Plenty of analyses have been published of how Conservative MPs intend to vote in the EU referendum, but as far as we know none of them have probed the breakdown of intentions between the payroll and non-payroll vote.
We publish below and elsewhere our own figures for both – and indeed our calculations overall. In relation to the latter, our motto is safety first: we are trying to stand on a sure floor rather reach than a speculative ceiling.
That isn’t to say anyone else’s estimate is wrong, or that our own calculations are always right. After all, people can change their view, polling day isn’t yet upon us, and we are dealing with “the most sophisticated electorate in the world”.
So we will update on each weekday, at least for the time being, and seek to put MPs in the right category as more information comes in.
To date, we have 185 Tory MPs for Remain, and 128 for Leave.
Of the 185 for Remain, 91 are on the payroll and 94 are not.
Of the 128 for Leave, 32 are on the payroll and 96 are not.
Note how members of the 2015 intake are relatively wary of declaring.
At any rate, we are seeing a pattern emerge: on the EU, the Conservative Party is a pyramid.
At the narrow top (the payroll), support for Remain is greater than support for Leave.
At the broad bottom – among the Associations – support for Leave is much larger than support for Remain, if our own surveys and other soundings are anything to go by.
And in the squeezed middle (to borrow a phrase), backbench Tory MPs are more evenly divided. This opinion gap poses big challenges to the Party post-referendum.
Footnote: our definition of Payroll is Ministers plus PPS’s. There is no formal list of them that we can rely on to be absolutely up to date, but are doing the best we can to keep track.
There is a copy of this note at the head of our breakdown of the Leave figures.
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