- Boris Johnson: 23 per cent (+ 1).
- Theresa May: 20 per cent ( – 2).
- David Davis: 12 per cent (+ 3)
- Michael Gove: 11.1 per cent (- 2).
- William Hague: 11 per cent (No change).
- George Osborne: 10.7 per cent (No change).
- Philip Hammond: 5 per cent (No change).
- Owen Paterson: 3 per cent (No change).
- Jeremy Hunt: 3 per cent (No change).
- Chris Grayling: 1 per cent (No change).
- The Boris and May movements are so small as to render interpretation meaningless.
- Gove’s fall continues. Two months ago he was at 15 per cent. The most likely explanation is a run of criticism of the Education Secretary – or a change in fashion, if you prefer. Perhaps his frequent protestations that he doesn’t want to be Party leader are having an impact on his ratings.
- David Davis is up three points and now stands third. Again, this movement isn’t seismic, and it’s hard to think of any particular reason why his standing should have risen. He has been actively campaigning for causes that get him going, but that’s nothing new. And he has a dedicated core of supporters in this survey – but that’s nothing new, either.
- One of the most striking features of the survey is its consistency. Ratings are unchanged for six of the nine people named, a clear majority. (Because Gove, Hague and Osborne are each on eleven per cent this month, allowing for rounding up or down, I have shown a more detailed figure in each case.)
- The recent trend in this bit of the survey shows Boris and May pulling clear.
The most striking difference between last month’s response from Party member respondents and non-Party member respondents is even more accentuated this month. Then, they put David Davis third with 15 per cent. Now, he is second, with 18 per cent – just ahead of the Home Secretary.
A reminder: the question is: after David Cameron is no longer Conservative leader please say who you’d like to lead the Conservative Party. To the question of who you would like to lead the Conservative Party at the next election, the answer is…David Cameron, on 74 per cent, four down from last month.
Almost 800 Party members responded to the survey. The results are tested against a control panel which was supplied by YouGov.