Rishi Sunak won the most recent voting round on Thursday with 101 votes, tightening his hold on the campaign to succeed Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister of the United Kingdom.
Suella Braverman, the Indian-origin Attorney General who was in the running, was eliminated from the shortlist after receiving the fewest votes (27), and there are now only five contenders left in the Tory leadership race.
After the second round of voting by legislators, only Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt (83 votes), Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (64 votes), former minister Kemi Badenoch (49 votes), and Tory backbencher Tom Tugendhat (32 votes) are still on the ballot in the tight race.
Early next week, Conservative Party members of parliament will vote in the subsequent rounds to reduce this list to just two by next Thursday.
All eyes will now be on which way Braverman and her supporters will lean in order to secure one of the final five votes with those 27 votes.
Sunak, 42, stated in an earlier interview that “I’m confident that I’m the greatest person to defeat [Opposition Labour leader] Keir Starmer and deliver that election triumph.”
The son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy and former chancellor of the British Indian community is expected to be among the last two contenders to travel the UK for hustings to win over the party’s larger membership before a postal vote determines the victor.
The control of the one member, one vote process among Conservatives nationwide who have been registered with the party for at least three months will be transferred to the Conservative Party headquarters at the end of next week.
While Penny Mordaunt has been ahead in polls of the party electorate, some of her colleagues have questioned some of her contentious stances on LGBTQ+ issues.
Lord David Frost, a former Brexit minister, also voiced concerns about her abilities as a former minister on his team.