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UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (L) and ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunk (R).

PA Images via Reuters Connect

Britain’s next prime minister

UK Conservative Party MPs voted on Thursday to advance Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to the final round of balloting for leadership of their party.

Some 160,000 party members around the country will now vote by mail to decide which of these two will serve as the UK’s next prime minister, at least until the next national election. The result of the vote won’t be known until Sept. 5.

On Monday, the two candidates will have their first head-to-head debate as the race enters the homestretch.

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Trump speaks during a campaign rally when he was US president in Jacksonville, Florida.

REUTERS/Tom Brenner

What We’re Watching: GOP mulls Trump 2.0, UK leadership race heats up, energy crisis could get worse

Republican voters divided on Trump 2024

US Democrats seem to have soured on President Joe Biden, but are Republicans ready to turn their backs on former President Donald Trump? The short answer is: it’s complicated. A fresh New York Times poll shows about half of GOP voters don't want Trump to run a third time in 2024, but the other half do. The main takeaway is that Trump's once-formidable hold over the Republican Party has waned somewhat since (tumultuously) leaving office in January 2021, yet he still wields considerable influence with the base. Since hardcore Trump fans are more likely to turn out for primaries, he has been busy endorsing candidates for November’s midterm elections, so far with mixed results. The big test for Trump's stature within the GOP will be whether his picks can win in the general — especially the battle for control of the Senate, which Republicans are eager to flip (and only need one seat to do so). Meanwhile, there's growing chatter that Trump may announce his reelection bid before the midterms, which he hopes will freeze a potentially crowded GOP field in which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is now gaining on him.

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Is Boris Johnson on his way out?

Annie Gugliotta

Who will replace Boris Johnson?

Several political scandals have plagued UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for months. Though he’d been bruised, Johnson also established himself as a PM who could survive almost anything, including a recent no-confidence vote.

But that good-luck streak ended Thursday when he finally caved to party pressure and announced his resignation. Johnson will reportedly stay on as a caretaker PM until the Conservative Party taps his replacement, which could take months.

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British PM Boris Johnson looking perplexed.

Reuters

Boris Johnson narrowly escapes defeat

A few days ago I returned from London, where the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was infectious. Even hipster establishments in East London were toasting the monarch and mixing Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite cocktails (it’s a classy gin and Dubonnet aperitif).

But the air of celebration has since given way to a political onslaught with Conservative lawmakers holding a no-confidence vote on Monday to determine the political fate of their embattled prime minister and party leader, Boris Johnson.

Johnson came out on top, but only just. Some 148 Tories – 32 shy of the 180 needed to remove him – voted in favor of ditching the PM, while 211 backed him. Boris is safe with a majority of 63, but he emerges with diminished political strength as a result.

What went so wrong? During the darkest days of the pandemic in May 2020 – when heads of state around the globe were hemorrhaging domestic support – Johnson maintained a respectable approval rating of 66%.

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