The poll – run from 1pm until 8pm on Friday May 24 – saw the leadership favourite chosen by 44 percent of the 11,886 readers who cast their vote. Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab, who quit his role in November in opposition to Theresa May’s Brexit deal, was a distant second on 14 percent. He edged out Tory MP and Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg, who amassed 13 percent of the vote.
The chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) and strong opponent of the Prime Minister has not publicly stated his intention to run for the party leadership.
Fellow Tory MP and ERG deputy chair Steve Baker followed on 11 percent, with Andrea Leadsom, who quit on Thursday as Leader of the House of Commons, again in opposition to Mrs May’s Brexit strategy, on five percent.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Sajid Javid – all of whom have been hotly-tipped to challenge for the Conservative Party leadership – each amassed just one percent of the vote.
David Lidington (58 votes), James Cleverly (43 percent), Liz Truss (41 votes), Matt Hancock (36 votes) and Penny Mordaunt (87 votes) failed to register above zero percent.
Who will replace Theresa May? All the runners and riders for next UK Prime Minister
Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has also been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to take over from Mrs May as Conservative Party leader.
Paddy Power have placed him on odds of 6/4, followed by Mr Raab (6/1), Mr Lidington (9/1), Mr Hunt and Mrs Leadsom (both 12/1).
Last week, a YouGov poll for The Times also revealed Mr Johnson as first choice for almost a quarter of Conservative Party members.
The poll of 858 Tory members from May 10-16 saw him favoured by 39 percent to replace Mrs May, with Mr Raab second on just 13 percent.
Earlier today, speaking at a conference in Interlaken, Switzerland, just hours after Mrs May announced she would resign as leader of the Tory Party on June 7, Mr Johnson was quick to outline his intentions.
Despite being relatively coy, he said: “I don’t wish to elaborate on what I’m going to do and how we are going to do it, but believe me you will hear possibly more about that than you necessarily want to in the next few days.”
Mr Johnson added: “A new leader will have the opportunity to do things differently and have the momentum of a new administration.
“The job of our next leader in the UK, he or she, is to get out of the EU properly and put Brexit to bed.
“And to make sure we have an exciting, dynamic, but also socially compassionate conservatism that can see off Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.”
When asked if her would like to become Prime Minister, Mr Raab – the nearest contender to Mr Johnson – simply said: “Never say never.”
In yet another dramatic day at Westminster, Mrs May yesterday morning announced she was quitting as Conservative leader – triggering a fierce contest to decide a new Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister broke down in tears after saying she had done all she could to successfully deliver Brexit and it was a matter of “deep regret” that she had been unable to do so.
She will continue to serve as Prime Minister while a Conservative leadership contest is ongoing.
The party later said it hoped a new leader would be in place by the end of July.
In an emotional speech delivered outside Number 10 Downing Street, Mrs May said: “I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold. The second female prime minister, but certainly not the last.
“I do so with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”