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Politics: Conservative leadership election - All you need to know

The votes have been cast and on Monday we will discover whether Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will replace Boris Johnson as the next Prime Minister.

After months of growing pressure, Johnson announced his resignation on the steps of Downing Street on 7th July, confirming he would remain in post until a new leader was found.

In the days that followed, Conservative MPs signalled their intention to campaign for the vacancy with Nadhim Zahawi, Jeremy Hunt, Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat, Suella Braverman, Penny Mordaunt, Truss and Sunak all throwing their hats into the ring and subsequently securing enough votes from fellow MPs to officially enter the race.

Zahawi and Hunt, however, were the first to fall as they failed to get the backing of 30 MPs to reach the second ballot.

Braverman was the next to be eliminated from the contest before Tugendhat, Badenoch and Mordaunt suffered the same fate later on.

That leaves us with two; Truss and Sunak.

The pair have been battling it out and trying to convince the Conservative party members to hand over their vote via a mix of hustings across the UK and some head-to-head TV debates.

After a summer of campaigning, the deadline for votes to be cast has now passed and the next Prime Minister of the UK will be confirmed on Monday.

When does the Conservative party leadership contest end?

The contest has effectively been active since Johnson announced his resignation on 7th July, with candidates almost immediately confirming their intention to run. Postal votes were sent out to party members between 1st and 5th August. The deadline for votes to be received was 17:00, Friday 2nd September. Any ballots received after that time will not be counted but online voting is possible until the close of the ballot.

Who can vote for the new Conservative leader?

Party members who have held a card for at least three months immediately prior to the close of the ballot are the only ones eligible to vote. Around 150,000 people were registered and eligible to vote in the 2019 leadership election and it's estimated around 180,000-200,000, which is around 0.3% of the population, can vote this time.

Who are the candidates?

Foreign secretary Truss has been an MP since 2010 after she was selected by former leader David Cameron to stand for the safe seat of South West Norfolk. She has held several cabinet positions under three different Prime Ministers - Cameron, Theresa May and Johnson - including secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs and secretary of state for international trade.

Sunak is the MP for Richmond, North Yorkshire. He replaced Truss to become the chief secretary to the treasury in 2019 before Johnson appointed him to become chancellor of the exchequer, throughout one of the toughest periods in the UK's recent history, in February 2020.

Who is the favourite?

Truss trailed Sunak in the voting during the ballot stage with MPs showing their support for the former chancellor. However, Truss is preferred by the members and is the 1/25 favourite to become the next Conservative party leader with Sunak priced at 10/1.

When will the winner be announced?

The votes will be counted over the weekend and the official result will be announced by Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, on Monday. The formal handover of power will take place on Tuesday. In a break with tradition, the winner will travel to Balmoral Castle in Scotland to be appointed by the Queen, rather than at Buckingham Palace.

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