There is the best part of three months to go until the selection contest for the Conservative London Mayoral candidate ends. An open primary of all Londoners, not a ballot of Party members, will make the decision. The mood of the latter caught in our poll may shift. And the result could be misleading: for example, the view of London respondents may be sharply different from those based elsewhere. Given the turn of events last month, a touch of humility from anyone conducting a poll is wise.
All the same, it is hard to read the finding of our poll as being anything other than promising for Zac Goldsmith.
The presumption of most of those observing the selection is that the wider the franchise goes, the better for him. But our survey suggests that he is well ahead of the other main declared candidates even among Party members – certainly nationally and perhaps in London. He scoops up 56 per cent support and Syed Kamall, generally viewed as the other main contender, takes 28 per cent. Sol Campbell (who has now withdrawn from the selection), Ivan Massow, Stephen Greenhalgh and Andrew Boff come in with 5, 4, 3 and 2 per cent respectively.
Almost 900 Party members responded to the survey.