Last month, Boris Johnson gained 22 per cent, Theresa May 18 per cent and Michael Gove 17 per cent when Party members were asked who they want to lead it after David Cameron is no longer leader.

Between last month and this month has fallen the Mayor of London’s controversy-plagued speech to the Centre for Policy Studies.

And this month, those percentages are respectively…22 per cent, 19 per cent and 20 per cent (with Gove thereby ousting May from second place, after the Home Secretary had taken it for the first time.)

In other words, there is no evidence that the row about Boris’s views on greed, envy and IQ have had any effect on his standing with Conservative activists as their favourite to succeed Cameron.

It is arguable that matters might have been otherwise had all the responses come in after the address – it went out the day before the speech was reported. About half of them came in before then.

And May’s troubles with immigration control and the anticipated arrival of many Romanians and Bulgarians in January have made almost no difference to her score (despite her place slip).

The percentage of respondents who want Cameron to lead the Party into the next election is down slightly from 72 per cent to 68 per cent.

Over 700 Party members responded to the survey. Their replies are checked against those received from our control panel, which was put together by YouGov.





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