As he prepares to make his speech to the Conservative conference today, George Osborne extends his double-digit lead in ConservativeHome’s monthly future leader survey – topping the poll for the third month in succession.
This triple result leaves him in pole position as the Party members’ present favourite to succeed his colleague and friend, David Cameron, when the time comes for the leadership election that will take place between this conference and the 2020 election.
The survey finds the Chancellor on 32 per cent, a single point down his rating last month. Fifteen points behind him is Sajid Javid on 17 per cent – again a point down on his September rating. Theresa May is third in the poll, unchanged on 15 per cent.
Boris Johnson is up two points to 14 per cent, and up a place in the poll to fourth. Liam Fox is fifth, down a point to 12 per cent. Then come Michael Gove on 6 per cent, Jeremy Hunt on 2 per cent and Nicky Morgan, who declared leadership aspirations last week, on 1 per cent.
Paul Goodman, Editor of ConservativeHome, said: “The Chancellor led the survey for the first time three months ago, so he goes into his speech today having now headed the poll three times. He is clearly Party members’ present choice to succeed David Cameron in Downing Street.”
“That said, the leadership election could be as long as four years away, there is an EU referendum coming down the tracks, we don’t know what will happen to the economy, and front-runners have poor form in Conservative leadership elections.”
“So almost anything can happen, market sentiment is volatile, and shares can go up as well as down. But Mr Osborne has clearly taken credit among Party members, and rightly, as one of the co-authors of last May’s election win.”
“That the ratings of all those named has scarcely moved since last month is a tribute to the stability and continuity of the ConHome poll, which turned out to be accurate when tested during the last leadership election in 2005.”
A recent ConHome poll of Party members nationally on the Conservative London mayoral candidacy showed the same shape as the open primary of Party members and others held in the capital. The latter returned Zac Goldsmith with 70 per cent of the vote.
In the ConHome survey of all members, Goldsmith won 62 per cent, Kamall 27 per cent (16 per cent in the primary), Stephen Greenhalgh 7 per cent (9 per cent in the primary) and Andrew Boff 4 per cent (4 per cent in the primary.
A poll of voters, rather than Party members, published last week by Ipsos/MORI found the Chancellor leading among Conservative voters, but the Mayor of London in front with members of the public as a whole. Osborne led Johnson by three points among the former, but trailed him by 12 among the latter.
Indeed, the Chancellor didn’t come in second among ordinary voters in that survey. He trailed May by 15 points to 17, with the Mayor out in the lead on 27 per cent. Johnson led among both working class and younger voters.