The Times this morning has updated YouGov polling of Conservative party members, now that the final list of candidates is known and ahead of the first MP’s vote today. A week ago YouGov had Theresa May leading on 36% to Boris Johnson on 27% and winning by 55% to Johnson’s 38% in a head-to-head contest. Since then Boris Johnson’s campaign has imploded and he has dropped out the race, so where do we stand now?

Asked their first preference Theresa May has the support of the majority of members, with 54% support compared to 20% for Leadsom, 9% for Gove, 5% for Crabb and 5% for Fox. Note that Michael Gove has gained little of Boris Johnson’s support, rather it is Andrea Leadsom who has taken over as the leading “Leave candidate” (in fact Gove’s behaviour appears to have utterly shattered his popularity among Tory members – a week ago 63% had a positive view of him, now it is down to 32%). In head-to-head contests May beats all comers with ease, but it is again Leadsom who comes closest. In a May-v-Leadsom final round May would win by 32 points, she would beat Liam Fox by 50 points, Gove by 51 and Crabb by 63.

Theresa May leads in every demographic group. Among members who voted to Remain she absolutely dominates, among members who voted to leave she beats Leadsom, but relatively narrowly. If the race becomes tightly focused on whether the candidates voted Remain or Leave, and Leave voters line up more strongly behind Leadsom it could get interesting… but currently Leave voters say they consider competence as PM and ability to unite the party as more important than how the candidates voted in the referendum, and in both areas May has a strong lead.

For the time being May is in a dominant position, but the fact that Leadsom is little known is in some ways an advantage: she doesn’t have negative perceptions to shed and Leave supporters can paint all their hopes onto her. If it’s a race about party unity and leadership, May has a strong advantage – she takes support from both Remain and Leave, and is seen as by far the strongest leader, the most suitable for the job of PM and the best in a crisis. If it boils down to Conservative party members looking for someone who voted Leave…

Full tables are here.


1,637 Responses to “YouGov/Times – MAY 63%, LEADSOM 31%”

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  1. “Not surprising, considering that hard Brexit has just been kicked into Outer Space,”

    ————-

    It’s always been in outer space of course, it’s just that some people are now switching the telescope to the good eye.

    Much koolaid drinking remains though. Astonishing to behold…

  2. Jay blanc

    You are going to quibble over 3 quid to cover admin costs? Really?

    Dogmatic principle is one thing but you are taking it to extremes. But as a Labour member you can always campaign to make it free, its called democracy

  3. RAF

    I agree, EEA terms would not be acceptable as it does not meet the accepted perception of what the electorate voted for. I think all Party Leaders have accepted that.

  4. Never forget who it was who told the Conservative Party it was “nasty”.

    Now she can do something about that perception. And she will.

    Meanwhile the shambles that is the Labour Party should provide her with a few honeymoon opinion polls.

  5. “Now you can say all you want about it not being that big a fee… But it’s still a fee, and still a barrier to participation.”

    ———-

    I dunno, I’d pay it to not participate. Seems quite a cheap deal on that basis…

  6. Tancred

    “The BBC was interviewing all these God awful plebs in Gosport about Theresa May and they are already moaning and one said she wanted Farage as PM. Watching this makes you wonder why even bother with democracy.”

    Because as Churchill said, its a blo%dly awful system but its less bad than all the others we’ve tried. Or something like that

  7. Neil A,

    Totally agree that May shouldn’t show her cards before the negotiations, you’re absolutely right about that.

    But that means that we can’t presume to know what kind of deal she has in mind, or what her red lines are.

    She hasn’t mentioned EEA so we have no idea if she thinks that’s acceptable or not. I’m not saying she does, I’m just saying she hasn’t said anything meaningful at all one way or the other.

    The only thing she is explicitly ruling out is EU membership, but everything else, including EEA, would be compatible with what she has said so far.

    TOH,
    (quoting May)“The second point is while the ability to trade with EU member states is vital to our prosperity, there is clearly no mandate for a deal that involves accepting the free movement of people as it has worked hitherto.”

    …which includes the all-conquering caveat “as it has worked hitherto” that pretty much negates most of the rest of the sentence. It could mean anything from total ban on immigration to just a minor technical change with no overall effect. It’s interesting how little she mentions results and instead emphasises rule changes.

  8. Anyone thinks that John Woodcock will cross the floor?

  9. @CAMBRIDGERACHEL

    I’m not questioning democracy in general, but why BBC news at 6 decided to go there specifically to ask people about Theresa May when Gosport is known to be one of the hellholes of Hampshire. They could have gone to Southampton or Bournemouth. If they wanted to show the average leave voter in the worst possible light they couldn’t have picked a better place for it.

  10. She also doesn’t mention the impact of losing our banking…

  11. If may thinks she can get the EU leaders to agree to her terms on Brexit she will get an unpleasant surprise. Merkel might be conciliatory, but many others will not be. It will be very interesting to watch the negotiations unfold.

  12. “But as a Labour member you can always campaign to make it free, its called democracy”

    ———-

    Maybe if they paid us…

  13. MIKE N
    I understand about HoL and the Parliament Act, but it would seem that Lab, SNP and LDs are clamouring for a GE. It would therefore be somewhat odd if the peers chose to stop the repeal…

    Do you have any sources for the SNP eagerness for a UK GE? I’ve searched and found none.

    I agree re the LDs but re Lab, I suspect it was initial bravado, although somebody may mean it if the “right” leader is in place.

    Re the HoL, if LD & Lab do support it in the HoC, their chums on the red benches won’t need to repeal the FTPA as the Cons will get the 2/3rds vote they need and, unlike PC, the SNP do not appoint anyone to the Lords. No opposition will allow the repeal of FTPA unless they are certain they’ll win the next UK GE, and even then it would not be a good idea.

    Giving governments back the ability to suit themselves on when they call a UK GE is a very bad idea, as they have the stronger hand already. It’s the one really good idea the LDs managed to implement during the coalition.

  14. ALAN @ MIKE N
    If they can’t get the supermajority needed, I can see the lords making life difficult for the bill. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

    Precisely so.

  15. On a day with lots going on I think the best quote was from Angela Eagle when she compared the Tory Leadership election to Game of Thrones.

    While at the same time trying to ensure that the current leader of the Labour Party doesn’t even appear on the ballot in the Labour Leadership election.

    Nice one, Cersei!

  16. @TANCRED
    “If may thinks she can get the EU leaders to agree to her terms on Brexit she will get an unpleasant surprise. Merkel might be conciliatory, but many others will not be. It will be very interesting to watch the negotiations unfold.”

    Everyone’s talking as if the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU is the be-all and end-all of everything. It is not.

    There are plenty of non-EU countries we should now be talking to (and in reality, probably already are), including USA, the BRIC, Japan, Canada, Aus/NZ etc.

    There is no reason for a British Prime Minister to go cap in hand to Brussels. If this means the British public end up buying fewer BMWs and more Jaguars, that’s no bad thing.

  17. @Cambridge Rachel

    Again, no, it is not democracy. It’s a members club having a vote.

    Democracy is a form of government when an entire nation’s franchised citizenship votes, franchisement being open and fair and unhindered by such things as fees. The Labour Leadership vote is *explicitly not open* to the general public, but only paid up members and paying supporters. If it were a true nationally and openly administrated primary election, it could be said to be part of the Democratic process, but it is not.

    This is true of the Conservative’s process. It’s also true of the Lib Dem’s and the SNPs. They are member votes, not ‘democracy’.

    Making claim to moral authority through democracy, in something that is explicitly not a democracy, is a clear fallacy.

  18. Laszlo
    “…people on the other side of the Mersey”

    I guessed it might have been that. It was either that or Jacobites!

  19. @DAVID CARROD

    You think it’s going to be simple to negotiate trading deals with other countries, but in reality this takes several years, and the economy cannot wait decades! Half our trade is currently with the rest of the EU and this cannot easily be replaced by deals with some Commonwealth countries. You are living in cloud cuckoo land.

  20. David Carrod,
    “There are plenty of non-EU countries we should now be talking to (and in reality, probably already are), ”

    …with those 25 trade negotiators we have? When we need 500 just to deal with EU negotiations?

    Or will we take control by letting foreigners negotiate on our behalf?

  21. So, the “Save Labour” “movement” was cofinanced by Reg Race … Good Lord! What is next from the plotters?

  22. Anyone heard anything about the police investigations into election spending?

  23. Edge of Seat

    We are going to use the New Zealand team that rolled over and gave China all they wanted!

  24. Hawthorn
    I know that they’ve started. Beyond that it would be inappropriate to comment.

  25. With regards to ‘What The Country Voted a For’ surely if you add the 48% that voted ‘stay’ to whatever minority of the 52% who voted to leave who would prefer a ‘soft-leave’ over a total break, then you get a pretty clear majority who would, hypothetically, support our joining the EEA?

  26. “Never forget who it was who told the Conservative Party it was “nasty”.

    Now she can do something about that perception. And she will.

    Meanwhile the shambles that is the Labour Party should provide her with a few honeymoon opinion polls.”

    ————-

    Ok, so let’s see now…

    Cameron’s gone and replacement’s supposedly ditching the neoliberal and maybe even the nasty thing.

    Labour already ditched the neoliberal and Orange Bookers no longer at the top of LDs…

  27. NEIL A
    I know that they’ve started. Beyond that it would be inappropriate to comment.

    Fair enough, but given the impact of even one current Con being thrown out of the HoC, that investigation may well need to be completed before the A50 intention can be “served”.

  28. It was more a rhetorical question than a genuine enquiry.

  29. Heh ho.

    At least University Challenge and Only Connect are back!

  30. @Hawthorn

    I note that “Would I Lie To You” is still on…

  31. TOH

    “Not quite sure what you mean but May has made it clear that Brexit means Brexit”

    The Westminster consensus is Cameroons / Blairites /Orange Libs / TV media.

    Look at their reaction. They know she doesn’t mean it.

  32. PETE B

    “…but If you think they [UKIP] will get anywhere near 52% of the vote at a GE I’d be very sceptical.”
    They don’t have to. As I’ve pointed out before they are running at a pretty consistent 15%. If they get an extra 10% or so all of a sudden a lot of seats start to fall

    Not really I’m afraid. If you play about with Anthony’s advance swingometer on this site:

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/advanced-swingometer-map

    and put UKIP at 25% (+12), taking 8 points from the Tories and 4 from Labour, they only gain 17 seats. They don’t even have balance of power (it’s Con 301 Lab 236, Lib Dem 16, SNP 56, UKIP 17 and Other 23).

    Even if UKIP are solidly ahead – say UKIP 31%, Con 27%, Lab 24%, they still only get 83 seats. FPTP is very cruel to evenly-spread Parties until they get into the mid-30s and then the seats do start to fall.

  33. “…EEA terms would not be acceptable as it does not meet the accepted perception of what the electorate voted for. ”

    Anything which did not provide an extra £350M a week would also fail to meet the accepted perception of what the electorate (or at least 52% of them) voted for.

  34. So the Tories give May their unequivocal support……for now. As for her Brexit means Brexit comment let’s see if she walks the walk. She sort of limped rather than walked in the Home Office where the promises to control immigration hopelessly failed.
    Today is her today but it will end in tears. It always does.

  35. The launch of the Eagle didn’t go particularly well did it? Especially when something else happened and all the media rushed out leaving Angela and the apparatchiks all on their own. Speaking of which, I’m not sure that the pink background with the handwritten ‘Angela’ really works.

    Partly because the pink carries overtones of the ‘Look I’m a girlie! Vote for me!’ thing which was widely mocked at the last election (do you think she’s having something carved on a stone at this moment?). But mainly because the handwriting makes it look rather like “Argh”. Which may be how we’re all feeling, but it not exactly a campaign slogan.

    Meanwhile the Daily Mail reading public are not happy about Leadsom’s withdrawal under what they perceive as media pressure. The comments under the reports are boiling. Oddly enough the ones under those discussing the Labour leadership are mainly pro-Corbyn. Either he’s reaching parts other Labour politicians can’t reach or they’re confusing him with Jeremy Clarkson.

  36. New thread for a new poll

  37. @ Lazslo

    ‘I’m trying to think of any venue if all the 1,200 members want to turn up.’

    In Brighton at the WE’s AGM, they had to have three sitting because the hall had a limit of 300. It would have to be four sittings across the water.

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