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Toss-Up At 10 Downing

Rishi Sunak emerges as front runner for prime minister in U.K. after Johnson drops bid

Rishi Sunak, the former British Chancellor and a visible star within the Conservative Party, officially announced his bid Sunday to become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom. He now appears to be the front-runner for the job after former Prime Minister Boris Johnson dropped out of the race. 

Sunak had been tapped as a likely potential candidate to replace Prime Minister Liz Truss, who announced her resignation after just 45 days in office amidst a growing economic crisis in the U.K. 

Sunak already has significant support behind him from his colleagues in the Conservative Party, which looks primed to retain the office of prime minister. The Wall Street Journal noted that Sunak appeared to be the clear front-runner in the race, with the BBC reporting that of the 227 Conservative members of Parliament who have publicized their choice for prime minister, 146 of them were backing Sunak. 

It was presumed that Sunak would face a familiar foe in his bid, as Johnson had served as Truss' predecessor from 2019 before being ousted in September. Johnson is not even 50 days removed from holding the office, and despite shrinking approval ratings throughout his term, he looked primed to make a run for the top job again. 

However, despite Johnson having some support in his party, he confirmed late Sunday that he would not seek to lead the Conservatives again. The move came as a shock to many, with the BBC reporting many of Johnson's allies had expected him to push for the role.