Voices & Choices

The UK enters new phase as Theresa May resigns

The UK enters new phase as Theresa May resigns

Today, Theresa May resigned as leader of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party. May will leave her role as prime minister once a new party leader is elected. Conservative Party leadership elections begin on June 13, and involve a multi-round voting process. Results are expected the week of July 22.

May’s successor will be selected through a multi-round process:

  • Until June 10, Conservative Members of Parliament (MPs) can submit their candidacies. If they obtain support from eight other Conservative MPs, they can enter the race.
  • The first round of voting will be held June 13. Candidates must secure 17 or more votes (just over 5 percent of the party’s 313 seats in Parliament) to advance.
  • Five days later, the second round will take place. This round requires candidates to have at least 33 votes.
  • The next phase hinges on the number of candidates still in the race. New rounds will be held, each eliminating the candidate with the least support. This process is repeated until there are two candidates left.
  • The final phase begins June 22. Two candidates will vie head-to-head on ballots mailed to party members across the UK.

This election is effectively similar to a ranked choice voting (RCV) election, though it takes place over a span of weeks and involves multiple rounds of casting ballots rather than a single ballot on a single day. While this timeline allows candidates to build support and electors to reach consensus, one RCV election could condense the timeframe and still ensure these benefits.


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