1,495 party members took part in our online survey on Wednesday and yesterday and Eric Pickles won the lion’s share of support when we asked Who should be the next Party Chairman?  We offered a choice between the four most talked-about candidates for the job.

NextpartychairmanThe result does not mean that, for example, Eric is three times more popular than Chris Grayling.  Last week we found that Pickles and Grayling were level-pegging in terms of overall satisfaction.  What this survey suggests is that 57% of members believes that Eric Pickles has the best mix of skills and personality to become a key face of the Conservative Party – particularly for the next General Election campaign.

I still expect Mrs Spelman to be exonerated from the nannygate inquiry.  I hope she’ll stay in the shadow cabinet but I agree with members that Eric Pickles is the best candidate to be Party Chairman.  Jeremy Hunt is one of my three ‘big beasts of the future’.  The speculation is that he’s Cameron’s choice to the next Chairman.  We’ll soon know.

Tim Montgomerie