Five candidates minus Boris Johnson took each other on in the head-to-head televised debate on Channel 4. They stayed mostly civil towards each other, but Jeremy Hunt called out Johnson’s no-show and four of them ganged up on Dominic Raab over his openness to forcing through a no-deal Brexit without the permission of parliament.
The empty podium was declared the overall winner for being the only participant during the debate that didn’t say or do anything to disappoint anyone. Whilst the podium failed to disclose how it would resolve the issue of Brexit, this was on par with the other candidates and every audience poll showed that it exuded far more appeal than any of the other candidates. The empty podium hasn’t yet disclosed as to whether it will appear in the BBC debate but, despite that, bookies now place it as the most popular option, even bringing a number of those who’d previously pledged their allegiance to support Boris Johnson to their senses.
Rory Stewart repeatedly urged Guru-Murthy and others to let him finish speaking, sounding petulant and wasting valuable debating time.
Whereas, at no point did the empty podium interrupt the other candidates, sound petulant or waste valuable debating time.
Michael Gove gave a couple of cringeworthy lines about looking for the treasure in everyone’s hearts and took every opportunity to praise the others, presumably an attempt to woo them into supporting him should they fail to make the next round.
The others all admitted they’d rather back no leader, or even Jeremy Corbyn, than back Michael Gove. Whilst they reluctantly admitted there might be some treasure to be found in Jeremy Corbyn’s heart, Michael Gove is definitely the exception to that rule.
Jeremy Hunt’s overall pitch stressed that he is an entrepreneur with the negotiating skills to get a better deal with the EU.
And proved this within minutes after the debate by setting up a company to produce and sell ‘Vote for No Leader’ badges.
Sajid Javid set out the case that he is an outsider, not from central casting of the Conservative party; a working class son of a bus driver who has made it to home secretary.
However, the empty podium is neither from the central casting of the Conservative party or working class, which is much more appealing to the vast majority of middle-class voters.
Dominic Raab said politicians need to keep their promises on Brexit and claimed to be the only one who would do so.
However, out of all those running for the Conservative leadership, only the empty podium can claim to have never broken a promise; although it modestly refrained from pointing this out during the debate.