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Boris Johnson tops ballot in first round of Tory leadership voting

Boris Johnson during the launch of his campaign to become leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party and Prime Minister at the Royal Academy of Engineering in central London. Picture by Stefan Rousseau, Press Association

Boris Johnson has topped the ballot in the first round of voting in the Tory leadership race, with Mark Harper, Esther McVey and Andrea Leadsom eliminated from the contest. 

Rory Stewart, who made it through to the next round, tweeted: "THANK YOU - to all my colleagues who voted for me. We can win this. Realism, action, unity, trust. Thank you."

Boris Johnson, who led the poll with 114 votes, tweeted: "Thank you to my friends and colleagues in the Conservative & Unionist Party for your support. I am delighted to win the first ballot, but we have a long way to go." 

Matt Hancock, who had 20 votes, tweeted: "Thanks so much for the fantastic support - terrific to have more votes from colleagues than I could have hoped for #letsmoveforward." 

International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said he was "absolutely over the moon" to have secured just enough votes to survive the first ballot.

He told the Press Association: "Remember, I had six declared votes and I have more than tripled that, so I'm really really happy and candidates who started that contest with four times the number of declared votes as me are now almost level pegging with me.

"This is now neck and neck going into the next round and for somebody who passionately believes that politics is about listening and who made a difficult decision to start this campaign not in this place but outside listening to people, I feel really inspired and encouraged and desperate to do more for the people who are supporting me out there."

He said it was a "very open race" to enter the final two alongside Boris Johnson and that he would be reaching out to "every single colleague" ahead of the next round.

"I'm going to have to now say to those who are neck and neck with me, I'm afraid this is the time to be serious."

Jeremy Hunt, who was runner-up to Boris Johnson, tweeted: "Delighted to come second today. We face a crucial choice: who can negotiate some better choices than the bad ones we face. The stakes have rarely been higher for our country. This serious moment calls for a serious leader." 

Dominic Raab, who got 27 votes, tweeted: "I'm honoured to have the support of so many brilliant colleagues today. This campaign is just getting started, and we've got a good base to build on.

"I'm the change candidate who can be trusted to deliver Brexit by October, and has the vision and energy to take Britain forward."

The full results of the first round are:

Boris Johnson: 114 votes

Jeremy Hunt: 43 votes

Michael Gove: 37 votes

Dominic Raab: 27 votes

Sajid Javid: 23 votes

Matt Hancock: 20 votes

Rory Stewart: 19 votes

Andrea Leadsom: 11 votes

Mark Harper: 10 votes

Esther McVey: 9 votes

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