Our headline above this survey question is the same as last December’s. Then, the proportion of respondents answering “No” – in other words, suggesting that Theresa May should lead the Conservatives into the next election – was 39 per cent. Now it edges above that level to reach 42 per cent.
The explanation isn’t hard to find. The Prime Minister has had a better month for three main reasons. First, her exceptional and successful leadership over the Salisbury attack, after which she assembled an international coalition against Russia. Second, there will be a sense that the Brexit negotiation is going more or less where she wants it to. Finally, there are Jeremy Corbyn’s troubles over anti-semitism.
None the less, it remains a fact that more respondents want a new leader before the next election than do not. Memories of the electoral setback of last June die hard. This ought to worry Downing Street deeply. The total of those saying that May should leave Number Ten either now or before that next election has not fallen below 60 per cent since the last one.