The latest Conservative Party vote amongst MPs for a new leader sees Boris Johnson Consolidating his lead, but Rory Stewart misses out.
The vote, of all Conservative MPs, was the latest in the freakish process of choosing a leader of both party and country at the same time, de facto, if not de jure. Environment minister Michael Gove came second with 61 votes, overtaking Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who got 59 votes.
But Michael Gove is now hot on Hunt's heels having increased by ten to 51 and, looking at the rate of growth in his support base, it is entirely possible that he will outpace Jeremy Hunt in the end.
Mr Gove was supported by 75 MPs - just two votes short of Mr Hunt's 77.
The mainly pro-Brexit Conservative Party members, some 160,000 in all, will cast the deciding votes in a weeks-long process involving mail ballots that will culminate in the announcement of the victor the week beginning July 22.
May stepped down as Conservative leader earlier this month over her failure to deliver Brexit on time, although she remains prime minister until her successor is chosen.
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The next round of voting gets underway on Thursday afternoon with results expected to be announced at 6pm BST. But asked as he went in to vote today whether he knew anything about the "dark arts", Mr Johnson merely smiled and said: 'No'.
Gove said: "I'm determined to make this a contest of ideas".
"The only candidate who will now do this is Boris Johnson and so I'll be supporting him to become our next Prime Minister", he told the Evening Standard newspaper.
May has not revealed who she has voted for.
The only candidate to rule out leaving the European Union with no deal, Stewart had made unlikely progress to reach the last five.
Johnson and Javid insist Britain must leave on the twice-delayed October 31 exit date, while Hunt and Gove are prepared to delay further if a divorce deal with Brussels seems close.