The 2005 Conservative Party leadership election was called by party leader Michael Howard on 6 May 2005, when he announced that he would be stepping down as Leader of the Conservative Party in the near future. However, he stated that he would not depart until a review of the rules for the monday morning leadership free pdf election had been conducted, given the high level of dissatisfaction with the current system.
Ultimately, no changes were made and the election proceeded with the existing rules, which were introduced in 1998. The contest formally began on 7 October 2005, when the Chairman of the 1922 committee, Michael Spicer, received a letter of resignation from Howard. Nominations for candidates opened immediately, and closed on 13 October. The first ballot of MPs was held on 18 October.