Wharton won 20 per cent of the vote, and the main runners-up were as follows:
- Jacob Rees-Mogg: 20 per cent.
- Zac Goldsmith: 16 per cent.
- John Redwood: 15 per cent.
- Charlotte Leslie: 6 per cent.
Wharton’s calm and canny promotion of his private member’s bill on an EU referendum will undoubtedly have driven his topping of the poll. Rees-Mogg is intelligent, witty, authoritative and, almost best of all, more than capable of sending up the persona that he himself has created: in this respect, he is “doing a Boris”. In a properly-ordered world, he would be a Minister.
Zac Goldsmith’s green views aren’t always popular with Party members, and I read his high score as more of an endorsement of his independence of mind. John Redwood’s clear-thinking and up-to-date blog continues to maintain him a fan base. Charlotte Leslie scored higher than any of the other politicians who made up the 19 per cent of “Others”.
I have had a look at the Others since they, like all the names above, were nominated by readers. The two names that come up most often in that category are Robert Halfon and Dr Julian Lewis – though neither of them near Charlotte Leslie’s 6 per cent. Over 800 Party members responded to the survey.