June could well be the end of May as a disappointing exit poll, indicating the Conservatives will lose their majority leaving them scrabbling to make up a minority government, puts May’s leadership into serious doubt.
Falling popularity in the pre-election polls, despite her bid to appear ‘strong and stable’ ahead of Brexit negotiations mean rumours are already swirling that she will be expected to resign after trashing her own party’s grip on parliament.
So who are the contenders to take her place as Conservative party leader and the likely next Prime Minister?
Home Secretary Amber Rudd would be a top first pick after she narrowly retained her Hastings seat tonight and she’s current on 9/1 odds.
Here’s who else is a contender to take May’s spot:
Boris Johnson 2/1
The ex-London major and current Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is the clear frontrunner in the contest.
In the 2016 leadership election however Mr Johnson said he did not believe he could provide the leadership or unity needed when fellow Brexit campaigner Michael Gove’s surprise announcement on Thursday morning that he would run for leader.
Despite some typically boorish gaffs in recent weeks, including wrestling a Labour MP and being mocked by a fortune teller, is this finally his chance to shuffle into number 10?
Philip Hammond 7/1
The current Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is the second choice for new PM.
He has been very quiet over the snap election campaign, which might of been a good thing for his chances.
However he has been unpopular in his current role after his first budget in March 2017, his jokes fell almost as flat as his shambolic, abortive attempt to increase National Insurance contributions from self-employed people.
Sajid Javid 12/1
Next up Sajid Javid. He has been MP for Bromsgrove since 2010. The son of a bus driver, he worked in finance prior to entering politics. He held Bromsgrove in 2015 with a majority of 16,529.
Michael Gove 14/1
Former Times journalist and pob lookalike Michael Gove has been MP for Surrey Heath since 2005. He was a notoriously unpopular education secretary from 2010-2014 and justice secretary from 2015-16.
In the lead up to the Brexit referendum he was one of the major figures in the Vote Leave movement and a contender in the 2016 leadership race following David Cameron’s resignation. He was eliminated in the second ballot on 7 July 2016, with many speculating his perceived backstabbing of Boris Johnson contributing to his failure to win.
Damian Green 18/1
Outsider Damian Green has been MP for Ashford since 1997 and work and pensions secretary since 2016. In 2015 he held his seat with a comfortable majority of almost 20,000, with UKIP and Labour on around 10,000 votes each. In 2008, he was arrested on suspicion of ‘aiding and abetting misconduct in public office’ and ‘conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office’. He opposed Brexit, and In May 2017 he denied rumours he was set to take over from Philip Hammond as Chancellor of the Exchequer following the election. Prior to entering politics he was a journalist and also worked for John Major’s policy unit.
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