It's Boris Johnson's to lose as field down to five

Bessie Dean
June 19, 2019

Mr Johnson gained the support of former leadership contender Andrea Leadsom on Tuesday morning, who said he was the "best placed to get us out of the European Union at the end of October" and an "election winner".

He will try to avoid making any big blunders that could put the breaks on his momentum when he makes his debate debut on BBC television Tuesday evening.

Five candidates are still in the running to become Prime Minister after Rory Stewart survived the second ballot of MPs in the Conservative Party leadership contest after, beating Home Secretary Sajid Javid into fourth place.

Tory peer and polling expert Lord Hayward has said there is a "striking antipathy" towards the former Foreign Secretary in traditional Tory areas like the Home Counties.

At that point, the wider Conservative Party membership will vote to decide who will replace May and take up residence in 10 Downing Street.

"Boris has run a disciplined campaign and is nearly certainly going to be our next prime minister", Hancock said in an article in The Times newspaper, which tapped him as a strong contender to become finance minister.

Although she insisted she would not vote that way herself, she added: "There are a number I know of privately who say that, so any candidate needs to factor that in as well into their strategy for the next few months".

Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Dominic Raab follow, with Sajid Javid bringing up the rear.

It now seems nearly impossible to imagine that Mr Johnson will not make the final two, which will be finalised at the end of the week before the party's 160,000 members get to vote for the new leader.

If needed a further ballot will be held on Thursday night or Friday to whittle the candidates down to the final two candidates.

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For the other five, the fight was on to prove they had what it takes to challenge Johnson, or at least test some of his arguments.

"And if I am prime minister, I will ensure that that is the way our country acts and behaves".

Moderate global development minister Rory Stewart continued his against-the-odds challenge by expanding his support base from last week's 19 to 37.

Stewart, who started the campaign as a rank outsider but has electrified the race, accused Johnson of selling "fairy tales" about how he would solve the Brexit puzzle.

Boris Johnson has increased his lead in the race to become Britain's next prime minister, as one of his rivals was eliminated from the contest.

"He is the best placed to get us out of the European Union at the end of October", Leadsom, a former leader of the House of Commons who was eliminated from the contest last week, told LBC radio.

If Brexit didn't happen he said there could be a "crisis in politics" as people are "getting fed up with politics".

But he has attracted criticism from his rivals for promising to cut income tax for high earners.

The betrayal by Gove, whose parting shot was to say that "Boris can not provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead", stopped Johnson's march on Downing Street in 2016, allowing May to win the top job.

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