Boris Johnson is preparing for power as he awaits the widely expected confirmation that he has defeated Jeremy Hunt in the battle to become the UK’s next prime minister.
As the overwhelming favourite to be crowned Conservative Party leader, Mr Johnson is poised to unveil an ambitious domestic policy agenda looking beyond Brexit in his victory speech.
Sky News reports that voting among the Tories’ 165,000 eligible members closed at 5pm on Monday.
The declaration of the result marks the finale of a month-long battle between Mr Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, which has included a TV debate, 16 hustings across the UK, interviews, campaign visits and photo opportunities.
Welcoming Mr Johnson’s expected victory, leading supporter Jacob Rees-Mogg told Sky News: “I think Boris will be good for the country because he’ll deliver on his promise to leave EU and he’ll do that by 31 October.
“He’ll be good for the Conservative Party as he has the electoral stardust that makes him attractive and a unifying figure across the country.”
Ultimately, it has been Mr Johnson’s pledge to leave the EU by Halloween “do or die” that has given him the edge over Mr Hunt, in a leadership contest dominated by Brexit.