Who will replace British Prime Minister Theresa May? Odds are that it’ll be one of these five.


May 24 at 9:17 AM

Theresa May’s time steering Britain is coming to an end. She announced Friday that she will resign as her party’s leader on June 7 and make way for a new British prime minister.

May has been prime minister since shortly after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016. Her resignation comes after she tried — and failed — three times to get lawmakers to pass the Brexit withdrawal deal she negotiated with the E.U.

Now, Britain will get a chance to see how another prime minister handles the country’s tortuous path out of the E.U.

In announcing her resignation, May noted that she was Britain’s second female prime minister and promised there would be more women in the highest office. But four of the five leading candidates to replace her are men, according to the bookmaker William Hill. Here are the top five, with their latest odds.

Boris Johnson (6-5)

(Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

The flamboyant former foreign secretary and a leading Brexiteer is a clear front-runner. Johnson is that rare politician who has cross-party appeal. He served two terms as mayor of London — an impressive feat in a city that typically votes Labour. But his popularity began to slump after the 2016 referendum, especially in pro-E.U. cities such as London, and he received mixed reviews for his time as foreign secretary.

His biggest challenge could be mustering support from fellow lawmakers in the first phase of the leadership race. Even though he isn’t the pinup he once was, his star power remains hard to match.

Dominic Raab (5-1)

(Matt Dunham/AP)

A member of Parliament since 2010, Raab was selected by May to be Brexit secretary in July 2018. However, he resigned on Nov. 15 in opposition to the draft withdrawal agreement that May’s government was advocating.

A fiercely anti-E.U. voice in Parliament, Raab hopes to appeal to conservatives by slashing income tax to the lowest basic rate in modern history.

Andrea Leadsom (7-1)

(Matt Dunham/AP file)

Leadsom resigned as leader of the House of Commons two days before May made her own resignation announcement. Now she’s on the table to make a comeback as prime minister.

Leadsom, a Brexit supporter, repeatedly defended May’s Brexit deal in Parliament. But she is also a longtime rival of May’s and when she resigned this week, she said May did not appear to be able to “deliver on the referendum result.”

Leadsom and May were the two finalists in the 2016 contest to become leader of the Conservative Party and the next British prime minister. Leadsom withdrew from that race after a controversial interview in which she suggested being a mother made her a better pick than May, who doesn’t have children. She has said she is “actively considering” and “preparing” for another leadership bid.

Jeremy Hunt (8-1)

(Hannah Mckay/Reuters)

Jeremy Hunt became foreign secretary after Johnson resigned over May’s handling of Brexit negotiations. Previously, Hunt served as health secretary, a position he held for nearly six years. In the 2016 referendum, he voted for Britain to remain but has since said that he has had a change of heart, citing the E.U.’s “arrogance” in the Brexit negotiations.

Michael Gove (9-1)

(Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images)

Gove, a prominent Brexiteer and one of the Conservative Party’s more cerebral figures, played a key role in the 2016 Vote Leave campaign. He has been loyal to May since returning to the cabinet, but his reputation took a hit after he was accused of betraying Johnson in the 2016 leadership contest. Gove has said that he opposes a second referendum on Brexit, as it would be “undemocratic,” but he did not resign as environment secretary this week in response to May’s new deal.

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after making a statement at Downing Street in London. (Hannah Mckay/Reuters)
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