Our last survey of 2018 revealed a Cabinet whose standing with the membership had scarcely recovered from the previous month, where we recorded our lowest-ever results since we started posing this question.
Has the New Year ushered in any re-appraisals or revivals of fortune? Alas, no.
- Still 14 ministers with negative scores… And no change in the membership of that unhappy band, either: the Cabinet’s Remainers continue to predominate at the lower end of the table.
- …but Smith almost breaks out. That the Chief Whip remains in the red doesn’t completely eclipse an impressive rebound, from -34.4 to just -3.8. Perhaps this is an outworking of the Government’s unexpectedly strong performance in those crucial Brexit votes – let’s see how this score fares after Valentine’s Day.
- The rise of Leadsom continues. Last month we suggested that the Leader of the House’s big leap up the ranks might be a product of our readers’ loathing for John Bercow. If so, that well runs deep as she is up almost nine points and breaks into the top three.
- Cox takes the top spot… But he does so whilst going backwards. Last time he was second-ranked with over 55 per cent, today he scoops the gold with less than 49.
- Hunt loses his place on the podium. The Foreign Secretary records a serious fall, from over 60 to less than 42. We suspect this may be related to his becoming one of the most senior Cabinet members to float the idea of an Article 50 extension.
- Javid falls into the mid-table. A loss of ten points takes the Home Secretary out of contention for the top three, reducing him to eighth place.
- Are the non-Cabinet posts a barometer? Interestingly, both Paul Davies and Ruth Davidson have suffered some decline in their scores, despite neither featuring in any major stories and indeed the latter being on maternity leave.