Race tightens to get into Tory leadership run-off voteon July 19, 2022 at 2:24 pm

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Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt are battling to get into the final two, as MPs vote Kemi Badenoch out.

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Liz Truss has narrowed the gap with Tory leadership rival Penny Mordaunt, as they battle to secure a place in the run-off vote among members.

Frontrunner Rishi Sunak again topped the latest MPs’ ballot with 118 votes, whilst Kemi Badenoch came last with 59 and was knocked out.

Ms Mordaunt came second with 92, only six votes ahead of Ms Truss with 86.

The three remaining candidates face a further vote on Wednesday to decide who will make the final two.

Voting will then be thrown open to 160,00 Conservative Party members to pick the winner, who will replace Boris Johnson as prime minister on 5 September.

Contenders need to bag 119 votes from Tory MPs to get into the run-off, suggesting former chancellor Mr Sunak is likely to secure a place in the final two.

Analysis box by Jonathan Blake, political correspondent

The placings haven’t changed but a close look at the numbers tells us how unpredictable this contest is.

Thirty one votes were up for grabs from Tom Tugendghat’s supporters after he was eliminated in the last round.

It’s clear they haven’t moved as a block as all the candidates have gained votes.

Liz Truss has kept up her momentum but not enough to leapfrog Penny Mordaunt who picked up enough votes to stay in second.

Rishi Sunak only gained three votes, showing that while he’s been in front from the start it’s not a runaway lead.

It’s a very tight race and at this point, impossible to call.

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