Eight candidates have been selected to compete to replace Boris Johnson as UK Prime Minister and head of the Conservative Party, the committee in charge of organizing the race revealed on Tuesday.
Graham Brady, a Conservative MP and the chair of the 1922 Committee, confirmed the list of names at a press briefing in Westminster.
The nominees include former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, Attorney General Suella Braverman, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, trade secretary Penny Mordaunt, former chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, and former education secretary Nadhim Zahawi, who took over as chancellor following Sunak’s resignation last week.
Contenders had to be nominated by 20 party members to make it to the final list. The first round of voting begins on Wednesday, with any candidate who receives fewer than 30 votes eliminated. The second round takes place on Thursday, with the candidate who receives the lowest number of votes dropping out.
Subsequent rounds of voting through July will eliminate the least popular candidates until just two are left, at which point the 180,000 Conservative Party members across the UK will vote for their preferred candidate, and the winner will be announced on September 5.
Johnson announced his resignation last week after dozens of high-ranking officials resigned in protest over his scandal-plagued administration. While his departure has triggered intense speculation regarding his replacement, some of the most popular names, including Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and former health minister Sajid Javid, did not make it to the final slate of eight. Despite leading in one poll of voter favorites, Wallace announced on Sunday he would not be competing for the role, while Javid dropped out of the race minutes before Tuesday’s deadline.
Of the remaining candidates, Sunak and Mordaunt are currently leading the pack, according to bookmakers.