Theresa May… but then again, she may not.
That was the joke making the rounds in London last week as Britain’s powerful interior minister prevaricated over whether to join the race to be the country’s next prime minister. But a few days on, and it is Ms. May who’s having the last laugh.
The Conservative Party’s leading female ultimately made a decisive entry into the party’s leadership contest, a race triggered by the post-Brexit vote resignation of David Cameron. And the sure-footed move is already paying off.
In the first-round ballot of party lawmakers on Tuesday, the former banker emerged as the runaway favorite, securing more than half of the votes in a five-way contest. A YouGov poll on Monday showed that she has enormous support among the party’s grassroots, who will be the final arbiters of victory. The winner, to be declared in September, will become prime minister.
With Margaret Thatcher having already set the bar for steely, determined female leadership, Ms. May’s bid for the top job raised few eyebrows at home. But her candidacy came as more of a surprise outside of Britain in the European Union.