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– This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on July 6, Wednesday.
Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.
Whoever is elected to lead the party will have to negotiate Britain's exit from the European Union and invoke that much-talked-about clause -- Article 50 -- which governs an EU departure.
It won't be Crabb or Fox. Crabb withdrew his name from consideration later Tuesday and gave his support to May.
Home Secretary Theresa May won the first round of voting in the bid to replace David Cameron, who announced he is stepping down following the Brexit decision, in which voters cast ballots in favor of leaving the European Union. Tuesday's votes were as follows:
Theresa May -- 165
Andrea Leadsom -- 66
Michael Gove -- 48
Stephen Crabb -- 34
Liam Fox --16
When there are three or more candidates, MPs vote in an initial round -- which is what happened Tuesday -- and then keep holding rounds until the number is whittled down to two. A final vote goes out to the wider party, and the winner is Britain's new prime minister.
The result is expected to be announced September 9.
Now, if we take a look at the three candidates --
Theresa May is the big favorite with the bookmakers and leads the way.
The 59-year-old is seen as a reliable pair of hands by those in the party but has come in for criticism over her stance on whether EU migrants will be able to remain in Britain after a Brexit.
While she has assured members of her party that she wants EU nationals to stay, she is refusing to make any promises before carrying out negotiations with the European Union.
One of the stars of the Brexit campaign, Andrea Leadsom, has come from nowhere to become a serious contender for the top job.
A fierce advocate of leaving the EU, she has already said she would invoke Article 50 as soon as possible.
It marks quite a turnaround for Leadsom, 53, who warned it would be a "disaster" for the UK to leave the EU in a speech three years ago.
She defended that stance, saying that she had been on a "journey" since and had changed her mind.
Just 26 MPs are backing Gove at this stage, with a large majority of the party still stunned by what they see as his betrayal of Johnson.
Gove, 48, the justice secretary, decided to withdraw his support after his "heart told him" he should put himself forward.
He was accused of Machiavellian tactics while one MP urged him to stand aside for the sake of party unity.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.
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