The Conservatives have set a high threshold for leadership hopefuls to make it on to the ballot paper for the next party leader.
Candidates will have to have the support of 100 MPs — a big jump on the 20 MPs needed to enter this summer’s contest when Liz Truss was chosen.
As there are 357 Conservative MPs, a maximum of three can make it on to the ballot. After MPs have reduced the list to two, party members will vote online for the next leader.
Nominations are open now and will close at 2pm on Monday. The leader will be chosen by October 28.
“We fixed a high threshold but a threshold that should be achievable by any serious candidate who has a realistic prospect of going through,” Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 committee, told reporters on Thursday.
He also said that if only one candidate was nominated by MPs, then the new leader will be confirmed on Monday.
Otherwise, party chair Sir Jake Berry confirmed that there would be an electronic ballot of the entire Tory membership to choose from the final two candidates.
He insisted that the party believed it could carry out a robust digital vote of around 200,000 members without external tampering.