Portillo eliminated from Tory leadership contest

Clarke wins by five votes, Duncan Smith through by just one vote
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Indy Politics

Kenneth Clarke emerged as clear winner in the third vote in the Tory leadership contest. Michael Portillo was last by one vote and therefore eliminated from the nationwide vote among Party members.

Mr Clarke said he hoped to enhance the attractiveness of the Party and work out how it could challenge Tony Blair and present itself as an alternative government.

Mr Clarke is now 4/6 favourite with bookmakers William Hill to become leader, having started at 7/1 when he first declared his intention to run.

Iain Duncan-Smith said he had just stuck to the real issues. He was relieved to be through to the national vote. He said: "What we are going to say to the national Party is we have two clear ways of bringing the party together and making it electable."

He added: "We must unite the Party now."

Mr Portillo said: "I don't intend to be on the Tory front bench again. It really is time for me to move on."

He would not be endorsing either of the remaining candidates.

Tory leadership contenders
Clarke, Kenneth363959
Duncan Smith, Ian394254
Portillo, Michael495053
Former contenders
Ancram, Michael2117(Elim. r2)
Davis, David2118(Withdrawn)