The British Tory party is in chaos and is looking for a new prime minister. Boris Johnson brought himself up as a possible savior – and ultimately withdrew. Everything could go very quickly on Monday.

Will Britain have a new prime minister at the end of the day? Boris Johnson’s resignation in the prime ministerial race has significantly increased Rishi Sunak’s chances of moving to Downing Street. According to the BBC, more than 140 parliamentarians have publicly spoken out in favor of the ex-finance minister.

If he remains the only candidate in the competition to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Liz Truss who achieves the necessary support, he will immediately become party leader and prime minister on Monday. He wants to lead the country through the crisis with “integrity and professionalism,” Sunak wrote on Twitter when he officially announced his candidacy on Sunday.

Candidates can enter the race until Monday afternoon (3:00 p.m. CEST). However, only those who can claim the backing of 100 MPs from the Tory parliamentary group have a chance of getting the job. In addition to Sunak, Minister Penny Mordaunt, who is responsible for parliamentary issues, is also running, and by Sunday evening she had fewer than 30 supporters behind her. It is considered unlikely that enough MPs will still vote for Mordaunt. Should it happen, the parliamentary group would vote between the two first. If both finalists want to remain in the race after that, the party base would have the floor.

A duel between Sunak and ex-Prime Minister Johnson had initially emerged over the weekend, and after Truss’ resignation after six unprecedentedly chaotic weeks in office, he quickly started talking about a comeback. The 58-year-old broke off his family vacation in the Caribbean at the weekend and pulled out all the stops for the “Bring Back Boris” operation. Although he did not officially confirm his candidacy until recently, supporters spread rumors and speculation ran hot.

Then on Sunday evening the about-face: “I have a good chance of success at the party’s grassroots level and could possibly be back in Downing Street on Friday,” Johnson wrote. He has the support of 102 MPs and can therefore submit an application. This figure could not be verified by British media. Significantly fewer supporters had spoken out publicly for Johnson.

Nevertheless, he had come to the conclusion that this was not the right way, Johnson continued. “You can’t govern effectively if you don’t have a united party in parliament.” Unfortunately, no agreement was reached with his rivals Sunak or Mordaunt either. “I think I have a lot to offer, but unfortunately this may not be the right time.”

A comeback by Johnson would have had the potential to plunge the deeply divided Conservatives even deeper into chaos: Several MPs had threatened to refuse Johnson’s allegiance as prime minister or even leave the party. An investigation is still pending over the scandal politician as to whether he lied to parliament in the “Partygate” affair – which would be considered a political knockout criterion. The influential Brexiteer Steve Baker therefore described a comeback as a “guaranteed disaster”.

Meanwhile, Sunak can present himself as a candidate capable of uniting the party. At the weekend, Trade Minister Kemi Badenoch and ex-Home Secretary Suella Braverman also backed him from the party’s right-wing fringes. The 42-year-old benefits from the fact that in the last election campaign for party leadership he warned of the very financial chaos that Truss was causing with her economic policy. The son of Indian immigrants, Southampton-born Sunak would become the first British leader from an ethnic minority background in Britain.

After the surprising news on Sunday evening, Sunak was modest. One does not take anything for granted, it was said from his camp. On Twitter, he wrote that Johnson would always be grateful, including for completing Brexit. With his resignation as finance secretary from Johnson’s cabinet in the summer, Sunak played a key role in bringing down the then prime minister. The relationship between the men was previously considered tense and has since been broken.

Meanwhile, opposition parties and much of the public are frustrated that the Tory party will once again be the sole dictator of who will rule the country. “The Tories are on the verge of handing Rishi Sunak the keys to Downing Street without his saying a word about how he intends to govern. Nobody voted for that,” said Labor Party Deputy Leader Angela Rayner. Like the other opposition parties, Labor is calling for an immediate new election.