A new poll has put Rory Stewart ahead of Boris Johnson as the public’s choice for Prime Minister.
The results have been revealed on the day Theresa May officially resigned as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party, with the 1922 Committee inviting nominations from MPs wanting to replace her.
Stewart was selected as the preferred successor by 30 per cent of people polled when adjusted for those who selected “don’t know who he/she is”.
He is one point ahead of Johnson, who has widely been tipped as the favourite to replace May.
Savid Javid, Andrea Leadsom and Dominic Raab made up the top five candidates in the public’s view, with Jeremy Hunt in sixth on 20 per cent of the vote.
May will remain as caretaker Prime Minister until her successor is picked.
Any MP who wants to stand must be backed by eight other colleagues and then will have to pass a threshold of votes in a series of secret ballots to stay in the contest.
These ballots will be held between 10 and 21 June, after which the final two will have a month of campaigning around the country before the final postal ballot of members.
The winner of the contest is due to be announced in the week of 22 July which is when Mrs May will officially resign as Prime Minister and be replaced.