Boris Johnson and his former finance minister Rishi Sunak are leading potential contenders to replace British Prime Minister Liz Truss, with candidates canvassing support to become Conservative Party leader in a fast-tracked contest.
Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons, is widely seen by Tory MPs as his strongest challenger, while ex-home secretary Suella Braverman is also expected to enter the contest.
The decision to set a threshold of 100 votes to make it onto the ballot paper will rapidly whittle down candidates. Even if the 357 Tory MPs vote is evenly split, no more than three candidates will be able to get through.
Suppose two candidates remain after the initial ballot on Monday, October 24. In that case, MPs will hold an indicative vote to signal the grassroots who commands the most support in the parliamentary party. The 170,000 members would then choose the next leader by Friday, October 28.
The next government leader faces a formidable task as Britain heads into an economic slowdown with inflation surging, borrowing costs rising, and a winter likely to be dominated by labor strikes and worries about energy supplies.