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Rory Stewart emerges with credit from the first Tory ballot

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The main story of the first ballot of Conservative MPs is that the tropical storm known as Boris Johnson is closer to land than we thought. His will be one of the two names who go to the party members for the final decision – unless a large number of MPs switch away from him in Tuesday’s second ballot.

Johnson picked up new 29 votes, nearly half of the 72 MPs who hadn’t declared publicly who they are supporting. In the battle for the second slot, Jeremy Hunt picked up more votes than Michael Gove, but the big question is which of them will gain most votes from the three candidates who were eliminated today and anyone else who might drop out by Tuesday.

Apart from Johnson, the main winner of this first round of the contest is Rory Stewart, the international development secretary. He has fought the most unusual campaign that has struck a chord with the general public, especially the........

© Independent