Today’s Observer contains a brief summary of more polling of Conservative Party members for the ESRC Party Members Project. It is squeezed into a larger story on Labour and Brexit, and the paper’s account doesn’t come with a table and full details. None the less, it provides another opportunity to test Conservative Home’s monthly survey against a properly weighted opinion poll. Mark Wallace looked at other recent evidence from the Project late last week.
Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and David Davis are “top of the party’s grassroots list” as preferred candidates to replace Theresa May, the Observer reports. It says that Johnson “topped the poll” with 20 per cent, that Rees-Mogg “trailed in second on 15 per cent” and that Davis “scored 8 per cent”. We read separately that Sajid Javid also scored per 8 cent in the poll, so Dominic Raab, with 7 per cent, was therefore fifth. The precise question isn’t listed.
So discounting the don’t knows, the ESRC Project’s top five are –
- Johnson – 20 per cent.
- Rees-Mogg – 15 per cent.
- Davis – 8 per cent.
- Javid – 8 per cent.
- Raab – 7 per cent.
And the top five candidates in our last Next Tory Leader survey were –
- Johnson – 27 per cent.
- Javid – 13 per cent.
- Raab – 12 per cent.
- Jeremy Hunt – 9 per cent.
- Davis – 7 per cent.
It seems that ESRC put nine names to their Party member respondents: Johnson, Rees-Mogg, Davis, Javid, Raab, Jeremy Hunt (6 per cent in its poll), Amber Rudd (5 per cent in its poll, 5 per cent in our last survey), Michael Gove (4 per cent and 3 per cent respectively) and Penny Mordaunt (one per cent and 4 per cent respectively). We currently offer no fewer than 19 names, all of whom have been spoken of as potential leadership candidates.
Four of the ESRC’s top five – Johnson, Davis, Javid and Raab – overlap with our top five. Hunt was in our top five, but not in the ESCR’s (which had him sixth on 6 per cent). Jacob-Rees Mogg is in the ESRC’s top five; he wasn’t in ours (he was seventh with 4 per cent). It is sometimes claimed that the ConHome panel is more Eurosceptic than Party membership as a whole. That may be correct – but this ESCR result actually finds the reverse, though it is of course only a single piece of evidence.
The ESRC Project is run out of Queen Mary University of London and Sussex University. Its last blog on its latest polling of Party members says that it surveyed 1215 Conservative Party members. YouGov conducted the polling between December 17 and December 22.
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9.30am Update We’re told that ESRC didn’t prompt for names at all.