Wednesday 19 June 2019 2:21 pm

Sajid Javid favourite to be axed from Conservative leadership race

Home secretary Sajid Javid is the favourite to be eliminated from the Conservative leadership contest when MPs vote in the next ballot on Wednesday afternoon.

Javid scraped into the third round of voting when he picked up the minimum 33 backers required in a ballot on Tuesday.

The last of all the candidates to launch his leadership campaign, Javid has struggled to gain momentum among MPs – who will whittle the field down to two before Conservative party members make the final decision on who should succeed Theresa May as Tory leader and therefore Prime Minister.

On Wednesday morning, Ladbrokes were offering odds of 4/6 on Javid receiving the fewest votes, with international development secretary Rory Stewart being priced at 6/4.

Former London mayor Boris Johnson is the bookies favourite to win the contest, with odds of 1/6 from Ladbrokes.

The race to finish second to Johnson – and therefore go forward to the membership vote – is hotting up, with foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt seen to be under pressure from environment secretary Michael Gove.

Hunt secured 46 votes in the second round of voting, while Gove picked up 41. 

The departure from the race of Dominic Raab – the candidate with the most aggressively no deal Brexit stance – could benefit Gove, who has repeatedly talked up his role in the Vote Leave campaign ahead of the 2016 referendum.

While Raab has announced he is now backing Johnson in the contest, some of his supporters may well switch to Gove in order to ensure two Brexiters are put forward to the final round.

MPs will vote between 3pm and 5pm, with the results announced at just after 6pm. The candidate with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated, with the final ballots taking place on Thursday.