As Boris Johnson stated on the day he announced his resignation – at Westminster, “when the herd strikes, it strikes”.
He was referring to the handfuls of ministers who give up his authorities, forcing him to face down in opposition to his will.
However the identical groupthink has additionally gripped the Tory management contest, with the accepted knowledge being that Liz Truss is heading for an inevitable victory over Rishi Sunak.
Additional proof of this phenomenon got here this morning, with Brandon Lewis the newest senior Conservative to publicly again the overseas secretary.
He adopted on Tom Tugendhat yesterday and defence secretary Ben Wallace the day earlier than.
With chancellor Nadhim Zahawi additionally anticipated to declare for her within the coming days, it’s clear that the higher echelons of the Tory get together have already made up their minds – Truss is heading for Quantity 10.
In fact, this doesn’t imply that they’ve all determined that she is uniquely blessed with the abilities wanted to steer the UK in such turbulent instances. Certainly, Tugendhat and Zahawi have been beforehand so unconvinced by Truss’s talents that they ran for the management themselves.
However they’ve checked out each her and Sunak, and – crucially – the opinion polls, and concluded that this race is simply ending a technique, in order that they’d higher hop on board the Truss Prepare earlier than she decides who to present jobs to in her new administration.
That’s not to say that each one is misplaced for Sunak, nonetheless.
His marketing campaign staff are at present pointing to a ballot of Conservative councillors which solely offers Truss a two level benefit over their man.
“This contest is all to play for,” stated a Sunak marketing campaign spokesperson. “Rishi is getting on the market day-after-day, visiting affiliation after affiliation throughout the nation to fulfill members and earn each vote. The race has solely simply begun.”
However it is vitally laborious to disagree with the evaluation of one other senior Tory who advised HuffPost UK it’s “throughout bar the shouting”.
Tory members will start receiving their poll papers tomorrow, and lots of of them will forged their votes right away.
If Sunak is to face any likelihood in any respect, he might want to change their minds – in addition to the path of the herd – in a short time.