Here is the result of this month’s invitation to Party member readers to say who they believe should lead the Conservative Party after David Cameron is no longer leader:
Boris Johnson: 22 per cent. (22.2 per cent – no change.)
Theresa May: 22 per cent. (21.9 per cent: – 1.)
Michael Gove: 13 per cent (- 2)
William Hague: 11 per cent (11.3 per cent – no change).
George Osborne: 11 per cent (11.3 per cent – + 5).
David Davis: 9 per cent ( – 2).
Philip Hammond: 5 per cent ( – 2).
Jeremy Hunt: 3 per cent ( – )
Owen Paterson: 3 per cent (No change).
Chris Grayling: 1 per cent ( – 1).
- Last month, the Home Secretary beat the Mayor by three votes; this month, the Mayor has beaten the Home Secretary by three votes. Nothing can be read into a variation this small. The poll is nothing if not consistent.
- Osborne had six per cent support last month. This month, that figure has almost doubled – he’s joint fourth with William Hague on 11 per cent. It reflects his dramatic rise to the top of our Cabinet league table this month, though only up to a point: most respondents evidently still see him as an able Chancellor rather than a future leader.
- The effect of Osborne’s rise and of putting Jeremy Hunt into the survey for the first time has been to allow Boris and May to pull ahead of the pack. The former’s support comes at the expense of Gove, who is down from 15 per cent, and the other participants, all of whose support is either down or stable.
I wrote yesterday that the readers’ responses are more right-wing Conservative/UKIPpy in flavour. The result of the future leader survey bears this out. Boris is on 22 per cent, May on 19 per cent…and David Davis a very good third, on 15 per cent.