In this excellent article, The Economist cautions that Mrs May has the edge, but do not count out her rival yet.
Whilst the Economist articles touches many of the decision points for the Conservative Party membership, there are a few observations that I would make.
Firstly, the Conservative Party membership historically have been very independent. Much will depend upon whether Brexit will trump all other areas (pardon pun!). If passion for Brexit prevails, then Leadsom has the advantage. However, if the membership take a wider view on what is best for the UK, then May has the advantage. Clearly, this point will not be lost on the candidates who will pitch their campaigns accordingly.
Secondly, Leadsom is high risk and financial markets could well react adversely to her winning.
Thirdly, Leadsom is less likely to unite the UK – the next election could polarize both the Conservative and Labour Parties to both the far-right and far-left accordingly, in an epic battle between Leadsom Vs. Corbyn (or his anointed successor).
So the Conservative Party membership need to also focus on which candidate has the best chance of winning the next general election?