The logistics of a leadership election are a nightmare. Candidates spend sleepless weeks trailing up and down the country trying to convince voters, while the Conservative party itself endures an administrative slog in ensuring all members can vote. It’s enough to put anyone off submitting a letter to Sir Graham Brady.
Party members were originally allowed to alter their postal or online vote during the contest. But advice from the National Cyber Security Agency means members cannot change their vote, with their unique activation codes deactivated after first use.
Though the breach has been labelled “minor“, with no mention of hostile states, concerns were raised over the “vulnerability of the process” . The party has told members they have “taken some time to add some additional security to our ballot process, which has delayed us slightly.” Inspiration was perhaps taken from the vote of confidence in Boris Johnson, where phones were banned and good old pencil and paper prevailed.
Postal ballots could now arrive as late as 11 August, 10 days later than expected (no change from normal post, then). The alteration is likely to advantage Liz Truss, who is nearly 40 points ahead in recent polling. Sunak, meanwhile, may be contemplating whether bringing Johnson down was really the correct decision.