And they’re off! From Brexiteers to Remainers, who’ll be the first past the post to become the next Prime Minister if Boris blows it
Theresa May‘s resignation has sent Conservative front-runners into a frenzy as they continue to duel for the keys to Number 10.
But, who will replace the beleaguered Prime Minister?
Conservative Home has named Boris Johnson as the favourite, with 5/4 odds, but he will need to secure sufficient support from Tory MPs to make it to the final round.
Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab trails just behind at 6/1 while another Brexiteer, Michael Gove, is considered third most likely to win the top job.
Trailing at the bottom of the pile is No Deal obsessive Steve Baker, with odds 100/1, alongside Sir Graham Brady.
Former Welfare Secretary and ardent Remainer Esther McVey is just ahead with 66/1.
Boris Johnson has been labelled as the favourite to be the next Conservative party leader and Prime Minister by Conservative Home with odds 100/1. Dominic Raab trails just behind at 6/1 while Brexiteer Michael Gove is considered third most likely to get the top job
The 13 hard Brexiteers and arch Remainers that could replace Theresa May
1. Boris Johnson 5/4
Pedigree: 54. Former Foreign Secretary and blond figurehead of Britain’s second most famous family.
Stabling: New York-born. Schools: Camden and Eton. University: Oxford. First job: Brussels (but sacked from his posting there with The Times).
Form: Elected twice, against the odds, as mayor of Labour-heavy London.
Strength: Charismatic and the darling of the Tory grassroots like Tarzan Heseltine was years ago. But look what happened to Hezza!
Weakness: Unpopular among fellow MPs. A ‘Stop Boris’ campaign is under way.
Odds: Overwhelming favourite.
2. Dominic Raab 6/1
Pedigree: 45. Former Brexit Secretary. Diehard Brussels-baiter.
Stabling: Son of a Jewish Czech-born refugee who fled to Britain in 1938. Oxford and Cambridge-educated solicitor before becoming an MP.
Form: Failed to use his renowned judo skills to outfox EU panjandrums and lasted just five months as Brexit Secretary.
Strength: Fans call him ‘the male Margaret Thatcher’.
Weakness: Often seems cold and lacks people skills. Recent photo-call in his kitchen with a vase of lilies was a creepy PR stunt.
Odds: Second in ConservativeHome’s league table, with 15 per cent of votes.
3. Michael Gove 10/1
Pedigree: 51. Environment Secretary. Intellectual titan and Brexiteer paterfamilias.
Stabling: Adopted son of a Scottish fish merchant. Became a high profile journalist on The Times.
Form: Big beast in the 2016 Leave campaign. Has been so loyal to Mrs May that he’d have made a perfect guard dog at No 10.
Strength: Often wheeled out for interviews, being a debater with razor sharp skills.
Weakness: Still haunted by claims of disloyalty after knifing Boris Johnson in last leadership contest.
Odds: Third in ConservativeHome league table with 8.4 per cent of the vote.
4. Andrea Leadsom 12/1
Pedigree: 56. Former Environment Secretary. Resigned this week as Leader of the Commons. Ardent Brexiteer.
Stabling: Former City trader. Mother of three.
Form: Struggled in her first Cabinet post as Environment Secretary but blossomed as Leader of the Commons. Her spats with Speaker John Bercow merited £100 ringside seats.
Strength: Praised for resigning on Wednesday, triggering Mrs May’s defenestration.
Weakness: Her maladroit campaign to be leader in 2016 included a deeply insensitive comment about Mrs May being childless.
Odds: Conservative-Home table had her top for competency
5. Jeremy Hunt 14/1
Pedigree: 52. Foreign Secretary. A Remainer who converted to Brexit. First Cabinet member to tell May to scrap Brexit bill this week.
Stabling: Eldest son of Admiral Sir Nicholas Hunt. Married to a Chinese wife whom he accidentally referred to as Japanese. Worth around £15million after selling publisher he set up before politics.
Form: Longest serving Health Secretary in history.
Strength: Has few enemies. Colleagues believe he could unite party on Brexit.
Weakness: Some regard him as a ‘bit of a drip’.
Odds: 4th place in ConservativeHome league table.
6. Penny Mourdant 20/1
Pedigree: 46. First female Defence Secretary. Supported Leave before referendum.
Stabling: Cared for younger brother after their mother died. Worked as a magician’s assistant to pay for college.
Form: Only female MP to be a Royal Naval Reservist.
Strength: Has a strong sense of duty and popular among service veterans.
Weakness: Inexperienced, having been in Cabinet for less than two years. Still trying to live down her belly-flop on the ITV reality TV diving show Splash!
Odds: 16th in the ConservativeHome league table.
7. Sajid Javid 25/1
Pedigree: 49. Home Secretary. Remainer who changed his spots to Brexit after referendum.
Stabling: Often reminds voters he’s the son of a bus driver who came to Britain from Pakistan and ‘worked every hour God sent’. First person from an Asian background to hold one of the great offices of State.
Form: Lifted cap on immigration for NHS doctors and nurses but says there is ‘nothing racist about managed migration’.
Strength: An extraordinary personal story. Would be Britain’s first (non-practising) Muslim PM.
Weakness: Wooden speaker. Lacks charisma.
Odds: 5th in the league table.
AND Rory Stewart 25/1
Pedigree: 46. International Development Secretary and former Prisons minister. Staunch defender of May’s deal.
Stabling: While at Oxford he tutored Princes William and Harry. Was a regional governor in Iraq after Coalition invasion. Cruelly nicknamed ‘Florence of Arabia’.
Form: Declared his leadership ambitions before even in the Cabinet.
Strength: Untainted by fellow ministers’ failure over Brexit.
Weakness: Most inexperienced candidate. Unpopular with hard Brexiteers.
Odds: Edged into 6th in Conservative-Home league table.
8. Liz Truss 50/1
Pedigree: 43. Chief Secretary to Treasury. Remainer who would now vote Brexit.
Stabling: Raised by Left-wing parents who took her on anti-Thatcher protests.
Form: Unrelenting advocate of cutting red tape. Once said ‘the British are among the worst idlers in the world’.
Strength: Free-marketeer whose social media activity is popular among young Tories.
Weakness: Poor public speaker. Image-obsessed and accused by some of using Downing Street as a catwalk. Posed for a recent fashion shoot for a Sunday glossy.
Odds: Risen to 7th in the league table.
AND Matt Hancock 50/1
Pedigree: 40. Health Secretary with six years’ ministerial experience. Former arch Remainer who supported May’s bill.
Stabling: Father lived in a council house. Worked in family’s computer software business before becoming key aide to Chancellor George Osborne.
Form: Cabinet minister for 18 months. Launched his own ‘Matt Hancock’ smartphone application.
Strength: Enthusiastic and brainy. His youth is said to appeal to those who – in the cliche – wish to ‘skip a generation’.
Weakness: Crassly likened himself to Churchill.
Odds: Sits at 12th in the league table.
9. Esther McVey 66/1
Pedigree: 51. Former Welfare Secretary. An ardent Brexiteer.
Stabling: As a child, spent her first two years in foster care. Was a breakfast TV presenter before ore becoming an MP.
Form: As a minister was subjected by Labour to appalling ‘lynch Esther McVey’ abuse over the roll-out of the Universal Credit system. With fellow MP and fiance Philip Davies, part of a Westminster power couple.
Strength: Won plaudits for resigning from Cabinet over Brexit. Tough, telegenic and Liverpudlian.
Weakness: Some colleagues say she is as flyaway as her hair – and too glossy.
Odds: Ranked 14th in the league table.
10. Steve Baker 100/1
Pedigree: 47. Not knowingly undersold, having described himself as a ‘Brexit hardman’. Cornishman now decamped to Home Counties.
Stabling: Oxford-educated RAF Flight Lieutenant who became a software engineer.
Form: Henchman of Mrs May’s nemesis, the European Research Group. His style has been likened to a man who enjoys torturing insects.
Strength: Obsession for a No Deal Brexit is unsurpassed. Popular among grassroots.
Weakness: Zealous approach has invited ridicule.
Odds: Not even in ConservativeHome’s latest 26-strong leadership list.
AND Sir Graham Brady 100/1
Pedigree: 52. Supported Brexit before referendum.
Stabling: Grammar school-educated. Worked in public affairs before being elected in 1997.
Form: Resigned as chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee this week to run for leader.
Strength: Authoritative figure who gained respect for marshalling backbenchers.
Weakness: Lacks grassroots support. Bland in the extreme, typified by his own description on his website: ‘Graham enjoys gardening but likes to spend as much spare time as possible with his children.’
Odds: Sits at 19th in the league table.