In last month’s ConservativeHome Next Tory leader survey, Boris Johnson languished on seven per cent – his lowest total ever.
What a difference four weeks or so can make. At least if you write a personal manifesto for Brexit – brimming with vim and devastating in timing.
For there can be no doubt that it is his recent Daily Telegraph article, combined with his combative stance since, that has boomeranged the Foreign Secretary back to the top of the survey.
That said, his 21 per cent total is solid rather than spectacular: roughly where the leading candidate’s tends to be each month,
“Other”, please note, is still second: that sense of member dissatisfaction with the options available hasn’t gone away.
Meanwhile, roughly half Johnson’s gain seems to be Jacob Rees-Mogg’s loss. Rees-Mogg was on 23 per cent last month. Now he is third on 15 per cent. Davis was on 15 per cent. Now he is on 13 per cent.
None of the other named contenders are remotely in the race, at least at this stage. Philip Hammond, who addresses the conference today, barely scrapes four per cent.
Centre-right or right-wing MPs, in Party terms, are dominating the survey. But while party members might want Johnson in due course, would Tory MPs put him through into the membership stage in the first place?
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A footnote. Our last monthly survey showed findings on this question remarkably similar to a YouGov poll of members carried out at much the same time for the Times. Another followed last week.
The polling company’s list isn’t the same as ours: for example, they put Ruth Davidson in while we leave her out (for the simple reason that she is not a member of the Commons and therefore, in practical terms, ineligible).
But please note: their poll’s rough shape is the same as ours. We have Johnson on 21 per cent; YouGov had him on 23 per cent. We have Rees-Mogg on 15 per cent; they had him on 17 per cent. We have Davis on 13 per cent; they have him on 11 per cent.