Each weekend for the duration of this leadershop contest I'll be charting who's up and who's fortunes are on the decline in the Tory Party's equivalent of the Game of Thrones...


  1. Boris Johnson - Bookies favourite but will his no deal remarks in Switzerland come back to haunt him?
  2. Jeremy Hunt - The choice of non Brexiteer centrist MPs. An impressive list of backers but can he build on it?
  3. Dominic Raab - Got the infrastructure, a good mix of backers but needs to display more emotional intelligence.
  4. Michael Gove - Not to be underestimated. Good back room team and a range of supporters. Could easily move up to No 2. A Boris v Gove final. Serendpity?
  5. Sajid Javid - Has ground to catch up. Needs to knock Jeremy Hunt out to come through the middle.
  6. Rory Stewart - So far the only ultra-Remainer to enter the field. Difficult to see how he can win given his platform, but will perform well in early rounds.
  7. Penny Mordaunt - Not announced so far, but could be the dark horse candidate that surprises everyone. Universally likes, which is rare in politics.
  8. Andrea Leadsom - Can she repeat her strong showing from 2016? Her resignation was well handled, and she's had a good year. 
  9. Matt Hancock - Inevitably seen as the 'Continuity Cameron' candidate, but if he racks up strong support initially, could be one to watch.
  10. Esther McVey - Seen as a rank outsider she's had a very good first week, but can she attract support outside the ERG? Gary Streeter's backing would indicate yes.
  11. James Cleverly - Not announced yet, and may decide not to run. If he does he could provide the shakeup the contest may need.
  12. Steve Baker - Said to be seriously considering a tilt, but the ERG vote will become even more splintered. 
  13. Sir Graham Brady - Would run as a unity candidate, given he is respected across the party.
  14. Mark Harper - Relatively unknown outside Westminster, he'd be a fresh face. Like Penny M, is liked, but needs more profile.
  15. Priti Patel - Had been thought not likely to run, but in the last week, she's said to be reconsidering. 

It seems an odd thing to say but the field has 'narrowed' to 15, given Liz Truss and Amber Rudd making clear they won't run. I suspect by Tuesday or Wednesday at least three of these will drop by the wayside. The first round is therefore likely to be a contest between 10 or 11 candidates.

The most noteworthy thing about this list is that there is only one fully fledged Remainer on it. The other noteworthy thing is that the ERG plan of only having a single candidate has fallen by the wayside, with up to 5 members of the ERG pssibly standing. To be honest that is madness, and may well rebound on them. However, as we have seen, counting is sometimes not their strongest suit.

I'll be updating this list every weekend, and sometimes more regularly than that.