As the overwhelming favourite to be crowned Conservative Party leader, Mr Johnson is poised to unveil an ambitious domestic policy agenda looking beyond Brexit in his victory speech.Last night, Boris Johnson was plotting with his inner circle as Theresa May held a farewell party for ministers and Conservative MPs in 10 Downing Street.
Voting among the Tories’ 165,000 eligible members closed at 5pm on Monday.
The declaration of the result marks the finale of a month-long battle between Mr Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, which has included a TV debate, 16 hustings across the UK, interviews, campaign visits and photo opportunities.
Welcoming Mr Johnson’s expected victory, leading supporter Jacob Rees-Mogg told Sky News: “I think Boris will be good for the country because he’ll deliver on his promise to leave EU and he’ll do that by 31 October.
“He’ll be good for the Conservative Party as he has the electoral stardust that makes him attractive and a unifying figure across the country.”
Ultimately, it has been Mr Johnson’s pledge to leave the EU by Halloween “do or die” that has given him the edge over Mr Hunt, in a leadership contest dominated by Brexit.Jonathan Isaby, editor of Brexit Central, told Sky News: “The Tory grassroots have been looking for someone who believes in Brexit and also someone who is deeply optimistic about Brexit.
“Optimism is something people have been desperately crying out for.”
But in his victory speech, Mr Johnson is expected to look beyond Brexit and unveil a domestic policy agenda including social care, school funding and boosting business in the regions.
Allies of the former foreign secretary claim he will emphasise “unity” and the need to bring the Conservative Party and the country back together after the divisions of Brexit.
But he faces the threat of a collision course with parliament over a no-deal Brexit.
A massive problem for Mr Johnson is that he will have a razor-thin majority if – as expected – the Conservatives lose the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election to the Liberal Democrats on 1 August.
His majority has already been cut further after the Tory whip was withdrawn from Dover MP Charlie Elphicke, who has been charged with three counts of sexual assault against two women.
Once Mr Johnson learns the margin of his victory over Mr Hunt, he is expected to make his choices for the top four cabinet jobs, before Mrs May goes to Buckingham Palace to resign.
Sajid Javid is favourite to replace Philip Hammond as chancellor, but the future of Mr Johnson’s leadership rival, Mr Hunt, is unclear.
It has been claimed Mr Johnson wants to demote or sack him after being annoyed by his aggressive attacks on him during the campaign.
At Mrs May’s farewell drinks in Downing Street, attended by MPs from both the Remain and Leave wings of the Tory Party – as well as Democratic Unionist Party MPs – she told her guests in a valedictory speech that their priority was stopping Jeremy Corbyn entering Downing Street.