The 1,014 Conservative Party members who voted on this year’s ConservativeHome Speech of the Year award had a diverse range of speakers to choose from: Boris Johnson, ever the crowd-pleaser; Michael Gove, the artful reinventor; Kemi Badenoch, a rising star of the new intake; and Theresa May, the person at the epicentre of all the political drama that 2017 had to offer.
A good case could be made for any of these speeches to be a deserving winner of the title, but in the event our panel opted for the Prime Minister’s Lancaster House speech as Speech of the Year. The full text can be read here, and the footage of her delivering it is embedded below.
While 17th January feels much more than a year ago now, the Lancaster House speech was an intervention which merited the term “historic”, setting out the UK’s future path outside the EU and, for many Eurosceptics, marking a victory which a lot of people had feared might never come.
While May won with 37 per cent of the vote, it’s notable that Badenoch came in second with 24.5 per cent – ahead of the Foreign Secretary, who received 21.6 per cent.