Boris Johnson clear winner in first vote of Number 10 contest

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Boris Johnson has overwhelmingly topped the first ballot in the Tory leadership contest, putting him in pole position to be the next prime minister, as three rivals saw their dreams of entering Number 10 dashed.

The first round of voting by Conservative MPs saw the crowded field in the race to replace Theresa May whittled down, with Mark Harper, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey falling at the first hurdle.

Leadership hopefuls needed at least 17 votes in the secret ballot to go through to the second round, with anyone below that threshold automatically eliminated.

The result of the first round of voting was declared by the backbench 1922 Committee's joint acting chairman, Dame Cheryl Gillan.

Mr Johnson was the clear winner with 114 votes, 71 votes ahead of his nearest rival, Jeremy Hunt.

First round votes
First round votes

The next round of voting will take place on June 18, with contenders needing 33 votes to stay in the race.

POLITICS Tories
POLITICS Tories

Eliminated candidates bow out

Esther McVey, who was eliminated from the leadership contest, said she would speak to the remaining candidates before deciding who to give her support.

In a statement, she 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.

"I am pleased to have had a platform to make the case for Blue Collar Conservatism, a clean break from the EU and the need to invest money into schools, policing and a proper pay rise for our public sector workers.

"I will speak to the remaining candidates to see who is best placed to deliver on that programme.

"I wish the remaining candidates well and I hope that all Conservative MPs will unite behind whoever wins this contest which is essential to prevent the disaster of a Marxist Government.

"Whoever becomes the new leader will certainly receive my support."

Remaining challengers react

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said he was "absolutely over the moon" to have secured just enough votes to survive the first ballot.

He told the Press Association: "Remember, I had six declared votes and I have more than tripled that, so I'm really really happy and candidates who started that contest with four times the number of declared votes as me are now almost level pegging with me.

"This is now neck and neck going into the next round and for somebody who passionately believes that politics is about listening and who made a difficult decision to start this campaign not in this place but outside listening to people, I feel really inspired and encouraged and desperate to do more for the people who are supporting me out there."

He said it was a "very open race" to enter the final two alongside Boris Johnson and that he would be reaching out to "every single colleague" ahead of the next round.

"I'm going to have to now say to those who are neck and neck with me, I'm afraid this is the time to be serious."

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.

"We have got an opportunity now to have a debate about the future of the Conservative Party.

"There's Boris's vision and the contrast is provided by Rory Stewart."

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.

"I'm the change candidate who can be trusted to deliver Brexit by October and has the vision and energy to take Britain forward, and beat Jeremy Corbyn."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting