The Tories are scrambling to elect a new leader this week, with a new prime minister promised by Friday.
It has only been seven weeks since Liz Truss won the last election for the leadership of the party following the resignation of Boris Johnson amid a series of scandals.
However, Ms. Truss was forced to step down last Thursday after the markets turned down her mini-budget.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, said the electoral process will be concluded by October 28, so the new leader is in place in time for a crucial financial statement on October 31.
Sir Graham said the parliamentary phase of the competition began on Thursday afternoon, with applications open.
– What will happen on Monday?
The parliamentary phase of the Tory leadership contest will conclude on Monday.
Candidates will need a minimum of 100 colleagues who nominate them to proceed to the ballot.
“We have set a high threshold, but a threshold that should be attainable by any serious candidate who has a prospect of passing,” said Sir Graham.
He said it would mean a maximum of three candidates on the ballot for the MPs to vote.
In case of three, the candidate who obtains the fewest votes after the first ballot will be eliminated. The first round will be held on Monday between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm with the result announced at 6:00 pm.
Thus, in a change of procedure from the last leadership contest, there will be an “indicative” grade once there are only two candidates left.
It will be held on Monday from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, with the result announced at 9:00 pm.
The hope is perhaps that the loser of the “indicative” vote will withdraw from the race, in which case a new leader emerges without the involvement of Tory party members.
When David Cameron resigned, the leadership contest did not go to the party members’ vote as Theresa May remained unchallenged after Andrea Leadsom’s withdrawal from the race.
If neither party withdraws, this final parliamentary vote will allow Tory members to know – which they did not do in the last election – the favorites of the two parliamentary party candidates, potentially dissuading them from choosing the other.
– What happens after the parliamentarians vote?
If two candidates end up staying, Tory members across the country who joined the party at least three months ago will have a say.
Conservative party chairman Sir Jake Berry said: “We have decided that if the party decides to present two candidates there would be a fast, binding and online vote of Conservative Party members to choose its next leader.”
The ballot will close at 11am on October 28, with the result announced later that day.
– Will there be thefts?
Sir Jake said Conservative HQ will work with broadcasters to organize a broadcast event so members can hear the last two candidates before voting.
However, no theft has been announced.