Tomorrow’s Times has a poll of Conservative party members about the forthcoming leadership election, showing Theresa May ahead of the supposed favourite, Boris Johnson. Asked who would they would prefer as party leader May is on 36% to Johnson’s 27% (Andrea Leadsom and Stephen Crabb are both on 7%, Liam Fox is on 4%). Party members only actually get to vote on the final two candidates of course, and in a straight contest between Theresa May and Boris Johnson current support stands at May 55%, Johnson 38% – a seventeen point lead for May. The full tables are here.

Theresa May appears to have had a good EU referendum campaign or at least, by standing a little aside from it her reputation has survived intact while most other Tory politicians have been damaged. When YouGov asked Tory members if they had positive or negative impressions of various politicians 72% were positive about May, up 4 from before the referendum. In contrast Boris Johnson was at 58% (down 18 since the referendum), Gove 63% (down 6), Sajid Javid 42% (down 8), IDS 54% (down 9), George Osborne 47% (down 21). She is also one of relatively few figures who is positively regarded by both those members who supported remain and those members who supported leave.

Part of the turnaround appears to be the perception that Theresa May is better placed to unite the party – 64% of party members said this was one of the most important considerations (up twenty points since Febrary) and May has a thirty point lead over Johnson on who would be better able to unite the party (46% to 16%). Given the current political and economic situation, she also has a lead over Johnson on ability to handle a crisis (49% to 18%), taking tough decisions (46% to 18%) and negotiating with Europe (32% to 22%).

Boris Johnson’s own strengths are still apparent though – he is seen as by far the best media performer and the candidate who best understands how to win an election. Both he and Stephen Crabb are ahead of Theresa May on who party members think would be most in touch with ordinary people. While the poll shows him losing in a May -vs- Johnson run off, they still suggest Boris would win in a run-off against Stephen Crabb (by 54% to 31%) or Liam Fox (by 52% to 29%).

This is, of course, a very early poll – it was conducted between Monday and Wednesday, so before nominations opened or the final list of candidates was confirmed. Party members don’t yet know what pledges and promises the candidates will make, what their detailed stance will be on Europe or other key issues. For less well known candidates like Stephen Crabb many members won’t know much about them at all. As the race begins though, Theresa May has the early advantage.

1,618 Responses to “YouGov poll of Conservative party members – MAY 55%, JOHNSON 38%”

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    I agree with you on that.

    “Fair enough Alan, at heart I’m a unionist although at times I’ve said otherwise when really irritated. I do accept that Scotland and N.Ireland have every right to decide to leave the UK if it’s done democratically”

    Sorry I wasn’t hinting at the break up of the UK in my post but was pointing out if NI and Scotland could get a deal from the EU within the UK then fantastic .and then England and Wales can get on with Brexit.

    Although I do personally support Scottish independence I have said several times on UKPR that I don’t think Scotland leaving the UK to join the EU would be in Scotland’s best interests…IMO.

  3. It seems some campaign money was left in the kitty as I still get ads from both camps.


    Thanks for the link…Well the Welsh are a funny for Brexit but don’t appear to be wanting to leave Europe anytime soon..Flying the flag for the Brexiteers in Europe. ;-)

    On where people get their info from…It is interesting in Wales that so many younger voters opted not to source their info from social media. I used twitter as porthole to bring together all the political gossip and facts and then read the commentary from quite a few political pundits on twitter and based my conclusions on that.

    My facebook feed was and still is inundated with EU Brexit/remain gossip and most of my friends on facebook are under 30

  5. TOH

    I don’t think that social media is necessarily for Remain, but other young people tend to be, and people tend to interact with similar others.

    Social media is often accused of being an “echo chamber” in that people choose to listen to views of which they approve.

    I would argue that the same is true of most of those choosing to read a particular newspaper.

    The sources of information given in the Welsh article gives the following data.

    Ranked as 1st source – Under-30s
    Wal, UK , Source
    41%, 26%, Other
    37%, 32%, Television
    27%, 32%, Print Press
    17%, 27%, Online Press
    13%, 12%, Radio
    5%, 18%, Facebook
    0%, 14%, Twitter
    0%, 9%, Blogs

    Someone called “Chris Evans” has left something called “Top Gear” (which sounds like it might be a clothes shop).

    I seem to recall the last bloke booted out of there being called Clarks, so maybe it’s a shoe-shop.


    Thanks for the link and I will read it. Well when the English edition of the Sun came out fro Brexit then I do admit I thought the game was up. They have backed every winner since the early 70’s however despite the papers heavily leaning to one side, remain did spend millions sending out pro EU gibberish to every household in the UK so based on that some within the print media may have wanted to even things up a bit.

    And where most papers sided with leave, I presume the remain side did still take out full page adverts in all the papers backing the EU?

  8. Barbazenzero



    Thanks for the reply, I am sure your correct about why people take a particular newspaper.

    Probably true but to a lesser extent about why people choose which TV station to follow for news.




    “I think it’s fair comment from Somerjohn about the papers. On the media I think the BEEB did try to be impartial but failed at times, as did Sky i would agree about the rest”

    Fair enough, I’m in a consensual agreement on the papers but maybe peeps should in future just ignore the editorials.


    I don’t usually read adds but in the DM the last week had full page adds for leave if my memory serves me right.

  13. ‘Social media is often accused of being an “echo chamber” in that people choose to listen to views of which they approve.’

    It’s not only that people *choose* to do that, but also most social media channels’ algorithms actively show you things they calculate that you’ll like – at the expense of those you might not. Very often, people literally never see the views of their friends who disagree with them on there. (And then, yes, people choose what to pay attention to as well)

  14. Labour leadership challenge has been postponed until “friday at the earliest” you couldn’t make this up

    #where eagles hesitate

  15. Allan C: “remain did spend millions sending out pro EU gibberish to every household in the UK so based on that some within the print media may have wanted to even things up a bit.”

    I don’t think a fact-based leaflet can compete with an emotive headline.

    For example, the last leaflet I received pointed out that of the £4,500pa spent per head by the UK government, just £40 (gross) went to the EU.

    Quite a pertinent fact, I think, and one which would come as a big surprise to most voters. But the point sank without trace and millions went to the polls and voted in the belief that leaving the EU would release some great cornucopia of funding.

  16. Somerjohn

    “……………….. some great cornucopia of funding.”

    Many will understand where your coming from with that, but isn’t that a bit over the top. It would be interesting to seesome polling on why people voted as they did.

    #where eagles hesitate


    It does seem amazing, do you think that Eagle & Co are waiting for private polling of members to see if Jeremy really does still have overwhelming support from the membership?

  19. OLDNAT

    @”Social media is often accused of being an “echo chamber” in that people choose to listen to views of which they approve.
    I would argue that the same is true of most of those choosing to read a particular newspaper.”

    But there is a huge difference.

    Social Media is interactive . Print Media isn’t .

    One only has to watch smartphone users swiping & jabbing all day long to see that this is a new form of conversation. Reading a newspaper isn’t. The nearest equivalent I suppose is the comment sections of online versions of print media.

  20. I don’t know about plotters doing a private polling (they can’t use Labour’s money). It is more likely related to remove the suspicion about Chilcott.

    In the meantime, Eagle lost her seat in the NEC and a Corbynite replaced her.

  21. ToH

    I think they are waiting for the drip drip of negative stories to move the membership. The members are ordinary people, they don’t have the time or energy for this nonsense. The plotters are hoping that corbyns support will ebb away because the members just want this to be over. Either that or they really are waiting for the older better brother to swoop to their aid after a by election victory!

    I think most of the public have turned off from this now, assuming that any were paying attention in the first place. But if they are following it then an eagle who doesn’t swoop in for the kill is going to have zero respect in the country. Its nearly always better to fight and lose than run away. I think she is finished

  22. Wes

    Good point about the algorithms.

  23. cambridgerachel

    #where eagles hesitate

    Beautifully put! :-)

  24. Colin

    Fair point about the speed of interaction on new media.

    The equivalent, I suppose for non-users, would be meeting your mates at the pub/supermarket/golf club etc, and chatting to them about the story you have all read in the same paper, and agreeing that “this kind of thing” is shocking.

  25. ToH: “It would be interesting to seesome polling on why people voted as they did.”

    Yes, indeed. I suspect it would show that most people – on both sides – only engaged at a very superficial level with ‘the facts’. I think it boiled down to which campaign tugged the emotional heartstrings more effectively. And in the end, “let’s be free” trumped “be afraid. Be very afraid.”

  26. Looks like Theresa May has already made a political mess of the resident EU nationals (whatever the rights and wrongs of her position).

    Perhaps Andrea Leadsom has a chance after all?

  27. OLDNAT

    There’s an interesting bit of research on Roger Scully’s blog about the votes of young people in Wales.

    It’s based on “under 30s in Wales (41 people)”. Which means it’s almost completely useless. (It’s not actually by Scully but by one of his colleagues Sioned Pearce).

    The data appear to be derived from a GB-wide YouGov survey for WISERD summarised here:

    but the total sample is only 1000-ish, so any analysis by region is going to be doomed by small sample sizes and regions not being weighted internally. That’s before you consider that we know YouGov has problems with the representativeness of its younger panel members (they are far too interested in politics for a start).

  28. Roger Mexico

    All true!

    I did say it was on “Scully’s blog” and not by him. The Welsh Political Barometer results, however, should be up later.

    Maybe Anthony could have a new thread with the Dragon flying at the masthead? That would be appropriate in view of Wednesday’s footie? :-)

  29. Somerjohn

    “Yes, indeed. I suspect it would show that most people – on both sides – only engaged at a very superficial level with ‘the facts’.

    Yes, probably true, maybe it was ever thus and you could say it’s a defect of “democracy” but it does not make it any less valid.

  30. Markets down a touch today, Footsie 100 – 0.84%, Footsie 250 – 2,12%. The £ was up a touch against the Dollar, Euro and Yen. European markets also down a touch.

  31. TOH

    It’s worth noting which stocks are up and down in the FTSE 100 as the divergence is quite striking.

    UP: International mining stocks which don’t operate in the UK
    DOWN: UK Housing stocks

    Also, Standard Life has suspended trading in it’s UK real estate fund.

  32. Conservative home has done a survey showing leadsom one point ahead of may, obviously not a poll but very interesting and an amazing turnaround

  33. CambridgeRachel

    I wonder if Theresa May refusing to rule out Idi Amin-style mass deportations has had an effect?

  34. For me, the ultimate issue behind my leave vote was always to try and curtain development. Falls in housebuilders and in those who invest in housebuilding aren’t likely to make me feel any remorse.

  35. *curtail not curtain

  36. RACHEL.
    Not going to be another Labour Govt in my opinion.

    NEIL A.
    Voting for law makers and the executive would be the intellectual reason, but refusing to vote for any idea coming from a Con Govt would be a gut reason.

    I think.

  37. Chrislane

    Maybe not, but the pendulum does swing

    “Conservative home has done a survey showing leadsom one point ahead of may, obviously not a poll but very interesting and an amazing turnaround”

    Not surprising really, assuming Conservative home has surveyed members, Didn’t previous polling has shown a clear majority of Conservative members for Brexit. Leadsom is probably seen more clearly for Brexit despite being for remain 3 years ago whereas May was for Remain even if she didn’t campaign.

  39. ALAN

    Yes it is really interesting seeing the movements, for example GlaxoSithKline a multinational drug maker has gained significantly since Brexit.

  40. Obviously a boost for anti-anxiety medication in Westminster..

  41. Judging from BBC’s reporting it seems that the majority of Labour MPs share a trait with the Bourbons.

    We will see how it spins out, but it won’t be pretty.

  42. OLDNAT

    Yes-but the” speed” of that interaction is light years away from that of Social Media, which is instant , and capable of including huge numbers of people.

    Its not so much an Echo Chamber as an Echo Universe.

  43. Laszlo
    Chocolatey with a bit of cream in the middle? Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  44. Laszlo

    “Judging from BBC’s reporting it seems that the majority of Labour MPs share a trait with the Bourbons”

    Mind you, BBC Scotland, at least, displays great Bourbonism themselves.

    Tonight they have a debate on Scotland’s Future with a panel of 2 Lab : 1 SNP : 1 Tory : (no Green).

    3:1 Remain v Leave and 3:1 UK Union v Indy

  45. Colin

    True, but they are probably very slow thinkers, so time matters less. After all they aren’t on UKPR! :-)

  46. Some posters may be interested in this

    I tried to submit a similar one myself, but this just beat me to it. At 7pm there were 60 signatures, now it’s at 103, and I suspect it may grow rather rapidly.

  47. Laszlo

    I don’t get the bourbon reference, could you educate me?

  48. @ Pete B

    Thanks – a good smile.


    But I may explain what I meant. If we can believe to various polls, a lot of the Leave votes came from gut feelings, a kind of revolt (against the elites) – by no means all, but a sizeable proportion.

    It also seems that Corbyn, in spite of his background, is perceived by the same people as being closer to them. They could be wrong, etc. So, the lesson for the largely Remain Labour is about cearing about those who probably for,the first time in their life came out and voted leave and many who are ambivalent, have voted, and came out for,Leave.

    So, basically, if this is true (well, polls …) then the PLP has learnt absolutely nothing (I don’t include the one whom Crick mentioned about Marxism Leninism, because that person needs urgent mental health help).

    It is really awful – although I have seen this sort of outcome of Groupthink (which I consider pseudo-science of a phenomenon that needs a better one) before – as it forces Corbyn (if he wins) a large scale deselection (even if his not the man made of iron), and hence triggering the split of Labour.

  49. Alex

    I think there might be a similar petition on change. Org or 38degrees

    But what happens if the people reject the exit terms?

  50. @ CambridgeRachel

    It is a reference for the Bourbon restauration after 1815, and the policies that they followed (which ended up in the July uprising (1830) and eventually 1848 ((February).

    They learnt nothing and forgot nothing.

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