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Wed, 11 Dec 2019 14:37 GMT

Voting Closes for UK Conservative Party Leadership Race


7Dnews London

Mon, 22 Jul 2019 19:45 GMT

Voting closed at 5pm (1800 GMT) on Monday, July 22nd for the Conservative leadership race that will determine Britain’s next prime minister. The winner will only be announced the following day and take up his position on Wednesday, but contender Boris Johnson is widely considered the likely winner based on polls.

Members of the governing Conservative Party had until 5 pm to return their ballots that will decide the contest between Johnson and the second contender, Jeremy Hunt, to determine the new leader of the party.

The winner and next occupant of Number 10 will be announced on Tuesday, with the statement being expected around noon. Whoever will come out on top will take over as the country’s leader from current Prime Minister Theresa May the day after that.

In recent days, frontrunner Johnson has been facing headwind from critics who condemned his vow to implement Brexit, with or without a divorce deal.

The issue of the UK’s exit from the bloc has divided the nation even within party lines. Some of his own Conservative party members have threatened to resign or have already done so over strong disagreement with Johnson’s plans to take the UK out of the European Union by any means necessary before the currently set exit date of October 31st.

Most economists predict that leaving the EU without a deal would cause Britain economic turmoil.

The UK's official economic watchdog has forecast that a no-deal Brexit would trigger a recession, with the pound plummeting in value, borrowing soaring by £30 billion ($37 billion) and the economy shrinking 2% in a year.

Reuters reported that the pound already extended its decline on Monday as the outlook for the currency turned bleaker due to traders increasing their bets on a no-deal Brexit ahead of the results of the Conservative Party's leadership election.

The pound's weakness was interpreted as a sign of growing unease among investors over the likelihood of Eurosceptic Johnson becoming the next prime minister.

Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on the same day that a no-deal Brexit would be "an act of economic self-harm that runs wholly counter to the national interest," according to AP.

Only one day from now the world will be able to see how the new prime minister of the UK will handle these difficult circumstances.