Last month, the Home Secretary squeaked it, displacing Boris Johnson from the top of the poll by 22.7 per cent to 22.6 per cent – in other words, there was one vote in it out of some 800 responses.
This month, she does so again, by 23 per cent to 22 per cent – or, if you prefer, by a margin of three votes. Michael Gove’s rating is down from 17 per cent to 14 per cent; William Hague’s is up from 10 per cent to the same total, 14 per cent.
What’s striking about this month’s result is that the gap between May and Boris is more or less unchanged – but the survey got roughly 200 more replies. This bumper response, the biggest to a ConHome poll since October 2011, favoured neither of them.
This movement between the Foreign and Education Secretaries knocks David Davis down to fifth. Last month, he took 11 per cent and this month 10 per cent: the former Shadow Home Secretary has a small but dedicated following.
No-one else reaches double figures. George Osborne’s relentless harrying of Labour hasn’t improved his standing, which is actually down by one per cent – from six to five. Philip Hammond is down from five to four pent.
Owen Paterson is down from four to three per cent. We have tried out Chris Grayling this month since, with Paterson and Iain Duncan Smith, he is a leading Cabinet figure on the right of the Party. He came in at two per cent, but we will keep testing.
Here are the figures in tabular form:
Theresa May: 23 per cent.
Boris Johnson: 22 per cent.
Michael Gove: 14 per cent.*
William Hague: 14 per cent.*
David Davis: 10 per cent.
George Osborne: 6 per cent.
Philip Hammond: 4 per cent.
Owen Paterson: 3 per cent.
Chris Grayling: 2 per cent.
Others: 5 per cent.
* Or 137 votes each.
P.S: It may just be worth noting that the poll went out last Monday and Tuesday, before last Thursday’s events in the Commons.