Boris Johnson wins the first round of the Conservative party leadership contest.
Johnson wins the backing of 114 Conservative MPs ahead of his nearest rival Jeremy Hunt on 43.
Three Conservative MPs drop out.
The party’s MPs will now vote for a second time on Tuesday.
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LONDON — Boris Johnson is heading to victory in the contest to replace Theresa May as prime minister after winning the first round of the Conservative party leadership contest.
The former Foreign Secretary was backed on Thursday by 114 Conservative MPs ahead of his nearest rival Jeremy Hunt on 43.
The three candidates with the fewest votes, Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey and Mark Harper, all leave the contest.
The result means that Johnson will go into the second round of voting, due to take place next Tuesday, alongside the remaining six other candidates.
The party’s MPs will then go through a series of additional votes before the final two candidates are voted on by the wider membership at the end of July.
The result follows the launch of Johnson’s campaign on Wednesday in which he pledged to restore his party’s fortunes and “unite” the country after the divisions caused by Brexit.
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Johnson was forced to drop out of the last Conservative leadership contest in 2016, due to lack of support, but has seen his fortunes boosted following the collapse of Theresa May’s administration and the rise of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.
Surveys of Conservative activists suggest that he is the overwhelming favourite among party members to succeed May and bring back Brexit-supporting voters’ who have deserted the party since May’s decision to delay Brexit.
Conservative leadership contest first round result
Boris Johnson: 114
Jeremy Hunt: 43
Michael Gove: 37
Dominic Raab: 27
Sajid Javid: 23
Matt Hancock: 20
Rory Stewart: 19
Andrea Leadsom: …read more
Source:: Business Insider