RORY Stewart has confirmed he is the candidate gaining momentum in the Tory leadership race by almost doubling his vote and making it through to the next round of voting.

Having got just 19 in the first round, the International Development Secretary put on 18 votes for a total of 37.

The relieved Scot tweeted: "Thank you all so much! Looking forward to the debate tonight @BBCPolitics #RoryWalksOn"

He added: "And thank you for all the support - we seem to have almost doubled our vote again...more to come...#walkon"

Dominic Raab, the former Brexit Secretary, failed to make the cut and is eliminated. He put on just three votes from the first round but, at 30, this was three below the necessary threshold.

Sajid Javid, however, just made it over the line by getting the minimum number of 33. The Home Secretary paid tribute to Mr Raab's "professionalism, drive & fresh ideas".

He also said how he was looking forward to tonight's live debate on the BBC, declaring: "I can lead a Conservative Party which connects with new audiences and creates opportunities for all." 

The second round result confirmed Boris Johnson as the clear leader, increasing his first round tally by eight votes to bring in an impressive 126 total. He was 80 votes ahead of his nearest challenger, Jeremy Hunt.

While he and Michael Gove each put on a few more votes to bring their respective totals to 46 and 41, their campaigns are not gaining the same traction that Mr Stewart's is.

The result means the race to be the former Foreign Secretary's challenger in the head-to-head final round is still all to play for and could rest on the outcome of tonight's live debate.

Mr Johnson tweeted: "Thank you to those who supported me in the second ballot. Very much look forward to taking part in tonight's BBC debate #BackBoris." 

Mark Francois, vice-chairman of the pro-Brexit ERG faction, said: "It was great to see Boris going up again; that's obviously encouraging.

"In a sense, it's a shame to lose Dominic Raab because he is an extremely capable politician. I hope whoever wins - and I hope it's Boris - will find a good place for Dom in his Cabinet."

In a video posted on Twitter, Mr Gove said: "I'm really pleased to have got through this round of the Conservative leadership contest, by increasing my support and closing the gap for second place.

"And I'm now off to the BBC debate where I'll be making the case that we need to have a solid choice in this leadership election between candidates who believe in Brexit and who are capable of delivering it. And above all who can keep Jeremy Corbyn out of Downing Street."

The second round numbers were(with the first round results in brackets):

*Mr Johnson 126(114);

*Mr Hunt 46(43);

*Mr Gove 41(37);

*Mr Stewart 37(19);

*Mr Javid 33(23) and

*Mr Raab 30(27).

The next round of voting takes place tomorrow.