Just 0.2 per cent of the British population will decide the next prime minister

Just 0.2 per cent of the British population will decide the next prime minister
Rishi Sunak says he is 'humbled' by MPs support as Tory leadership ...

In case you are pondering about just how healthy British democracy is consider this: the next prime minister will be decided by 0.2 per cent of the population.

That's because that is the proportion of the British public who are members of the Conservative party (the total figure is around 160,000), and they are currently voting for either Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss to take over after Boris Johnson dramatically resigned a couple of short weeks ago.

And since the Tories are the governing party, whoever is leader automatically becomes prime minister. Good...?

Whoever wins will be the third prime minister anointed in the past six years who will get into office without a general election.

If that wasn't alarming enough, consider how representative the Tory party is. The Guardian reports its average age is 57 (to the country’s 40), that 56 per cent live in London and the south-east and that 80 per cent of its members belong to social economic group ABC1, compared with 55 per cent of everyone else.

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Even Tories think it is a bit dodgy. Speaking to BBC News today, David Mellor, who was a cabinet minister under John Major said: "Why should 0.2 per cent of the British public determine who the next prime minister is? Most of them white men of a certain age as well. I would be an ideal Conservative party member but I'm not proud of that fact."

We find out who becomes the next PM on 5 September and bookies think it is likely to be Liz Truss, alarmingly. Though Sunak could claw back support, particularly if he keeps handing out chocolate bars and sunscreen to political journalists.

What a time to be alive.

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