Three candidates eliminated from race to be Prime Minister after first round of Conservative MP votes

Three candidates have been eliminated from the Tory leadership race with Boris Johnson storming into the lead, 71 votes ahead of his nearest rival.

Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper and Esther McVey failed to meet the required threshold of 17 votes, achieving 11, 10 and 9 respectively.

The remaining seven candidates now go through to the second round of voting by Tory MPs and will be whittled down to two, before Conservative Party members pick the next PM.

The full results were:

  1. Boris Johnson - 114 votes

  2. Jeremy Hunt - 43 votes

  3. Michael Gove - 37 votes

  4. Dominic Raab - 27 votes

  5. Sajid Javid - 23 votes

  6. Matt Hancock - 20 votes

  7. Rory Stewart - 19 votes

  8. Andrea Leadsom - 11 votes (eliminated)

  9. Mark Harper - 10 votes (eliminated)

  10. Esther McVey - 9 votes (eliminated)

Conservative leadership contest, first ballot. See story POLITICS Tories. Infographic from PA Graphics

Mr Johnson emerged as the clear favourite to become Prime Minister despite pressure from rivals Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove.

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart defied expectations and managed to get over the line, despite starting the contest as a clear outsider.

Mr Stewart was given a boost this morning after a poll of Conservative Party members put him in second place behind Mr Johnson - though the gulf between the top two remains vast.



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Tory party reacts

A source close to Mr Johnson said: “We are pleased with the result and obviously there’s still a long way to go in the contest.”

Esther McVey, whose leadership campaign was dogged by a feud with TV presenter and former colleague Lorraine Kelly, said: “I am extremely grateful to those people who voted for me in this election and to the fantastic team who have supported my campaign.”

Boris Johnson is by far the most popular candidate with Conservative Party members, according to a poll released tomorrow (ConHome)

Justice Secretary David Gauke said Mr Stewart was now the main challenger to Mr Johnson, stating: “He’s really in with a chance and the momentum is with Rory.

“He’s causing a stir. He’s the one that looks like he can provide the real challenge to Boris.”

Former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, who received 27 votes, said: “I’m proud and honoured to have the support of so many brilliant colleagues today.

“This campaign is just getting started and we’ve got a good base to build on.”

Three candidates have been eliminated from the race to become the next Prime Minister (PA Images)

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, who is supporting Jeremy Hunt’s campaign, said: “I think he’s attractive to many sides of the party because he’s a serious individual.”

What happens now?

The remaining candidates will take part in a debate on Channel 4 on Sunday, June 16.

After that, a second ballot will take place on June 18. Candidates need at least 33 votes to get through and if all of them achieve that, the person with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated.

On the same day the remaining candidates will debate on BBC1 in the evening.

Tory leadership

A third ballot will be held on June 19 if needed, followed by fourth and fifth ballots - again only if necessary - on June 20. Ballots continue until just two candidates remain.

Conservative Party members will then vote on the final two and the winner will become Prime Minister.

Before party members vote the final two will take part in a number of hustings around the country.

The result of the ballot of Tory party members is expected to be announced in the week of July 22.