Will the rest of the world decide the UK’s next prime minister?

Will the rest of the world decide the UK’s next prime minister?
Candidate Rishi Sunak takes part in the BBC Conservative party leadership debate at Victoria Hall in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Britain, July 25, 2022. Jacob King/Pool via REUTERS

Now that Boris Johnson resigned, how will his replacement be chosen? Well, it turns out, it isn’t the most straightforward process. First, all the members of Parliament in the Tory party (which is the majority party) get to vote on the list of names until it gets whittled down to two. That’s what they’ve been doing for the past few weeks, and finally, we have our two candidates – Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

But now that there are two names, it goes to a vote of all the card-carrying, dues-paying members of the Conservative Party out there, and they get the final say. What’s interesting, though, is that you don’t actually need to be a British citizen to be a member of the Tory party, which means that any members around the world can vote.

“You do not have to be eligible to vote in the UK to join the Conservative Party or Conservatives Abroad,” says the website for the Members of Conservatives Abroad, the party’s network of supporters living overseas.

Unfortunately for anyone out there looking to sway the UK election, you’re out of luck – only those who have been members for at least three months are eligible to get a ballot, which means that you’d have to be registered before June 4, 2022 to vote.

Still, this is a real loophole in their system since it means that the next leader of the UK could be elected by only about 0.2% of the UK (the number of party members actually in the country) and any other number of party members living outside of the UK who decide to vote in the election.