Tory backbencher Liam Fox is the first candidate to be eliminated as Theresa May tops the Conservative leadership ballot

Mark Sands
Follow Mark
Home Secretary Theresa May Launches Her Bid For The Conservative Leadership
Conservative home secretary Theresa May has secured victory in the first round of the Conservative leadership contest (Source: Getty)

Tory backbencher Liam Fox has lost out in the first round of the competition to become Conservative party leader and Prime Minister.

Fox will now be eliminated from the next round of voting, while all candidates will have the option of withdrawing before a second ballot on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, home secretary Theresa May was the clear winner in the first vote, with 165 MPs declaring their support for her.

Her tally dwarfed that of her nearest rival, energy minister Andrea Leadsom, who came second with 66 backers.

Read More: May steams ahead in Tory leadership race

The pair were pursued by justice secretary Michael Gove and work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb with 48 and 34 votes, respectively.

Fox secured the backing of just 16 MPs.

In the first ballot of the 2005 leadership contest, Fox secured the backing of 42 MPs, coming third in a field of four.

Eventual winner David Cameron came second, with David Davis securing the greatest support from the party's parliamentarians.


  1. Theresa May - 165
  2. Andrea Leadsom - 66
  3. Michael Gove - 48
  4. Stephen Crabb 34
  5. Liam Fox - 16

Related articles