Members of Britain’s governing Conservative party will now have a month to choose between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt as their preferred future leader, a position that presently entitles its holder to be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
The fifth round of the Conservative leadership ballot was concluded in the Palace of Westminster Thursday afternoon, following just hours on from the fourth round in the morning which saw Home Secretary Sajid Javid knocked out.
Boris Johnson – 160
Jeremy Hunt – 77
Michael Gove – 75
Votes Cast – 313
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will now go through to the final round of the competition, where they will be voted on the 124,000-odd members of the Conservative party
While it is possible the second-placed candidate could now choose to pull out of the competition allowing first-placed Boris Johnson to be “coronated” as the new leader without further delay, this is unlikely.
Second-place challenger Andrea Leadsom chose that path in the 2016 leadership election following the resignation of David Cameron in the aftermath of him losing the Brexit referendum against the British people, a decision which led to the coronation of Theresa May as Prime Minister. It is felt within the Westminster bubble that it would be better for the competition to go full term this time.
It is also possible that despite having been the overwhelming winner of the poll of Conservative members of parliament who have been the ones voting to this point, now the ballot for the final two is going out to the wider members of the Conservative Party across the country Hunt may believe he is in with a chance of winning.