On the rise: from left: Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd, David Davis and Michael Fallon
On the rise: from left: Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd, David Davis and Michael Fallon © FT Montage

Theresa May’s gamble in calling a snap election has failed to pay off. With the Conservatives struggling to form a minority government, her future as prime minister is in doubt. Senior Tory figures say she could be forced to quit while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on her to resign. Who might replace her as leader?

Boris Johnson

Top of the list of potential replacements is the foreign secretary.

The Brexiter-in-chief maintains a loyal following among the Tory grassroots and is in a strong position to reinvigorate the troops. But after failing to convince his party last year that he was a suitable candidate for leader, Mr Johnson might struggle again.

Amber Rudd

From the next generation of Tories, the home secretary is seen as a credible contender for future leader.

One of the most high-profile cabinet ministers in the election campaign, she stood in for the prime minister in the televised leaders debate. Ms Rudd is more liberal than Mrs May and could take a softer stance on Brexit. But after narrowly holding on to her Hastings and Rye seat with a majority of just 346, there are questions over how popular she would be with the public.

David Davis

The shock result of the election could see the Tories opting for an interim leader. The Brexit secretary might finally fulfil his life-long dream of leading the party after he was beaten by David Cameron in the 2005 leadership election.

Mr Davis would stabilise the ship in the short term, but it is less certain whether he could lead the party to victory in another election.

Michael Fallon

The defence secretary is also seen as a possible safe pair of hands to steward the party in the short term.

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