Ask either of the Tory leadership candidates who would be in their Cabinet and they will insist they are not counting their chickens, but the truth is that in between hustings events it will occupy much of their thoughts.
The first task of the eventual winner will be to appoint a Cabinet, meaning they cannot leave it until day one of their premiership to start thinking about who they would like around the table.
Over the coming weeks both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will be approaching their supporters - and trying to tempt those who backed Penny Mordaunt - with offers of ministerial jobs so they can nail down key positions ahead of time.
Neither Mr Sunak nor Ms Truss is likely to give the other a Cabinet job at the end of what is expected to be the most bitter leadership campaign in Conservative history, in the same way that Jeremy Hunt was frozen out by Boris Johnson.
Both of them will be aware of a need to unite the party and get the support of MPs who did not vote for them, meaning they might want to consider embracing some of their natural opponents. As is now traditional, they have also suggested they will assemble a “team of all the talents”, meaning a possible return for some old faces, as well as a debut for some new ones.
But who are the favourites to be given jobs by each candidate?
The most interesting question for Mr Sunak is what to do with Michael Gove. The former levelling up secretary was sacked by Boris Johnson for disloyalty and came out in support of his former ministerial underling Kemi Badenoch, and is yet to endorse anyone else.
But he is closer politically to Mr Sunak than Ms Truss, and is widely regarded as the most effective minister of recent years, even by those who dislike him.
Mr Gove could well make his Cabinet return as chancellor under Mr Sunak, or possibly as foreign secretary, a job he is said to covet.
If Mr Sunak wants to unite the party he would do well to give jobs to those he defeated in the leadership contest. There will be some who urge him to make Mrs Badenoch home secretary or foreign secretary, but he may be wary of giving her too big a platform in case she outshines him.
She also lacks any Cabinet experience, meaning she may be at least one promotion away from one of the great offices of state. A more likely promotion would be as levelling up secretary, replacing Greg Clark, who has himself just replaced Mr Gove. Having previously worked as a junior treasury minister, Mrs Badenoch could also be considered for the role of Chief Secretary to the Treasury, a job that both Mr Sunak and Ms Truss have done in the past, on their way to higher office.
Tom Tugendhat, who won plenty of fans during the leadership race, including readers of the influential Mumsnet website, seems destined for a first Cabinet role, perhaps replacing Johnny Mercer as a defence minister with Cabinet status. Mr Sunak will see the political advantage of including Penny Mordaunt in his Cabinet to win over her many backers in the parliamentary party, though perhaps in a less senior role.
Sajid Javid, who fell at the first hurdle in the leadership race and who resigned as health secretary minutes before Mr Sunak quit as chancellor, has been close to Mr Sunak ever since Mr Sunak was his deputy at the Treasury, and would be a strong ally in the Cabinet room.
Less clear is the future of Nadhim Zahawi, who also stood in the leadership contest and who replaced Mr Sunak as Chancellor. Mr Zahawi is seen as capable, and could be moved to another business-facing job such as trade secretary or business secretary to make way for a new chancellor.
Priti Patel is likely to stay in the Cabinet to represent the Right of the party, and Mr Sunak might be tempted to keep Ben Wallace - who has not endorsed any of the leadership candidates - in his post as Defence Secretary given his popularity with Tory members (he was the favourite to be PM before he decided not to stand) and the situation in Ukraine.
Two of Mr Sunak’s closest allies, Oliver Dowden and Robert Jenrick, can also expect a return to the Cabinet. The three men announced a joint endorsement of Mr Johnson in 2019, and Mr Dowden, who resigned as party chairman in the wake of the twin by-election defeats last month, is another potential chancellor. Mr Jenrick, who was sacked in a reshuffle last September, will be eyeing a senior role.
Mr Sunak’s whipping operation has been run by Mel Stride, the former leader of the Commons, and Gavin Williamson, the former defence secretary. Both will expect to be rewarded for their service, and Mr Stride, a former Treasury minister, is another possible for Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Matt Hancock, the former health secretary, declared for Mr Sunak early in the race and has made no secret of his desire to return to the Cabinet after resigning over his rule-breaking assignations with his mistress (now partner) Gina Coladangelo during Covid. Jeremy Hunt, the vastly experienced former health secretary and foreign secretary, is another of Mr Sunak’s public backers and he will surely be tempted to call on his talents after he was frozen out by Mr Johnson.
Current Cabinet ministers who have publicly backed Mr Sunak include Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, Steve Barclay, the Health Secretary, Mark Spencer, the Leader of the House, Sir Robert Buckland, the Welsh Secretary and Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary.
If Mr Sunak wants to inject new blood into the Cabinet to give it a different look from the Johnson years, he might call on 36-year-old Bim Afolami, who resigned as a vice chairman of the Conservative Party shortly after Mr Sunak quit as chancellor, and who has been a rising star ever since he entered Parliament in 2017.
Among those who are likely to be out of the Cabinet in a Sunak administration are Truss backers Therese Coffey, Kwasi Kwarteng, Simon Clarke, James Cleverly, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nadine Dorries, Suella Braverman and Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
There is also an uncertain future for Alok Sharma, the COP26 president, Kit Malthouse, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary who was loyal to Mr Johnson, and Shailesh Vara, the Northern Ireland Secretary, none of whom have publicly backed either of the candidates.
When Liz Truss won her place in the final two in the leadership contest on Wednesday, three members of her campaign team formed a guard of honour to clap her to her ministerial car, and all will be expecting jobs in her first Cabinet.
Therese Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, and Simon Clarke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, were by her side along with Ranil Jayawardena, the trade minister who worked under Ms Truss when she was international trade secretary.
Mr Clarke might hope to be upgraded to chancellor, though a more likely candidate would be Kwasi Kwarteng, the current business secretary, who is one of Ms Truss’s declared supporters.
Mr Kwarteng is politically aligned with Ms Truss, and in 2012 he co-authored a Right-wing book with her called Britannia Unchained, Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity. It argued for free market economics and fewer employment laws, and its other co-authors were Dominic Raab, who is backing Mr Sunak, and Priti Patel, who has not publicly supported either candidate.
Ms Patel is one of the few Cabinet ministers who seem likely to keep their job regardless of who wins the leadership, and Ms Truss has said she will keep the Home Secretary’s Rwanda plan for illegal immigrants, suggesting she might keep the Home Secretary as well.
Like Mr Sunak, she has a decision to make on Michael Gove. Ms Truss, a Johnson loyalist, might be wary of having someone in her Cabinet who was accused by Mr Johnson of orchestrating damaging leaks. On the other hand, she might feel it is prudent to buy him off with a Cabinet post and keep him where she can see him.
Kemi Badenoch also looks likely to be given a job in a Truss Cabinet, given that she is a fellow right winger whose own supporters appear to have switched to the Foreign Secretary.
Like Mr Sunak, she would also be likely to give jobs to Penny Mordaunt and Tom Tugendhat, given that she lost the vote among MPs and needs more support within the parliamentary party.
Right-wing Johnson loyalists who are likely to keep their Cabinet posts under Ms Truss include Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Brexit Opportunities Minister, Nadine Dorries, the Culture Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the International Trade Secretary, and James Cleverly, the Education Secretary, all of whom have endorsed Ms Truss.
Attorney General Suella Braverman, too, endorsed the Foreign Secretary after her own leadership bid failed.
Kit Malthouse, another favourite of Mr Johnson, could be in for a promotion from his role as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, possibly to home secretary or justice secretary.
In terms of fresh faces, Ms Truss might take a chance on Dehenna Davison, who won the “Red Wall” seat of Bishop Auckland in 2019 and is bisexual, making her a possible choice for women and equalities minister.
Chloe Smith, currently a junior minister under Ms Coffey, has been tipped in the past for a Cabinet role and is a declared Truss backer.
Anyone hoping Boris Johnson would be back in the Cabinet, however, is likely to be disappointed, as Ms Truss has said she would not pick him.