What the loss of Rory Stewart shows in the Tory leadership process is roughly the size of the disgruntled wing of Tory MPs. When Boris Johnson takes up the leadership, they will not be happy. Antoinette Sandbach made it clear that the one person she would not support was Johnson, as he lacks the basics to be a leader. So what happens when he becomes her leader? She's not the only one.
Some of us think he even lacks the basics to be a Secretary of State, and I am one of them. There is a man on Hunger Strike who can describe how Johnson's 'don't care' attitude to so much is partly responsible for the pain of his wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, held by the Iranians. Boris Johnson is a political sociopath, a manipulator of others without common feeling in order to advance himself.
The Tories forget that mixing Heineken and Marmite produces a truly disgusting taste. More practically, as soon as Johnson starts to bumble and mumble at Prime Minister's Questions, and shows the errors of performance from his inability, the House of Commons will close in on him and limit his room for manoeuvre. He will have further to fall, but fall he will.
Rory Stewart was still in favour of Brexit. He represents the deal pragmatist. He is not a remainer, but he took remainers with him. On the Press Preview, on Sky News, on Tuesday, the purist right-winger Brendan O'Neill stated that Rory Stewart should be a "Lib-Dem". Nothing could be more wrong. The Liberal Democrats are (with the exception of one MP, who has had a position similar to Stewart) committed to reversing Brexit. The policy is just that. Chuka Umunna MP joined the Liberal Democrats in part on that basis. Others may follow. The Tory Party is not now filled with purist Brendan O'Neill Manchester Liberals that the Thatcher period represented. We thought Theresa may was going to introduce a period of Joseph Chamberlain instead, but then she did nothing at all. Still, one might have more of a soft spot for an Etonian who was imbued with a right to rule that nevertheless comes with social obligation, over and above a social climber like Sajid Javid and Margaret Thatcher. I don't support any of them, and I look forward to the downfall of the Conservative Party as a reward for its dreadful putting of its party before the country.
Because this is what is happening now. It is party first, At root, this is about the survival of the Tory Party. The whole thing continues to about them. It is irrelevant whether the Tory Party as a whole has a vote or they arrange a coronation.
So let's see how disgruntled will be the minority of Tory MPs. The House of Commons needs to time a vote of no confidence, and bring in an Executive to introduce legislation to get the country out of the Brexit mess and stay in the European Union.
Labour, of course, still can't make up its mind. It has edged closer to a referendum, but would not campaign to stay in. If a little less quite in the middle of the road, it lacks the clarity needed of following the Highway Code on busy roads. The policy still lacks clarity and the disaster surely follows. Also, Corbyn continues to demonstrate the same brittle mindset as Theresa May and an equal inability to run his office well. He gives no confidence that he could run anything at all, never mind a government. It does remain possible that in a vote of no confidence in the government, some Labour MPs would even vote for confidence in the government, even with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. So it is all now a question of numbers inside the House of Commons, and the decline of Labour as an electoral force outside the House of Commons, alongside the fall of the Conservatives.