One more candidate has been eliminated from a race to become the leader of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party and the country’s next prime minister, leaving three contenders in the race, including clear favorite Boris Johnson.
During a fourth round of the contest held Thursday morning, interior minister Sajid Javid gained 34 out of 313 votes cast by Tory Lawmakers, the lowest among four which meant he will not be present for the final ballot later in the day.
Johnson, a former foreign minister and ex-London mayor, obtained 157 while environment secretary Michael Gove stood at 61 and Jeremy hunt gained 59. Two votes were rejected.
Results of the final round of the internal party votes, which are being held in the British parliament rooms in London’s Westminster, will be announced on 6.00 PM local time.
That will determine the two final candidates for a postal ballot of the Conservative Party members, around 160,000 people, which is due in late July when outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May will hand over her job to the new leader of the party.
The race was triggered after May announced her official resignation on June 7 following her failure to go through the parliament with a deal she had signed with the European Union in November to smooth Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc.
Johnson, an architect of the Brexit referendum in June 2016, has vowed he would implement the long-anticipated withdrawal from the EU on its deadline of October 31 with or without a deal.
That promise has hugely boosted Johnson’s chances of entering Number 10 Downing Street, an aspiration that was ruined three years ago when Gove, his current rival, decided to withdraw his support for him and run personally for the Tory leadership.