Johnson will join a lengthy list of leadership rivals, most of whom have already launched their bids. Because the Conservatives are the UK’s governing party, the winner of the race automatically becomes prime minister — and steps into a paralyzing Brexit impasse which Theresa May has tried and failed to break.
The current longlist of ten candidates will be whittled down by Conservative lamwakers, in a process that starts this week. Those running will need to pick up an increasing number of endorsements at each stage, until just two remain standing.
Those two candidates will then face a straight vote by the party’s grassroots members, with the winner announced towards the end of July.
Johnson’s hard Brexit-backing credentials are matched by several candidates in the race and will be popular with the membership. But other candidates warn that pursuing a no-deal Brexit — the route Johnson has endorsed — would cause economic damage and would fail to pass Parliament.
The former mayor of London is the bookmakers’ favorite to triumph in the race, but a series of debates and weeks of campaigning could cause a few twists in the tale.