The best part of a month ago, before the Parliamentary stage of the Conservative leadership election took place, we argued that the Party’s future depends on it delivering Brexit; that the candidate best placed to do so is Boris Johnson, especially if a general election is forced over the issue, and that Tory members should therefore vote for him “on a wing and a prayer”. We named only one of his rivals as a suitable Deputy Prime Minister in a Johnson Government. That man was Jeremy Hunt.
Rory Stewart, Matt Hancock, Sajid Javid and Michael Gove have all bitten the dust since them – and much else has happened – but nothing much has happened to make us change that original judgement. Some of our readers will already have voted. More will be doing so this weekend. Our take is that both Hunt and Johnson are committed to Brexit. But only one has committed himself to doing so by October 31: the latter. The weight of the evidence also shows him placed to win an election forced over the issue – though there is now some to the contrary. So ConservativeHome says again: cross your fingers, and Vote Johnson.
We have only one revision of our original judgement to offer. If Hunt gets under a quarter of the vote in this election, it will be difficult for him to become Johnson’s deputy. We make the point because a YouGov poll of Party members in tomorrow’s Times finds Johnson on 74 per cent and Hunt on 26 per cent. Our own survey yesterday morning had the former on 67 per cent and the latter on 29 per cent. You will be aware of the claim that our panel members are to the right of real Party opinion or, as Amber Rudd once put it, that “certain types of people are supporters of ConservativeHome.”
If YouGov’s finding is accurate, however – and we have always seen the company as providing a bit of a gold standard – this take must be radically overhauled. If YouGov is right, its poll reveals ConservativeHome readers to be liberal elite dripping wet pinko snowflake BBC Treason May EUSSR metro globalist Monster Raving Loony Hunt supporters. Though maybe we shouldn’t rush to judgement. It could just be that certain types of people respond to YouGov’s polls.