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By Tim Montgomerie
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Paterson Owen 2010

The end-December survey of ConHome members found a big jump in support for the Northern Ireland Secretary, Owen Paterson. Paterson's intervention in the public debate about what Cameron should do in advance of the EU Treaty summit was another important signal to the Prime Minister that the party would not easily tolerate a bad deal. Paterson and Iain Duncan Smith are the two most orthodox right-wingers in the Cabinet and the former seems to have taken the decision to up his profile after Liam Fox resigned and left Cameron's top team looking somewhat unbalanced.

Cameron and Hague's approval numbers are also significantly up.

For the first time Nick Clegg's ratings have gone heavily negative in this survey. Last month his net rating was -2% and this month it has plunged to -52%. Members clearly haven't enjoyed his toys-out-of-pram routine. At number 11 Danny Alexander remains Tory members' favourite Liberal Democrat although I'm not sure that will help him with his party's base.


PERCENTAGE OF TORY MEMBERS SATISFIED MINUS DISSATISFIED WITH CABINET MINISTERS
(End-November's percentages in brackets).

  1. Iain Duncan Smith +87 (+86)
  2. Michael Gove +84 (+83)
  3. David Cameron +64 (+45)
  4. Eric Pickles +63 (+66)
  5. William Hague +61 (+47)
  6. Philip Hammond +55 (+53)
  7. Sir George Young +52 (+56)
  8. Owen Paterson +48 (+34)
  9. George Osborne +45 (+35)
  10. Jeremy Hunt +44 (+48)
  11. Danny Alexander +44 (+40)
  12. Theresa May +40 (+44)
  13. Justine Greening +32 (+34)
  14. Lord Strathclyde +31 (+34)
  15. Francis Maude +30 (+33)
  16. David Willetts +27 (+29)
  17. Andrew Lansley +24 (+28)
  18. Cheryl Gillan +10 (+14)
  19. Oliver Letwin +10 (+8)
  20. Caroline Spelman +5 (+9)
  21. Michael Moore +5 (+8)
  22. Patrick McCloughlin +4 (-4)
  23. Andrew Mitchell -1 (+1)
  24. Sayeeda Warsi -19 (-15)
  25. Ken Clarke -32 (-28)
  26. Nick Clegg -52 (-2)
  27. Vince Cable -71 (-69)
  28. Chris Huhne -77 (-78)

CONSERVATIVEHOME SURVEY OF 1,566 TORY MEMBERS, 22ND and 23RD DECEMBER.

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