Cabinet League Table (May 16)
  • A general fall. There is an overall fall in the ranking of most members of this table this month. This most likely reflects the fallout from quite a difficult month for the Party as divisions over Europe continue to cause trouble. Although Boris has suffered a further nine-point fall in his net popularity, Pro-Brexit ministers maintain their stranglehold on the top five places and don’t seem to have fallen meaningfully in popularity, with one exception…
  • Whittingdale tumbles. The Culture Secretary has shed a full 20 points since last month, from a net satisfaction rating of 51 to just 31. This may in part be due to the backlash against his plans to prevent the state-subsidised BBC duplicating the function of, and undermining, its commercial rivals. However, the spate of news stories about his personal life will, unavoidably, have taken its toll. It is testament to the relative durability of pro-Leave ministers that he holds on to fifth place.
  • Gove slips, Grayling rises. The Justice Secretary has not fallen so far as Whittingdale, shedding a mere eight points from 75 to 67. This was not enough to allow anybody else to unseat him at the top of the Cabinet popularity rankings, and he remains the most popular high-profile Conservative aside from Ruth Davidson. On the other hand Chris Grayling has seen his stock rise by a similar amount, lifting him to over 50 net satisfaction and third place in the Cabinet ranking.
  • A boost for May. The Home Secretary’s stock has risen slightly, from 5.4 to 10.1 net satisfaction. The most likely reason for this was her speech on the referendum which, despite being pro-Remain, took a highly individual line and turned its fire on the European Convention on Human Rights, normally a shibboleth for the In crowd.
  • Crabb declines. Last month, we pointed out that the new Work and Pensions Secretary was the best-performing pro-Remain Cabinet minister in the listings, and at 38 per cent he was a full ten points ahead of the rest of the pack. Yet this month he has suffered a 14.5-point drop to a net satisfaction of just 23.5, falling behind David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary. This is in marked contrast to his friend and ally…
  • Davidson surges. The leader of the Scottish Conservatives has received a huge amount of press coverage this month ahead of Thursday’s Holyrood election, and it seems to have done her the power of good. At plus 80, the MSP is now the most popular high-ranking Conservative in the country amongst the Tory activists we surveyed, with scores that are amongst the highest we tend to see. This score will be well worth keeping an eye on next month, when the results of the Scottish elections are known.