The Conservative Party’s leader is declared, while Lib Dems are elected

Sunak leads in race for UK leader; Johnson yet to declare

David Levenson

14th December 2011. 7:00am

The battle to become Britain’s next prime minister was thrown into relief on Saturday, as the leader of the ruling Conservative Party was finally declared, while Lib Dems were also elected by their constituencies.

But the race to take the top job will still be hotly contested, with David Cameron still the favourite, with the support of a large majority of Conservative and Ukip voters.

The party’s candidate for the race, Sajid Javid, failed to get the requisite majority of Conservative party members to back him for the top job, but is now likely to be put forward as a possible prime minister in a future coalition.

However, he is the only one of the three main contenders to have secured a majority, as Nigel Farage’s campaign was unable to break through the political class’s “first past the post” system.

Instead, the party’s leader, John Redwood, secured the support from just 1,077 members.

In second place, the party’s candidate for deputy leader, Ed Miliband, has more than twice as many members backing his campaign as Redwood, but is on course for a much smaller plurality of the vote.

With just 6,941 party members backing him, and only five percentage points separated him from Redwood, his position is precarious.

Third in the field was the leaderless Independent Group, a group of former Conservative MPs who want to become the UK’s next government.

Under party rules, they had to secure 40% of the vote, but they won’t get it until December 16th, when all 100 members of the group will have had the opportunity to vote.

The group, led by former prime minister Sir John Major, have the support of 20% of party members, leaving them a very distant third.

Farage and the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, who has also been named as a potential candidate, are still leading with 24% each, while the

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