6:52am Tuesday: Rishi Sunak is Britain’s next PM, after Penny Mordaunt conceded shortly before the close of nominations at midnight AEDT last night. He was the only candidate to pass the 100 nominations threshold. There will be no members’ ballot.
Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.
The next UK Conservative leader and PM will be decided by a fast-tracked process. Candidates will need at least 100 Conservative MP nominations by 2pm UK time today (midnight AEDT). As there are 356 Conservative MPs in the House of Commons, at most three candidates can reach the required nominations.
If only one candidate reaches the 100 nominations, that candidate is elected Conservative leader and PM. With former PM Boris Johnson withdrawing Sunday night UK time, only former Chancellor Rishi Sunak is likely to pass the 100 nominations required, and there will be no Conservative members’ ballot. That ballot was to be conducted by Friday using online methods.
The Guardian’s tracker of public endorsements from MPs gave Sunak 144 endorsements, Johnson 57 and Penny Mordaunt 24; she was the last eliminated candidate in the previous contest. Johnson claimed he had 102 nominees (including non-public endorsements), but did not continue his campaign even though he would have likely won a members’ vote, as he did not want to be leader of a parliamentary party that had rejected him decisively.
Since the September 23 “horror” budget, Liz Truss’ brief tenure has been marked by dire and worsening polls for the Conservatives. In eight national polls taken since last Sunday, Labour led by between 27 and 39 points. These polls were taken after Truss sacked Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng on October 14 and replaced him with Jeremy Hunt.
In May 2021, I wrote for The Conversation that non-university educated whites are shifting to the right. However, a danger for right-wing parties is a perception they want to slash government services – examples are Australian polls after the 2014 budget and US polls during Donald Trump’s first year as president, in which he was attempting to gut Obamacare. We now have another example.
Brazilian presidential runoff: October 30
At the October 2 first round of the Brazilian presidential election, the leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) led the far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro by a 48.4-43.2 margin. As nobody won over 50%, the contest goes to a runoff this Sunday. Lula was president from 2003 to 2010.
Polls for the runoff have narrowed to include more Bolsonaro voters after they understated his first round support. There has been further narrowing in the last week, with Lula ahead by just 52-48 in this poll aggregate; a recent poll gave Bolsonaro a 51-49 lead.
Even if Lula wins, the legislature is likely to be difficult for him. In my live blog of the first round election, I wrote that right-wing parties won a majority in both chambers of the legislature. Bolsonaro’s Liberal party performed particularly well.
In the last three years, left-wing candidates have won presidential elections in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. A win in Brazil would cement the left’s dominance in South America even as they struggle in Europe.
Israel: Netanyahu’s bloc ahead and could win a majority
The Israeli election will be held November 1, after a government formed to keep out former PM Benjamin Netanyahu collapsed in June. The 120 members of the Knesset are elected by national proportional representation with a 3.25% threshold.
Right-wing parties that are likely to support Netanyahu are his own Likud, the religious Shas and UTJ, and the far-right Religious Zionists. The last four polls give these right-wing parties a combined 59-62 Knesset seats, while the current governing parties have 54-57 seats. An Arab party that is not part of the government has the remaining four seats.
US: Republicans gain and could win both chambers at midterms
I wrote for The Conversation last Thursday that Republicans have gained in the polls for the US November 8 midterm elections. Since that article, the FiveThirtyEight forecasts for the House and Senate have worsened for Democrats.
Democrats now have a 55% chance to hold the Senate (61% last Thursday), while Republicans have an 80% chance to gain the House (75% previously). Republicans have taken a 0.5-point lead in the national House popular vote after trailing by 0.3% last Thursday; this is Republicans’ first lead since early August.