The winner will become the country’s second female leader after Margaret Thatcher and will be announced on September 9 after a postal vote from 150,000 Conservative Party members around the country.
Mrs May won the support of 199 MPs in the second round of voting with Andrea Leadsom taking 84 votes and Michael Gove 46.
It’s a blow for the Vote Leave leader who had previously knifed Boris Johnson in order to run himself.
Mr Johnson got his own revenge by throwing his support behind Mrs Leadsom.
The result sets up an intense battle for the top job between the two women who come from different sides of the EU campaign.
Mrs May voted Remain and kept a low profile throughout but has banked on her experience as Home Secretary to portray an image as a steady and capable leader who can unify the party.
Mrs Leadsom was a high-profile Vote Leave voice and has said Article 50 should be triggered ‘as soon as possible’ and has secured the support of controversial UKIP donor Arron Banks.
(ed:..he’s a weird one that gove..(in a tory party chocka-block full of ‘weird ones’ – he stands out..)
..and the tory party members can’t complain that they don’t have a clear choice this time..eh..?..
..may is big on the war on the poor – dunno who the other is..except she’s far-right/reactionary..(joy..!..joy..!..eh..?)
..my ambivalence is down to distaste for both..
..they are all about as lovable as sewer-rats..
..and like with a sewer rat – you should never ever turn your back on one of them..
..’cos they both bite – and both could well have rabies..
..haven’t you heard the term ‘mad tory dog’..?..)