So much for Boris Johnson running away with this early. After the second round of voting amongst Tory MPs, he’s still easily ahead. But the other votes are spread so evenly that no fewer than five of the candidates have made it through to the third round of the contest. Only Dominic Raab has been knocked out – his supporters are now likely to move to Boris, now the most Brexity candidate in the race.
As was widely expected, Boris Johnson came top in this ballot, winning the backing of 126 of his colleagues in the Parliamentary Conservative party, but this was just 12 more votes than in the first round. There had been talk of him getting more than 150 today. He was followed by Jeremy Hunt who received 46 votes – just three more than last time. Again, no sign of him being “lent” votes by Team Boris (or anyone else).
The biggest gainer was Rory Stewart who won an extra 18 supporters. The battle for second place is now quite a close one with Michael Gove on 41, Rory Stewart on 37 and Sajid Javid on 33. Raab won 30 votes and, therefore, is out: get ready for jokes about his leadership campaign being prorogued.
All five will now take part in the BBC’s televised leadership debate at 8pm this evening, chaired by Emily Maitlis, before voting takes place again tomorrow when another contestant will be knocked out.
The full results are below:
1st: Boris Johnson, 126 (up 12)
2nd: Jeremy Hunt, 46 (up 3)
3rd: Michael Gove, 41 (up 4)
4th: Rory Stewart, 37 (up 18)
5th: Sajid Javid, 33 (up 10)
ALSO RAN: Dominic Raab, 30 (up 3)