First ballot scheduled for new Tory leader

At least one candidate in the Tory leadership race will see their campaign come to an end on Thursday, when MPs hold the first ballot of the contest.

Candidates need at least 17 votes to go through to the second round, with anyone below this threshold automatically eliminated.

But even if all the hopefuls meet this target, the one with the lowest votes overall will still have to exit the race.


Thursday’s ballot was taking place between 10am and 12pm, with the result due to be announced at 1pm.

All 313 Conservative MPs can take part in the ballot meaning there are, in theory, enough votes up for grabs for each of the 10 candidates to reach the 17-vote threshold.

Based on the latest bookmakers’ odds, those at risk of ending up with the lowest number of votes overall are Esther McVey (130/1) and Mark Harper (160/1).

Following Thursday’s ballot, the remaining candidates have a few days to consolidate their support before the second ballot takes place on Tuesday June 18.

On this occasion, candidates will need at least 33 votes to go through, meaning the field could be whittled down by two or three names.


Ballots continue until just two candidates remain in the contest.

A third ballot will take place on June 19, with provision for a fourth and fifth ballot on June 20 if necessary.

The two candidates left at the end of the ballots will then spend a month campaigning across the country.

At the same time, members of the Conservative Party will receive ballot papers allowing them to choose which of the two names they would prefer as leader.

The winner will be announced in the week beginning Monday July 22.