The results are as follows:
- Gove: 32 per cent.
- George Osborne: 23 per cent.
- Theresa May: 22 per cent.
- Iain Duncan Smith: 16 per cent.
- Eric Pickles: 5 per cent.
- Nick Boles: 2 per cent.
That the Education Secretary topped the poll isn’t at all surprising, since schools reform is being delivered by a Conservative Secretary of State with unmistakably conservative ideas and conviction.
However, two other points are worth noting.
George Osborne runs second in this poll, but his score as a future Tory leader in the same survey was five per cent. He has respect as a Chancellor but isn’t rated as a possible leader. Will that change as the election draws nearer?
Iain Duncan Smith repeatedly tops our Party members’ popularity chart, but he runs well behind Gove, Osborne and Theresa May in this poll. I think our readers are raising an eyebrow at the delay of Universal Credit. Pickles’s score is very low.
The list of contenders could of course have been larger, but we have stuck strictly to names nominated by our readers.