Boris Johnson was on 32 per cent last month. Dominic Raab was on 15 per cent. And Michael Gove was on 12 per cent: indeed, he was on exactly the same precise rating – 12.42 per cent, as SurveyMonkey calculates it – and doesn’t need to be rounded up or down.
As we like to say here at ConservativeHome (and find ourselves doing very often) these results are a tribute to the consistency of the survey. There were 1320 responses to this question this month, compared to 1128 last time round – but the extra 200 or so replies make next to no difference to the findings.
All in all, they suggest that this election is Johnson’s to lose – if, and it is still a big if, Conservative MPs select him as one of the two candidates to put to all Party members in the final stage.
It is likely that it will see a harder Brexiteer up against a softer one (though these things are a matter of degree), and Johnson and Raab are therefore both unlikely to make it through together.
Regardless of which one of them does so – barring an upset – our panel’s choice of that softer opponent is Gove. Hunt was on six per cent last month and is now on four per cent. Sajid Javid was on five per cent and is now on three per cent. Everyone else is nowhere, pretty much.
Steve Baker comes in fourth on his first outing, which is good for him, but on seven per cent, which is not so good. Rory Stewart’s unorthodox campaign is giving him media cut-through which his more orthodox competitors are struggling to gain. Perhaps that’s why he is now fifth.
We say again: there are too many leadership candidates – even without adding the names of those who haven’t declared and may not, but which are prudent to include. Some will do very badly indeed if they persist, and not all will gain a Cabinet post if they do so.
All in all, these results are the opposite of much ado about nothing: in terms of change in the survey, there is not a lot ado this month about an election that could help decide not only whether the Party prospers, but whether it survives in one piece at all. We will publish run-off results later today.