The Times have a YouGov poll tomorrow asking who people want to see as the next Conservative leader. Now, this is a question that I had got a bit bored of asking over the years: almost always Boris Johnson wins easily – he is the most recognisable of the Tory leadership contenders, obviously the most charismatic, and seems to have swung the trick of getting judged by the standards of a celebrity rather than the standards of a politician. However, in today’s poll he is pipped by Theresa May – 19% of the public think she would be the best candidate for the next leader of the Tories, 18% think Boris Johnson. To put this in context a similar question a week and a half ago had Johnson six points ahead of May, a fortnight ago Johnson was twelve points ahead of May.

This is, I hasten to add, polling of the general public, not of the people who decide. It is the votes of Conservative MPs and the party members that actually count, and they may very well have completely different views. However – part of Boris’s appeal to the Conservative party is his supposed ability to reach out to voters, his charisma and his public popularity are one of his primary selling points. If he isn’t the choice of the wider public… well.

Anyway, the really interesting thing will be if the increase in support for Theresa May among the general public is echoed among the Conservative electorate. For that, however, we will have to wait for some polling of Conservative party members…


1,010 Responses to “YouGov show May and Johnson neck-and-neck as public choice for next Tory leader”

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  1. Laszlo

    :-)

  2. ” Arron Banks pulling the plug on Farage”

    It would be nice if Farage was an appliance one could pull the plug on. Alas, i fear not.

  3. @ASSIDUOSITY

    Why are Labour and nationalist voters more likely to be prone to premature causes of death?

  4. Ironically, a large part of UKIP’s funding comes from the Brussels gravy train. If Aaron Banks is withdrawing funds too, their finances could be in real trouble.

    Maybe Farage will have another word with Carswell about Short Money…

  5. @Sorrel
    Your suggested deal sounds exactly like what I’m hoping for. There are two groups of people who don’t like excessive immigration a) the white working class who (perceive that they) compete with the migrants and b) people who don’t know any immigrants but don’t like what they read about them in their paper. The former don’t vote Tory so it doesn’t matter (i.e. won’t impact the PM’s reelectability) while the latter can be made to understand that losing 100,000 jobs from the city of London could cripple us and cost them their pension increments. i just hope that by the time we get to October we aren’t already too late.

  6. “Yes. It will cost you £25 though…”

    ———

    I’d consider paying that to not vote. Meanwhile in more important matters, England going well in the cricket, needing 57 to win from 48 balls. Jason Roy has just scored 150 in 109 balls. Needs 18 more for the record…

  7. @ANDREW111
    Edge of Seat
    How about “The Labour Democrats”?? The could probably have the “Social Democrats” since the previous attempt was the “Social Democratic Party”
    “New Labour” has a certain ring to it and I dont think any Party ever claimed that name officially :)

    ———————————————-

    IIRC one of the first acts of Tony Blair was to pass legislation that the word ‘Labour’ could not be used in the title of another party. Tad paranoid but then he knew what he intending to enact. As I say IIRC…

  8. @Sorrel,

    The next two years are likely to be spent trying to find wiggle room in the freedom of movement arena, whilst simultaneously drawing up the plans for a free trade agreement as a back-up plan.

    I don’t really buy that a free trade deal would take years to implement, given that the UK would be 100% compliant with all regulatory requirements from the get-go (by definition). Unless Nissan are suddenly going to start putting dagger blades on the wheels of their cars in 2018 of course. I do accept that it falls a long way short of the benefits of membership of the single market, but that’s the arithmetic I did when working out whether the chance to reduce net migration was worth the risk to the economy.

    I really don’t think backsliding on the immigration issue is going to work for the government, however tempting it might be. Unless they can find some concrete methodology for reducing net migration whilst still technically allowing free movement of people (I mentioned a few threads back the possibility of using restricted covenants on new build properties to concentrate supply on local people in housing need), then either the EU bends on the “four freedoms” or we won’t be in the single market.

    You’ve made an interesting journey, politically. Mine was probably shorter, from a short flirtation with left-wing ideas when I was too young to understand the world (I mean pre-teen), then a bit of SDP in the early 80s, before settling on Wet Tory for the past 30 or so years. I find I’ve probably drifted back to the left a little bit in the past decade, but my anti-population growth (and therefore anti-immigration / anti-EU views/vote) fixation prevents me from going to my natural home, which would probably now be the Orange Book wing of the LibDems.

    Basically, I want Lord Owen to start a new centrist eurosceptic outfit that I could vote for…

  9. @ Marmaduke

    “Why are Labour and nationalist voters more likely to be prone to premature causes of death?”

    This is very broad brush stuff, but traditionally has been due to the socio economic profile of the voter bases for those parties and the lower life expectancy for C2DE members of the population. This in turn relates, in previous generations to industrial accidents / diseases, and today is more behaviourally related conditions, but also has to do with complex the complex matrices of health inequality.

  10. The EU officially conformed today that the UK won’t have access to the single market unless it accepts freedom of movement. “Accepting freedom of movement” is vague enough too IMHO to include some flexibility like emergency brakes.

    http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/06/29-tusk-remarks-informal-meeting-27/

    Meanwhile, the EFTA has said it is open to accept the UK as a member,

  11. @Thomas

    I’m not in either of your groups. I don’t like excessive migration because I like farms, woodlands, parks, school playing fields and gardens.

    I get the feeling that every time I say this, the listener just silently says to themself “Oh yeah, another racist pretending it’s all about overcrowding” but truly, I’ve searched my soul and it really is about green spaces for me.

  12. All the major unions backed Corbyn (for the time being) and criticised the PLP.

  13. @ Neil A

    ” I get the feeling that every time I say this, the listener just silently says to themself “Oh yeah, another racist pretending it’s all about overcrowding” ”

    Not at all .. I think you’ve explained your thinking pretty well over the last few threads.

  14. Assiduosity

    Excellent post regarding what other Europeans and British people think about immigration vs free movement (I just wanted to mention that we are in fact still Europeans. As a geologist I can assure people we are on the same tectonic plate and will not be escaping from Europe any time in the foreseeable future!).

    Regarding young vs old voters, I think that education is in fact the more powerful factor. In 1959 the Higher Education participation rate was just 4.2%, rising to a plateau of 13-15% between 1970 and 1988, another plateau of about 33% between 1993 and 2004, and is now almost 50%. So significant numbers of graduates are only in the population below age 45, which is almost exactly where the poll data show the majority vote changes from Leave to Remain.

    While older people may become more conservative, I doubt if they forget they are graduates, and those education stats are inexorable. In a few years time people may well vote to rejoin the EU even on much worse terms than now, and all the Allan Christies will have to cry into their cocoa and mutter about the fecklessness of under 40’s! (sorry if I have misjudged your age Allan!)

  15. M Bruno

    Tusk – “Leaders made it crystal clear today that access to the single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms, including the freedom of movement. There will be no single market “à la carte”.”

    The “four freedoms” give precisely zero wiggle room. Have you looked them up?

    http://www.europeanpolicy.org/en/european-policies/single-market.html

  16. I note that Johnson and Crabb have both stated they don’t want an early GE.

    No doubt the reasons for that will turn out to be self-serving, but I am glad.

    Although I can see the argument for a renewed mandate, there’s really no requirement for it. And the fear of an early GE seems to be causing the Labour Party to act a bit irrationally. I care enough about democracy to want the opposition to have the time and space to get themselves sorted out before being plunged into electoral battle.

    Perhaps the time for a GE will be in about 12-18 months, when we find out just whether there is any room for compromise between the UK and the EU, and the Tories have a nascent proposal they can put in a manifesto. We know that the LD position will be “just don’t leave”. Labour, or the two Labours, need to work out what to do and rebuild their profile accordingly.

  17. Sorrel,

    Yes, an EEA agreement would be very good for UKIP, and the Tories would calculate bad for Labour…

  18. OLDNAT: There will be a negotiation and the lines are clearly drawn now. According to the continental papers, the EU countries are not so united as it may seem when it comes to a future UK/EU deal. My personal intuition, which is pure speculation at this point of course, is that the UK will have to accept freedom of movement, but will get some minor concession in return like emergency brakes for instance, even if it is mostly symbolic. We will see how it unfolds in the coming months.

  19. If I heard Crabb rightly this morning he seemed to be suggesting not invoking article 50 until after the 2020 GE!! At which point a mandate for EEA or whatever will be given to the Tories under his firm guiding hand…

  20. My local party is backing corbyn, by a very large margin, antedotal i know but the PLP might have bitten off more than it can chew

  21. @ Neil A

    “I don’t really buy that a free trade deal would take years to implement, given that the UK would be 100% compliant with all regulatory requirements from the get-go (by definition). ”

    It’s not a ‘trade deal’ it’s an access deal – and it’s not a one off thing, it’s a process agreement.

    Every time a manufacturer – say Nissan – refines a model, that new improved model has to go through the process of compliance. So you are effectively locked into the regulatory system in order to achieve access.

    Access approvals can be slow, this means models produced outside of the EEA area gradually become more and more out of date (as manufacturers can’t introduce improvements or new models quickly) and therefore less competitive, or have to be discounted to offset being less desirable.

    The EU also charges the manufacturer for all the regulatory control compliance work – these aren’t tariffs but sit on top of them.

    It’s okay if you don’t want to believe any of this but, taking the automotive industry as an example, since the EU moved towards the single market model, 85-90% of our imported cars come from within the EU, the proportions in continental Europe are higher.

    The chap was too diplomatic to spell anything out directly, but his view was that you could see ‘lower long term investment levels’ leading to ‘new product innovation being transferred to the EU for the European market’.

    Some might argue that the UK would not be as badly affected as only 40-45% of our export vehicles go to the EU. Effectively, high marque vehicles can cope by diversifying their client base and also because – ironically – their rate of model development is slower. But, some of the mass plants – like Nissan and Honda, which are based to a degree on EU export might find things tougher.

    Of course, there is a way round this – and EEA agreement – but that comes with a ‘price tag’.

    I’m not sure why everyone thinks the EU will now give us the advantages of membership without any of the obligations – to do so would defeat the whole purpose of the Union. Moreover, under WTO rules, they would have to do broadly the same thing for every other country in the world.

    People have been drinking the Borisade.

  22. @AndreW: I don’t think the EU would accept delaying negotiations until 2020. In fact, that would be negative and would decrease the probability of the UK getting a good deal. It is OK to wait until a new PM is in office or even to wait until early next year to invoke Art 50, so that UK negotiators can be fully prepared, but the UK cannot postpone the process indefinitely.

  23. M Bruno

    “but will get some minor concession in return like emergency brakes for instance, even if it is mostly symbolic”

    That wouldn’t surprise me. In negotiation, it’s seldom wise for the winners not to offer some face-saving device – though it might be tied to something like a requirement to cut non-EU immigration first.

    So the UK will pay more for less -and a voice only through the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court..

    What a victory!

  24. MBRUNO,

    I don’t think they would either (although I am not sure what they would do about it…). Which is why I was surprised and might have misheard!

  25. @Assiduosity,

    Do Nissan not have to go through continuous compliance work as it is? Or does being in the Single Market mean you don’t have to?

    I really don’t see why there would need to be a sudden divergence in compliance between an EU UK and a non-EU UK.

    I expect all countries/trade blocs demand compliance with their regulations with respect to imports, don’t they? Or is the EU unique in that?

  26. Assiduosity,

    57.5% of all British car exports go to the EU according to that January 2016 FT article I linked to earlier (if you can get at it – try doing the quiz!)

    Up from 53% in 2014

  27. “57.5% of all British car exports go to the EU”

    Is that actually “to” the EU or is it another “through EU ports to elsewhere” thing?

  28. @ OldNat

    “Tusk – “Leaders made it crystal clear today that access to the single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms, including the freedom of movement. There will be no single market “à la carte”.”
    The “four freedoms” give precisely zero wiggle room. Have you looked them up?”

    At last.

    Precisely, this is what the EU leaders actually said.

    As I tried to explain, this is a little like us trying to join the US (and I’m aware that will play into some people’s Unites States of Europe paranoia, but is only a metaphor) and going through the constitution saying ‘we’ll have that amendment, but not that one’.

    It ain’t going to wash.

    You don’t want the obligations you won;t get the privileges.

  29. @ Neil A

    It is green spaces for me, too. I care most about preventing too much building on greenfield sites and also for getting rid of the CAP system that forces the removal of ecosystems to ensure land has to be “agricultural” to gain a subsidy.

    Unfortunately the Green Party has become a very left-wing metropolitan party that as far as I can see doesn’t actually care about building on greenfield sites unless what is being proposed is something to do with fracking or a road. Otherwise they seem to be fine with it.

    Of course, this is all going a bit off topic now.

  30. If Labour split would ‘New Labour’ take much of the moderate Tory vote?

    @ ASSIDUOSITY

    Thanks – as I presumed but am surprised that any psephological authority would make such as sweeping statement! Any stats on it?

  31. It cute that folk can on the one had believe that the EU will bend their rules backward to help UK but will do nothing to help Scotland.

    In all the ‘Sturgeon snubbed’ headlines people are forgetting that there is a council of ministers today at which UK does not have a seat. The UK cannot wait indefinitely to trigger article 50. The EU are already treating UK as if they have left. UK will have no influence over the months that article 50 is not triggered and the markets no clue as to what the resultant trade arrangements will be & so investment goes elsewhere.

    England voted 57/43 outside London, if the new PM doesn’t get on with getting out of EU, Farage et al will cry betrayal so there really cannot be a GE until article 50 is triggered or UKIP will clean up.

  32. @ Andrew111

    “57.5% of all British car exports go to the EU according to that January 2016 FT article I linked to earlier (if you can get at it – try doing the quiz!)”

    I got my figures from National Archives / Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders for 2014, so may have changed since then.

  33. Neil A

    I think the point is that this compliance business is part of the trade barrier – it is why emission rules for diesels are so much tougher in the USA, which is nothing to do with public health and everything to do with keeping VW’s out. (very few diesels made in the USA)

    Nissan in the UK have exactly the same regulations as VW in Germany at the moment. But outside the free trade zone the EU would find ways to make it harder for them… (allegedly!).

    This is actually mainly what TTIP is about, where we are still at the back of the queue it seems

  34. @Oldnat

    Just so long as whatever device is come up with leads to a net reduction in UK population growth, then I’d be fine with that.

    I don’t really care about the UK having to implement chunks of EU legislation via email, without any representation. The EU doesn’t have a great deal of respect for our representation anyway. Our MEPs are either gone-native zombie voting fodder for the big political blocs, or ineffectual minnows emitting small amounts of p**s into a very large swimming pool.

    Exit from the CFP and CAP, together with something to reduce migration (or at least prevent the acceleration of migration) would be a good deal for me.

    It may well be that the atmosphere of the past week, plus lower UK growth, plus improved economic performance in Eastern Europe (and them basically running out of young people to send abroad) will cause a big reduction in net migration anyway, which might save face for the government and let them get away with a compromise that doesn’t have that much additional effect.

  35. Collapse in sales to Russia and China according to that article but steady growth to Europe…

  36. @OLDNAT

    Do you mean that Anna Nagel will be a candidate for the leadership of Labour?

    She was in the film, Black Friday, with Boris Karloff

  37. @ Marmaduke

    Have a look in here for the life expectancy stats.

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/bulletins/trendinlifeexpectancyatbirthandatage65bysocioeconomicpositionbasedonthenationalstatisticssocioeconomicclassificationenglandandwales/2015-10-21

    Have a look at the socio economic breakdowns of support for the major parties via BES or similar – not perfect means of doing it, but as I said, it was a suggestion of one of a number of theories.

  38. @Andrew111

    But to take your example further, are US companies allowed to produce diesels to lower standards than European imported models?

    That’s my point. If the EU decides “All new cars must be run on cow poo” then Nissan in Sunderland has to start building cars that run on cow poo, whether it’s in the Single Market or not.

    That’s what I mean about our current compliance. Is there any reason to think we’re about to start producing exports that diverge significantly from those that other European countries produce?

    I’m trying not to be argumentative. I truly don’t know the answer to most of these questions, but if I am to take other people’s assertions to be truth I need to understand the logic.

  39. I would vote for Angela Eagle. She was pretty good when she stood in at PMQs and is a good tv performer. And female to boot.

  40. Couper 2802,

    UKIP doing well is one thing but UKIP cleaning up is quite another. If they look like winning the others tend to gang up on them, unlike the SDP-Lib alliance which looked like coming through the middle to victory with 35% until the Falklands war. If they can really get well ahead of Labour they have a chance of taking a raft of Labour seats, but as we have seen that does not deliver victory…

  41. @ Neil A

    It’s exactly as Andrew111 says, you can make compliance part of the barrier.

    Also, when compliance is embedded into your domestic system it’s much easier to handle than when you are complying to another country or entities rules.

    Curretly Nissan and Honda UK are complying with domestic rules, that wouldn’t be the case if the compliance body was Brussels based. Plus they would loose their voice at the table of those making the rules as the UK would not be able to represent their interests.

  42. With Farage at the helm I do not see UKIP ever exceeding the 26% they got in the last Euros – but that would only have delivered a handful of seats

  43. Neil A

    I do understand that you think erosion of your green fields depends on the number of individuals, and not on the planning laws and regulations.

    “Just so long as whatever device is come up with leads to a net reduction in UK population growth, then I’d be fine with that.”

    So, how about a Chinese-style “One Child” policy?

    Probably not to your (or anyone else’s) taste, but I’d suggest that you are exaggerating when you endorse “whatever device”.

  44. Neil A,

    No, that particular barrier was based on the fact that US manufacturers basically don’t make diesels.

    An example of the type of barrier the US erects is that ships from abroad are not allowed to land goods in Hawaii unless they go there from a US port… (my daughter works for Lloyds Register and tells me about such things.

    Who knows what they would erect to discourage Nissan? I reckon Nissan would quickly open a plant within the Euro zone so they never had to find out!

  45. Neil A
    “Exit from the CFP and CAP, together with something to reduce migration (or at least prevent the acceleration of migration) would be a good deal for me.
    It may well be that the atmosphere of the past week, plus lower UK growth, plus improved economic performance in Eastern Europe (and them basically running out of young people to send abroad) will cause a big reduction in net migration anyway”

    I agree with the first bit (CFP is an utter disaster), but there could be a big surge in EU immigration between now and when we finally leave as people try to get in before the drawbridge goes up.

  46. @Andrew111

    We are not in normally times, if the folk that voted Leave think WM is ignoring them they will be even more angry UKIP will easily capitalise. There is a tipping point in Fptp and it’s a lot lower than 52%.

  47. Am I the only one to notice that leadership of major parties appears to be reserved to members of the animal kingdom?

    Following two fish in Scotland, and Labour’s crow, the three leadership candidates so far declared are a crab, a fox, and an eagle.

    I wonder what price Bill Hill will give me on Archie Archaeopteryx for PM in 2030?

  48. Neil A: “Exit from the CFP and CAP, together with something to reduce migration (or at least prevent the acceleration of migration) would be a good deal for me.”

    I think you need to know what would replace CFP and CAP before making that judgement. If UK fishermen are given carte blanche to hoover up everything in the UK EEZ – which seems to be what they expect – that might not be to your liking. Likewise if an Owen Patterson-drafted UK farm policy sees all environmental stewardship payments discontinued, neonics and GM permitted, and the bias in payments towards small farmers discontinued, that likewise might not be to your liking. Especially if farmers get compensated for lower payments by making it a lot easier to get planning permission for development of greenfield sites – which is the most lucrative ‘crop’ of all. Be careful of what you wish for, as they say.

  49. @Assiduosity,

    How is it easier to comply with something “embedded in your domestic system”? Do you mean that UK standards might be different to EU ones? Isn’t that up to the UK?

    I assume that compliance standards will be published. They aren’t communicated secretly to every company in the member states via secure email, or something. So Nissan could just update their practices to ensure continued compliance. They might have to “prove” that their goods met the standards, but again isn’t this already the case, or does the EU just assume that every factory in it’s territory is a good egg that can be trusted not to breach compliance?

    I accept the point about losing a UK voice in the discussions about the rules, but that’s not really very important to me. I trust the EU to generally speaking make sensible decisions about commercial and trading matters (as I say, I’m not Douglas Carswell, this isn’t some arcane argument about parliamentary sovereignty for me).

    I also accept that there is a theoretical possibility of the EU trying to game the system to keep out UK exports, but I don’t actually think they’d do that both because trade works both ways, and because they might be legally vulnerable to EU companies wanting to trade with the UK.

  50. On the global automotive industry.

    I work in a technical role for a company that supplies car parts to car manufacturers all over the world, Japan, China, and the US (51% of all US made Ford and GM cars have our bits inside.

    The standards we adhere to are truly global, and although they have some technically different standards by name, they broadly accept other standards as they virtually interchangeable. Sitting above these standards is the ISO 16949.

    We currently have to adhere to REACH standards (EU), but all our global customers insist on that anyway. So Brexit or not, we will do the same things to the same standards.

    We don’t get involved with engines, so I can’t speak about emissions, but UK technical manufacturers will not change standards one iota in my view. It’s all too global.

    I would add that the reduction in the value of the £ to the $US is really good ;-)

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