In what little political news is sneaking through the Olympic media dominance the Boris bandwagon is rolling. Back in May at the time of the mayoral elections YouGov asked a couple of questions on Boris as Tory leader, asking a hypothetical “how would you vote with Boris as leader” question and whether people thought Boris was suited to being Prime Minister. Back then Boris did marginally worse than David Cameron on voting intention, and only 24% of people saw Boris as suited to the job of PM.
YouGov repeated the same questions again yesterday, and found significant improvement in Boris’s figures. On the control question of how people would vote if the party leaders at the next election remained Cameron, Miliband and Clegg the figures were CON 34%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%*, if the leaders were Johnson, Miliband and Clegg the figures change to CON 37%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10% – narrowing the gap by 5 points.
On being suited to the role of Prime Minister Boris has also seen his stock rise. 36% of people now think he is suited to being PM (up from 24%), 54% do not. On the same batch of questions Ed Miliband has also seen as rise since May, 31% of people now think he is suited to being PM (up from 25%), compared to 59% who think he isn’t (down from 62%).
(*Asking how people would vote at the next election if the leaders remain as they are today still gives a significantly different picture to asking the standard voting intention question, which is interesting in its own right. It could be a positive Cameron effect, a negative Miliband effect, or just the impact of asking “at the next election”, almost as if some respondents give a protest answer now, but say they’ll actually end up doing something different. Hmm.)