Brexit polarises Tory leadership race, well there's a surprising headline – not!

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As the Boris Johnson express train to Number Ten appears to be off to a flying and unstoppable launch, an upstart called Rory Stewart has come onto the scene and is surprising everyone with a momentum all of his own.

But should this really be a surprise?

I did a video on the 31st of May called "Brexit and the new Tory leader" in which I talked about Tory MPs voting to decide the final two to go through to the membership to vote on and said:

"They are more likely in my view to try to offer up a solid Remainer and a more moderate Brexiteer."

Now ask yourself which of the remaining six candidates are more likely to end up delaying Brexit the longest, so increasing the chances of a Brexit reversal?

Also ask yourself why Mr Stewart has ignited the interest and attention of the mainstream media.

Now consider the Remain/Brexiteer split amongst Tory MPs and you can see where this might be headed.

Bearing in mind that Rory Stewart has claimed that 100 of his fellow Tory MPs are prepared to vote to stop a no deal Brexit from happening.

Although he has said he won't vote to bring down a WTO Brexit Tory government he did say:

"We can stop a no-deal Brexit much more easily than that.

"I, and nearly 100 of my colleagues, would vote to prevent a no-deal Brexit without having to bring down a Conservative government."

So, if the mostly Remain biassed Tory back benchers think they might have a leader they could coalesce around, then is it any surprise that he would be doing so well?

I initially had an idea that Boris might find himself gradually squeezed out during the leadership contest, in favour of a more moderate Leaver as the rounds progressed. But that now looks unlikely, especially after the rules were changed to speed the whole process up.

But what does look more and more likely is that the 2016 EU referendum is going to be played out again within the realm of the Tory leadership contest. And why wouldn't it be.

And what better way to do that than give the membership the opportunity to vote accordingly.

I do also have to wonder how many of the more big hitting Remainers in the party are kicking themselves for not grasping the horns of opportunity, as they watch the fortunes of Rory Stewart wax as theirs wanes.

Will Rory Stewart get the 33 votes from amongst his fellow MPs today to progress through to the next round? I wouldn't be surprised if he does, would you? We'll find out a little after 6pm tonight.

Sources:

100 Tory MPs prepared to vote against government to stop No Deal Brexit, Rory Stewart says

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48671048

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