It is a truth universally acknowledged that progress in our Next Tory Leader table is invariably linked to media coverage.
In August, in the wake of his resignation post-Chequers, Boris Johnson tripled his rating and soared to the top. Next month, fortified by his Daily Telegraph columns and the burka ban controversy, he stretched his lead. Last month, his total dipped slightly, but he retained first place.
This month, he spoke to one of the largest fringe meetings that has ever taken place at a Conservative Party conference – our own ConservativeHome meeting. But that was at its beginning, and four weeks or so is a very long time in politics. Those anti-Chequers Telegraph pieces since then risk the law of diminishing returns.
In the meantime, there have been a pile of media reports, as vague as they have been pervasive, about David Davis as a stopgap replacement for Theresa May. The former Brexit Secretary has also raised the tempo of his own newspaper and TV interventions.
The net effect of this recent publicity imbalance seems to be that a seven point rise for Davis this month partly explains an eleven point fall for Johnson. In a survey with many contenders, the full explanation will be more complex, but there has clearly been some transfer from the one to the other.
Meanwhile, Sajid Javid’s last three scores have been 15 per cent, 19 per cent and, this month, 19 per cent again. He is thus within less than a point of Johnson, and clearly is presently seen as the coming thing and best hope by a group of backers.
Otherwise, none of those named reaches double figures. Jacob Rees-Mogg is down to eight per cent. We put five new names in the hat: James Cleverly, Brandon Lewis, Amber Rudd, Liz Truss, and Tom Tugendhat. None make much of an impact. Finally, please note: we’re aware that there have been issues in relation to survey responses, and these have been dealt with appropriately.
Finally and as noted yesterday morning, we’re aware that there have been issues in relation to survey responses, and these have been dealt with appropriately.