The Conservatives face an extinction level election, but there’s still time for some prehistoric bloodletting

Faced with an extinction-level election hurtling towards them, Conservative M­Ps are split between those fleeing for the hills and those wondering if Torygeddon can be averted. What if – and bear with them here – they replaced their leader? It’s true, they’ve tried it before, and it didn’t work any of those times. But, goes the argument, it might work this time.

That’s fine for them, but what about the rest of us? It’s true that we won’t get a formal say in any of this year’s leadership contests – they can easily fit in three before November – but that doesn’t mean we can’t play along at home. You might feel that the selection of a prime minister is something that should be left to experts, but a look at recent incumbents should remind you that a drunken monkey with a list of MPs and a highlighter pen could hardly have done a worse job.

So gather the family round you and ask.. who do YOU think should be Britain’s April Tory leader? It’s just a bit of fun, and don’t worry, it won’t make any difference to the election!

Rishi Sunak

A counter-intuitive choice, but also the easiest one. True, he dithers, he seems to have unerringly terrible instincts, and an election is likely to expose the public to his incredible tetchiness. But on the other hand, he’s already there. Perhaps he’ll get better. Perhaps he’ll get new advisers. Perhaps the earth will crash into the sun and it won’t matter anyway.

Hang on, is that Penny Mordaunt?

Boris Johnson

He’s a proven winner, the man his party turns to when it is truly desperate. His continuing cashflow problems, which caused so much difficulty last time around, can be solved using the new model he tried on his recent hedge fund-backed diplomatic trip to Venezuela: Prime Ministerial interventions would be directly sponsored, from The Burger King’s Speech to selling exclusive PMQs coverage rights to Netflix. Some complain that Johnson’s candidacy is impossible because he’s not an MP, but there’s no strict constitutional requirement for the prime minister to sit in either House. As supporters point out: You can’t lie to Parliament if you’re not in Parliament.

Penny Mordaunt

If ever there was a moment to pick a leader on the basis that she looked good holding a sword, this is surely it. Plus she may well lose her seat in the election, which would make it easier to replace her in the New Year.

Kemi Badenoch

Do you want a fight? DO YOU? How about you? Come over here and say that! Yeah? Right, someone hold my coat.

Robert Jenrick

Greasy pole-climber who jumped after failing to get a promotion, Jenrick is currently workshopping his campaign slogan: “The Sunak Of A New Generation.”

Grant Shapps

Could he do the job? Supporters point out that inability has never yet held Shapps back. But what about his previous career selling get-rich-quick schemes under false names? There’s a view that far from being a problem, this could actually be an asset. After the election, the Conservative Party is likely to be a recognisable brand with serious cashflow problems. Shapps would be the ideal man to oversee a pivot away from politics and into the online health “cures” influencer space, where the real money is.

Tom Tugendhat

A former soldier who served in Afghanistan, the Afghanistan veteran has a wide range of non-Afghan talking points he has picked up from points in his life when he wasn’t serving in Afghanistan. Although he did, in fact, serve in Afghanistan.

Bill Cash

The original pitch for Sunak was that he would restore boring stability to British politics. And if it’s boring that voters want, no one can beat Sir William Cash. An election campaign led by Cash would offer the thrill of watching Andrew Neil try to get a single word in as Cash answers every question by blaming the EU.

Liz Truss

After the total humiliation suffered by Truss during her last stint as prime minister, it would take a person utterly lacking in any self-awareness to run again. Fortunately, Liz Truss is that person.

Keir Starmer

If there’s one thing that Tory MPs like, it’s someone who looks like they’re going to win. Although trying to recruit the leader of the Labour party would be a surprise, his determination to cleave to Conservative spending plans would mean it might not require any dramatic policy shifts on either side. And his pledge to keep Britain out of the EU would be a significantly more Eurosceptic position than the one Conservatives were elected on as recently as 2015.

Kate Middleton

It’s not clear that she’s got a real job, she once won the nation’s heart when she appeared at Westminster Abbey, and no one knows what she thinks about anything. Or hang on, is that Penny Mordaunt?

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