The former foreign secretary leads crowded field of contenders to replace Theresa May, which is dominated by Brexiteeers, including Dominic Raab and Michael Gove. Max Liu has the latest...
"A repeat Boris blunder leave the way open for one of Dominic Raab [5.2], Michael Gove [11.0] or Andrea Leadsom [16.5]."
Boris Johnson is the [2.5] favourite to be the next leader of the Conservative Party after Theresa May said she would step aside on 7 June.
The Prime Minister had been under intense pressure to name her exit date after her latest version of the Brexit deal came under fire from party colleagues earlier this week. Tories were dismayed by her plan to give MPs a vote on holding a second referendum on Brexit.
May will remain in Downing Street, to take the blame for what are expected to be dire results for the Tories from Thursday's European elections (results announced on Sunday). The Tory leadership race proper will begin on June 7 and is expected to last about six weeks.
Will Johnson suffer the curse of the front-runner?
Anyone thinking of taking the odds on Johnson should be warned - front-runners don't always fare well in Tory leadership races, as Johnson himself knows. The ex-Mayor of London was the favourite to succeed David Cameron in 2016 before Johnson blew it and May cruised to victory.
A repeat of that could leave the way open for one of Dominic Raab [5.2], Michael Gove [11.0] or Andrea Leadsom [16.5]. Jeremy Hunt [17.0] should also be in the race and there could yet be an important role for a dark horse candidate, with Penny Mordaunt [28.0] an intriguing outsider, according to some commentators.
Paul Krishnamurty will provide a runner-by-runner guide to the contest later today and I'll report back with latest news and odds on Sunday.