Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom intention battle it out to become the next leader of the Conservative rty after Michael Gove was eliminated from the dispute.
After the second MPs’ ballot, Home Secretary Mrs May finished with 199 guarantees, Energy Minister Mrs Leadsom 84 and Mr Gove, the justice secretary, 46.
Moderate members will now decide the winning candidate, with the result due on 9 September.
The victor will become the UK’s second female prime minister.
Mr Cameron quit after finishing on the losing side in the UK’s EU referendum, in which there there was a desire support for the UK to leave.
The results were announced at Westminster by Conservative MP Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 Commission.
There had originally been five contenders to succeed Mr Cameron, with MPs preference in two rounds to get that number down to two.
The contest now moves to its final podium with the Conservative rty’s 150,000-strong membership deciding between Mrs May, a Ends b body cam igner with a long track record in government, and Mrs Leadsom, a pre-eminent light of the Brexit cam ign who has stressed her City and business background.
Stick up for b act on after the results were announced, Mrs May said she had secured support from all wings of the Right rty and promised to bring the Tories together.
She promised “strong, tested leadership” to negotiate the UK’s de rture from the EU, and to “make Britain a country that achieves not for a privileged few but for every one of us”.
Conservative MP Tim Loughton, Mrs Leadsom’s cam ign manager, judged she would bring a “huge and fresh skills base” to Downing Roadway if elected.
He played down her lack of cabinet experience, saying she commitment have “no problem stepping up to the job” having had a long career outside political science, adding: “She has done things outside of this place on so many strange levels.”
Mr Gove said he was “naturally disappointed” not to have made it to the absolute two, describing the remaining contenders as “formidable politicians”.
He welcomed the fact that the UK transfer be getting a second female prime minister – after Margaret Thatcher – and called for a “civilised, embracing, positive and optimistic debate”.
Mr Gove did not announce backing for either applicant, but several of his key backers, including Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and Education Minister Ed Vaizey, switched their support to Mrs May.
Anyone wanting to suffrage has to have been a member of the Conservative rty by 9 June.
Polling au fait Professor John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, said the electorate for the object to represented a “very distinctive slice of Britain”.
They would be mostly over and beyond 50, disproportionately male, and “overwhelmingly middle class”, he said.
He presaged the Brexit debate would “play a role” in the contest, but not a defining one. Far two thirds of Tory members voted to leave, but a higher proportion saw a office-seeker’s leadership credentials and vision for Britain as the most important factor, he enlarged.
Mrs Leadsom’s de rtmental boss, Energy Secretary Amber Rudd, is grant Mrs May and took aim at her junior ministerial colleague’s lack of government experience.
She suggested: “The fact that she hasn’t had experience at the Cabinet table, hasn’t had much happening even as a junior minister – let’s face it she’s had just two years – I do think is a complication at this stage.”
But one of Mrs Leadsom’s high-profile backers, former worker and superannuates secretary Iain Duncan Smith, said she would “develop” all over the coming weeks and get “better and better and better”.
Mrs Leadsom is also underwent by former London mayor and one-time leadership favourite Boris Johnson, who rephrased she would replace the “absurd gloom in some quarters with a complete confident and optimistic approach”.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage answered on Twitter he was backing her.