We offered the following choices in our last monthly survey, and publish with them the results we got back.
- Boris should stand for the Commons in the 2015 general election: 48 per cent.
- Boris should not stand for the Commons in the 2015 general election, but should seek to return to it afterwards in the event of a Party leadership election: 23 per cent.
- Boris should not stand for the Commons in the 2015 general election, but should seek to return to it afterwards, though only after any Party leadership election is over: 16 per cent.
- Boris should neither stand for the Commons in the 2015 general election, nor seek to return to it afterwards: 13 per cent.
The question is necessarily entangled with that of Boris’s potential leadership prospects, and thus needs careful disentangling.
It’s relatively easy to identify those who don’t support his possible candidacy. That 13 per cent look set against it. And that 16 per cent does, too – at least for the foreseeable future. Essentially, well over a quarter of Party members seem to be out of sympathy with the Mayor’s leadership ambitions.
It takes longer to identify those who do support them. Some of that 48 per cent will do; other parts of it will want Boris in a Conservative Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet; other bits of it still will simply want him back in the Commons. There is no way of knowing – at least, not without further questions.
However, it’s reasonable to assume that most of that 23 per cent will back Boris’s leadership aspirations. We ask monthly who Party members want to be the next leader after David Cameron departs (whenever that may be), and the Mayor’s support for the past two months has been 22 per cent. So the overlap fits very neatly.
But at any rate, almost half of Party members want him back on those green benches after the next election is over. That is perhaps all we know on earth, or need to know.
The figures for non-Party member respondents? 48 per cent, 22 per cent, 13 per cent and 17 per cent respectively. Their suspicion of Boris, at best, seems to be higher.
Almost 900 Party members replied to the survey. Its results are tested against a control panel supplied by YouGov.