Boris Johnson wins first ballot in Conservative leadership contest
Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson topped the first ballot in the race to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister yesterday.
Following a secret ballot held in the House of Commons in which all 313 Conservative MPs voted, Johnson was the clear frontrunner having secured 114 votes, 71 more than his closest rival Jeremy Hunt with 43.
Michael Gove followed in third with 37 votes, while Mark Harper, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey were all eliminated from the running.
Following the result, Johnson said that he was “delighted” to have swept the opening ballot, but conceded that there was still “a long way to go” in his bid to become leader.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt expressed his delight at the result, declaring that "this serious moment calls for a serious leader.”
TV debates between the leadership contenders are set to take place this Sunday on Channel Four and next Tuesday on BBC One, with Michael Gove saying there is still “all to play for” despite Johnson’s early headway.
Seven candidates in total progressed to the second round of voting, with Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab, Matt Hancock and Rory Stewart joining the three frontrunners.
The next rounds of voting will come on June 18, 19 and 20, with the process of elimination whittling the contenders down to two MPs.
The final two will then be put to a vote by the wider Conservative Party membership from June 22.
The winner, who will be named the next Prime Minister, is set to be announced in the week of July 22, around four weeks after the final vote opens.