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Conservative leadership race draws to a close as voting ends – with winner to be announced on Monday

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Voting in the Conservative leadership contest has ended, with the party’s next leader to be announced on Monday.

After a long and bitter summer of campaigning, there is nothing more Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak can do to try and win the keys to Number 10.

The winner of the race, and subsequently the next prime minister, will be announced on Monday.

Who will be the next PM? Watch and follow live from 12.30pm on Monday as Boris Johnson’s successor is announced

Analysis: Some party members are feeling apprehensive

Mr Sunak and Ms Truss have spent the past six weeks battling it out to persuade Tory members that they have what it takes to run the party – and the country – after Boris Johnson resigned.

The two candidates took part in twelve Conservative hustings across the country and all four nations of the UK, answering 614 questions in total.

More on Tory Leadership Race

Ms Truss has been considered the frontrunner in the contest for most of its duration, but allies of Mr Sunak will hope a strong response from Conservative members at the final hustings in London on Wednesday is reflected in the result.

As voting came to a close, Ms Truss released a statement saying that if she is victorious, she will ensure the UK “succeeds”.

“It has been fantastic meeting and speaking to thousands of members across the whole of the UK over the last six weeks,” the foreign secretary said.

“Our members make our party great, and I would like to thank all the volunteers who have helped along the way.

“I believe in a brighter and better future for Britain. I have a bold plan that will grow our economy and deliver higher wages, more security for families and world-class public services.

“I’ll do this by cutting taxes, pushing through supply-side reform and slashing red tape that is holding businesses back.

“If I am elected prime minister, I will never let anyone talk us down and I will do everything in my power to make sure our great nation succeeds.”

Mr Sunak outlined what he would do if he becomes PM.

He said: “I have been humbled to meet so many thousands of our brilliant members and activists over the past six weeks. This is a critical election for our country and for the future of the Conservative Party, as we eye a historic fifth term in government.

“We face huge challenges ahead, but also huge opportunities. I know what it takes to get through challenging times. I did it as Chancellor and I will do it again as prime minister.

“A vote for me is a vote to grip inflation, support people through the winter and lay the foundations for generations of growth and prosperity to come. As prime minister, I will be bold, I will be brave and I will run an honest, serious government to restore trust, rebuild our economy and reunite our country.”

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Final hustings in the race for PM

Mr Johnson will officially remain in post until his replacement formally takes office on Tuesday.

For the first time ever in her reign, the Queen will receive Mr Johnson at her Scottish residence Balmoral, in Aberdeenshire, due to ongoing health concerns.

Here, Mr Johnson will formally tender his resignation.

This will be followed by an audience with the new Tory leader, where she or he will be invited to form a government.

Speaking after voting had closed, Conservative Party Chairman Andrew Stephenson said: “I’d like to thank Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss for participating in what, at times, must have been a gruelling schedule in good spirits and giving our members the opportunity to question them up front and personal, answering over six hundred questions and putting themselves under the spotlight.”

Removal vans were spotted outside Number 10 today as the PM prepares to depart.

Mr Johnson has sought to use his final weeks to outline what he perceives to be his legacy from his time in Downing Street.

Liz Truss

On Thursday, he gave his support to the Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk, promising £700m of government funding for the project.

But it will be up to his successor to provide the rest of the funding to push the project through in a deal with French-owned utility firm EDF.

Mr Johnson has been hesitant to discuss his future plans for when he leaves Number 10, but asked what sort of ex-PM he would be, he told reporters on Thursday: “I think only time will tell is my answer on that one.

“But my intention and what I certainly will do is give my full and unqualified support to whoever takes over from me.

“Otherwise, really to get on with life.”

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‘Will you rule out a comeback’

As voting in the leadership contest ended, a Tory pollster said Ms Truss is on course for a “clear victory” over Mr Sunak – but by a tighter margin than expected.

Lord Hayward said: “My overall sense is Liz Truss will win but I am not convinced it will be by the margin that the polls are predicting.

“It will be clear, she will have a clear victory, but I would be surprised if it’s by the margin the polls are predicting.”

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