And with Andrea Leadsom's announcement on Monday that she will effectively cede the race for Conservative Party leadership to Theresa May, an ironic truth has come to pass: Despite being given a mandate by the British people, it won't even be someone from the "Leave" campaign who leads Britain's process of leaving.
To be sure, some "leavers" tried. But the Conservative Party seems as divided as the British public — both split almost evenly on whether leaving the E.U. is a good idea. And the party members who voted for their new leader ultimately didn't choose those "leavers," like Michael Gove and Leadsom.
On the other hand, it seemed like other "Leave" campaigners self-destructed as soon as they'd won. It is a truly confusing situation.
If you haven’t been following closely, here’s a quick summary of what’s befallen the actors in this very British drama.
Who is he? He’s the man who would have been king, the onetime prohibitive favorite to be the next prime minister.
Who betrayed him? Michael Gove, Johnson’s would-be campaign manager and chum from his Oxford days. Gove’s last-minute announcement that he would run for prime minister knocked Johnson from the contest even before he could enter.
Did he get his revenge? Sort of. He endorsed Andrea Leadsom for prime minister. (See below.)
Who is he? The Brutus of British politics
And how did that work out for him? Not well. He got knocked out of the balloting to be prime minister after Johnson backed Leadsom and other Tories recoiled at Gove's perceived treachery.
Who betrayed him? Douglas Carswell. the only member of Farage’s party who holds a seat in Parliament. The two are longtime antagonists. This was Carswell’s reaction when Farage stepped down:
The Daily Mail and the Sun
What are they? The influential, mass-selling British tabloids that championed Brexit with greater gusto than even many of the most ardent “leave” politicians.
Who betrayed her? The Daily Mail and the Sun. And then she dug herself into a hole by telling the Times of London that she thought she'd be a better leader than May because she has children and May doesn't. She was recorded saying that being a mother “means you have a very real stake in the future of our country,” and then tried to claim she'd never said that despite it being on tape. On Monday, she stepped out of the race citing "too much abuse" that she'd had to go through.