So under a third of the ConservativeHome members’ panel believes that Boris Johnson can reverse a trend to a bigger state and higher taxes.
Not that he and his team will do so, but that they may do so – a lower bar. And under one in ten Party members, if the survey is accurate, think that there isn’t a problem.
We think that this finding can be read in one of two ways, or perhaps in both.
The first is a specific lack of confidence in the Prime Minister and his Cabinet among the best part of two thirds of Party members. This would contrast with what’s reported to be strong backing for him among Conservative voters.
The second would be a more general sense that Britain is on a road to higher taxes and a bigger state post-Covid and post-Brexit – and that no government nor leader is likely to change this.
Our best guess is that the answer is a bit of both.
Maybe the formula “concerned that” maximises the Johnson-sceptic number. After all, one can be concerned that something may happen without being convinced it may happen.
But the panel has been critical of the Prime Minister since the last election, with his own Cabinet League Table rating dropping from 93 per cent post-poll to negative ratings, and drifting back into low positive territory.
Frankly, we would be ourselves be questioning the survey’s representativeness…
…Were it not for the panel’s record as a good rough guide to party members’ thinking: it got to within a point of Johnson’s proportion of the vote during the 2019 Tory leadership election.