Last week, we said that David Cameron shouldn’t fight the 2020 election as Prime Minister (for the sole reason that he’s promised not to).
We also advised him to say so at once – and thus kill off rumours that he is mulling changing his mind and reneging on his commitment.
Yesterday, he did so. But what do Party members think?
It could scarcely be closer. 50.3 per cent believe that he should remain as Conservative leader for the 2020 poll, and 49.6 per cent believe that he shouldn’t. I thought that a majority would support Cameron contesting 2020 from Downing Street, but didn’t expect it to be quite that narrow: there were a mere six votes in it out of 824.
Some may argue that, with over 50 per cent of Party members favouring the move, the Prime Minister has enough support to change his mind if he wants to. But he would surely require a far larger majority than this poll offers him even to begin to ponder the option.
Others will claim that, since almost 50 per cent of members oppose the move, Cameron is unpopular with almost half the Party. But there is no evidence for that view from the very same polling system that obtained this result. In our last monthly survey, he had an approval rating of over 80 per cent.
The only sensible conclusion to draw is that almost half of the Party members polled think that since Cameron has said he should go before 2020, he must – exactly this site’s own.
44 per cent of our readers as a whole think that Cameron should stay, and 56 per cent that he should go – yet another sign that they are further to the Right, to put it very crudely indeed, than our Party member readers (though it must be added that the difference in this case isn’t a large one).