PM without mandate?

Posted By on July 11, 2016

So Leadsom has apparently left the leadership race. It is somewhat unexpected after she fought so hard for Brexit and then to be the alternate candidate to May. However the person who should be really worried is Theresa May, as Leadsom quitting takes away May’ mandate to govern.

This was why May originally rejected the idea of a coronation. Now, no matter what she does, there will be doubts over her position and the party’s suitability to govern since it couldn’t even run a leadership election.

A Prime Minister gains their mandate in two ways:
1) From their party by victory in a leadership contest
2) From the people by victory in a General Election

May has said she will not call the second, and now has no chance of the first as she is running unopposed.

There has already been one PM in living memory in this position: his name was Gordon Brown. He didn’t see out a full term.

It is not enough for democracy to be done, it must be seen to be done. A vote with only one candidate is no vote at all, and we’ve already seen that it causes voter revolts at the ballot box. On my own behalf, if we end up with a second coronated PM, whichever party I vote for in 2020 it will not be the one responsible.

And finally, I’m not the only person to think a coronated PM has no mandate:
“…whenever Gordon Brown chooses to call a general election, we will be ready for him. He has no democratic mandate.”
Teresa May, Conservative Home, August 2007

You know, I agree with her.

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