winner of the Tory leadership race “should call a general election immediately”.
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Meanwhile just over a third disagreed, and 34 percent of Tory voters at the 2019 election believe the new leader should allow the nation to vote.
Chris Hopkins, associate director at Savanta ComRes, said: “Despite it becoming fairly commonplace in recent years for Prime Ministers to come and go without the backing of the public at an election.
“The view that the next leader of the Conservative Party should call an immediate election and seek a mandate from the British public is held by a majority of the public.”
Chair of the 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady is due to announce the next Prime Minister on September 5.
This will be the third Prime Minister appointed without a general election in the past six years.
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