For the 2018 UMNO leadership election, Khairy managed to gather 32,592 votes (35.3%), but still lose to Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who received 39,197 votes (42.4%).
Former UMNO Youth chief has been voicing out his dissatisfaction towards the leadership of UMNO, targeting on the current party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. In Twitter, he was quick to retweet on the idea of conducting an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to change the party leadership.
Looking into his influencers list for the past one-month duration, he did not receive any support from his party mates. Hishamuddin Hussein and Lokman Adam have opposing views compared to Khairy.
Hishamuddin argued with Khairy clarifying that he is the one behind the UMNO exodus. Meanwhile, Lokman bickered with Khairy over who should be the de facto leader of UMNO should be. Lokman suggested former UMNO president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, which was later ridiculed by Khairy.
Additionally, Khairy also debate with former Special Affairs Department strategic communications director Tun Faisal in Twitter.
In these arguments, other UMNO members did not come out and support Khairy. Plus, several UMNO members decided to leave the party instead of reform the party. It seems like Khairy may not be that influential in UMNO