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Tory leadership race: Who are the people deciding the next PM?

Conservative Party members flocked to Manchester for the annual conference in October 2018. Credit: PA

Following a number of votes, the candidates to be the next Prime Minister have been whittled down to just two.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are the last two in the race to get the top job and Tory members will now get to have their say.

Ten candidates initially threw their hat into the ring but over the course of a few weeks, several votes and one withdrawal, we are left with the last two.

Now, approximately 160,000 Conservative Party members will determine which of these two men will take over from Theresa May when she steps down next month.

Here is everything you need to know about the people who will have the final say on who the next Prime Minister and what is to come:

Theresa May hands over the reins during the week of 22 July. Credit: PA
  • What happens next?

Johnson and Hunt will attend 12 hustings events up and down the country over the next couple of weeks to pitch their case to members - the first is this weekend in Birmingham.

Members will get a chance to hear how the candidates intend to tackle Brexit, the economy, education, the NHS, taxes, crime - everything in the in-tray for the next PM.

There will also be an opportunity to put them on the spot with questions.

Those who have paid to be Tory Party members will vote, via postal ballot, on who should be the next prime minister.

It’s fairly simple, the candidate with the most votes wins and takes over from Ms May.

  • How long do they have to vote?

Tory members will receive their ballot papers in the coming days and will have roughly one month to send back their preferences.

The 22nd of July is the current deadline for the Tory Party to receive a response and the expectation is that the final result will be announced the following day (23 July).

Tory party members are charged £25 a year for the privilege. Credit: PA
  • How many members are there?

It's not clear. The last official tally in March 2018 revealed there were 128,000 paid up members.

The latest estimate suggest that number could have swelled to about 160,000, given the spike in interest in the leadership election.

It costs £25 a year to join the party and £5 if you’re under the age of 23.

  • What do we know about Tory Party members?

Most Tory Party members are middle class (86%) and aged over 55 (61%) and live in the South of England (54%), according to research published by Queen Mary University.

Only 14% of those who are eligible to vote for the next prime minister are under the age of 35.

Of the members, 71% are male and 97% identify as White British.