There’s a clear winner among party members in ConHome’s survey of the Speech of the Year: Theresa May’s broadside at the Police Federation Conference topped the stakes with 33 per cent. It was a major political moment, a bold speech to a notoriously difficult audience, and it transformed the Home Secretary’s personal standing – as a direct result, she soared ahead of Boris in our future leader poll.
In second place on 22 per cent was Owen Paterson’s lecture to the Global Warming Policy Foundation – an important moment in his campaign to establish himself as a rallying figure for the right. Third, on 19 per cent, was Penny Mordaunt’s excellent Loyal Address following the Queen’s Speech (a role which undoubtedly contributed to her strong showing in the Parliamentarian of the Year stakes).
May’s Party Conference speech came in fourth, on 14 per cent, and Sajid Javid’s speech to the Union of Jewish Students, lauding media and artistic freedom, brought up the rear with 12 per cent of the vote.
Among the wider readership – including party members and non-members alike – the results were somewhat different. May’s Police Federation speech still came first, on 30.4 per cent, but Paterson ran her close with 29.2 per cent. Unsurprisingly, given the non-Conservative member element of that vote, May’s party conference speech came last, behind Javid.