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. First!

  2. Hopefully the Tory membership won’t have the sense to vote for May. The candidate most likely to appeal to voters in the only election th counts – the next GE.

  3. the only election that counts

  4. Does anybody have a view how far the £ would have to drop before HMG start’s questioning whether it would even be feasible for Brexit to occur? I mean we wouldn’t actually collapse ourselves over this would we?

  5. I think those numbers will tighten once Leadsom is on the members ballot, but I think that gap is too big to close.

    I think it’s May as a safe pair of hands.

  6. Thomas

    Im not sure that a falling pound is necessarily a bad thing. It will put upward pressure on inflation and possibly reduce imports at the same time it should be good for exporters. Of course if it falls below parity and stays there then we are talking about serious inflation which could quickly run out of control. The political fallout from the drop in the pound would be interesting

  7. May will almost certainly win, but those remainers hoping that she will be cut a pro-EU deal will be sorely disappointed. She has a reputation for being awkward to deal with and I can see that she will antagonise many of the European leaders. I don’t think she will last too long as leader – in many ways she’ll be a caretaker before a more credible candidate emerges and whole EU issue fades into the background.

  8. Reading about another recent vote. That of Junior Doctors to refuse the new contract.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36714792

    The European Referendum had a turnout of 71% and a majority of 52%.

    The Doctors vote had a turnout of 68% and a majority of 58%.

    Guess which of these the government has decried as an undemocratic result that must be ignored.

  9. @Valerie

    Hopefully the Tory membership won’t have the sense to vote for May

    Unfortunately they have got in to the habit of voting for leaders on the basis of likelihood to win GEs. Bring back the days of IDS I say.

  10. @Redrich

    Once bitten twice shy.

    Or as they appear to say in the Labour Party, Once Bitten, Get Shy For A Bit, Then Get Bitten Again, And Again.

  11. JAYBLANC

    It is too late to put that argumentative genie back in the bottle.

  12. via Britain Elects
    ?
    Northern Irish public // On gay couples being allowed to marry:
    Support: 70% (+2)
    Oppose: 22% (-5)
    (via Ipsos Mori)
    Chgs. from May 2015

    So there’s somewhere in the UK where the politicians are even more out of synch with the voters than Westminster!

  13. @Neil A

    Well he got his revenge on Dave and George.

  14. The good news for the govt as the pound slides is that the 31 year low headline will become boringly repetitive. The bad news is that at 1.05 the headline becomes ‘pound at lowest ever level’

  15. @cambridgerachel

    If I remember when the dollar went walkabout at the end of ’84 beginning of 85 it did nearly go 1:1

  16. “Does anybody have a view how far the £ would have to drop before HMG start’s questioning whether it would even be feasible for Brexit to occur? I mean we wouldn’t actually collapse ourselves over this would we?”

    ———-

    Lol, chances are they already consider it not very feasible. Hence the backtracking.

    Because of the potential hit to the City and the SE, losing passporting, and prolly the currency trades, and the knock-on hit to party funding etc.

  17. JAYBLANC

    If the Government said exactly that I would agree with you. Did they?

  18. @ Thomas & @ CR

    I think intervention would come long before $ parity.

    The market seems to have accepted that a level between $1.25 and $1.30 is possible / probable – indeed it’s tipping into that as we speak.

    If it falls below $1.25 expect Carney to start using his instruments, we could also see interest rates increase.

    GBP / Euro rates are as (arguably more) important. Though these have fallen very steeply since the beginning of the year, they are still within a 5 year range at present.

    If GBP falls to below Euro 1.10 that could also trigger BoE measures. GBP / Euro parity is a possibility if Eurozone growth is real and sustained and there is an uncertainty-fuelled impact on the UK economy.

    In context that would be a fall from GBP / Euro 1.44 at its peak mid last year.

  19. Valerie: it is sad how many on the centre-left would rather the Tories completely screw up the country (more than has happened already), as it’s the only way they see of their party holding power any time soon.

    Of course, the far left don’t really care as they aren’t interested in governing anyway…

  20. Redrich

    Yes I looked it up, its odd because I remember it being later than that. But its lowest ever level was 1.05 in february 1985, but it quickly bounced back again, I’m not sure it will do this time

  21. Poll of 1000 Tories. What could go wrong?
    If you had asked a week ago, and got Gove in your sample, would he have said Boris Johnson?

  22. Assiduosity

    ” if Eurozone growth is real and sustained and there is an uncertainty-fuelled impact on the UK economy.”

    Yes, but the signs are that Brexit if badly handled by the EU will push both the UK and the EU into recession. The European markets have lost a lot as has the Footsie 250.

  23. Good Afternoon All.
    If I had to bet some money I would bet that the PLP majority would break away to form a reconstituted Labour Party, take the local constituencies with them if they can; have a new leader, who would become the Leader of HM’s Loyal Opposition.
    By September 2016, I think.

  24. POLLTROLL

    I for one previously stated that I would prefer Theresa May for the sake of the country.

    Unfortunately, her performance over the last couple of days has persuaded me that she is not up to the job, despite being less awful than the alternatives.

  25. Just a quick question about etiquette on this site. The last thread was about the Labour leadership and this one is about the Tory leadership, is it recommended that a poster tries to keep on the thread topic? Do two threads run at the same time?

  26. @cambridgerachel

    Redrich

    Yes I looked it up, its odd because I remember it being later than that. But its lowest ever level was 1.05 in february 1985, but it quickly bounced back again, I’m not sure it will do this time

    Its sad that I didn’t have to look it up – I remember it on the news. I hope it doesn’t as all else being equal that will likely lead to interest rate rises, not sure the economy can cope with that atm.

  27. Etiquette is nothing but a form of bourgeois social control to prevent the proletarians from achieving control of society. ;)

  28. @ TOH

    “Yes, but the signs are that Brexit if badly handled by the EU will push both the UK and the EU into recession. The European markets have lost a lot as has the Footsie 250.”

    There’s truth in this as I think we’ve both agreed in the past.

    Though it’s worth pointing out that negotiations are a two way process and could be handled badly by either party.

    Also, the EU is 44% of UK exports and the UK 8% of EU exports (somewhat higher for France and Germany). The real economy downsides – at least in the short term – of a negative outcome for the UK of negotiations are therefore theoretically higher than for the remainder of the EU.

    Additionally the EU may (and I stress may) benefit from the relocation of certain services and inward investment decisions to within the single market if a negotiation does not result in adequate access for UK-based operations.

    There is the issue of ‘German cars and French cheese’ – that tariffs on imports from these countries and a competitive £ could harm producers in these countries for which the UK is a significant market. However, were markets such as Spain to recover as others here have pointed out, this would be a welcome alternative within the EU.

    Uncertainty is good for no one, but at the moment the currency markets are taking a Euro position against GBP and relatively a $ position against the Euro – though in reality the adjustment in the latter is marginal.

  29. @ Hawthorn

    And love is a bourgeois construct.

  30. Chrislane

    “If I had to bet some money I would bet that the PLP majority would break away to form a reconstituted Labour Party, take the local constituencies with them if they can; have a new leader, who would become the Leader of HM’s Loyal Opposition.
    By September 2016, I think.”

    I think if that did happen you would have labour activists out in force demanding that their former MPs resigned and fought bye elections. 172 bye elections could be quite amusing

  31. @ CR

    “I think if that did happen you would have labour activists out in force demanding that their former MPs resigned and fought bye elections. 172 bye elections could be quite amusing”

    From the very small sample – entirely unscientific – on here, it seems you would probably have different reactions from different sets of Labour activists in different places.

  32. @Cambridgerachel

    Common sense would suggest that people would use multiple threads to discuss the different topics simultaneously.

    In reality that is completely not what happens. The only real use of “old” threads is to continue interminable arguments, and not let them poison the fresh new one.

  33. CAMBRIDGE RACHEL.
    Hello to you, they wont resign the seats (Chiltern Hundreds) and by 2020 a new organisation will be set up.

    Pre 1971 ish the PLP was separate from the ‘Labour Party’ Part of the long road to power the newly named Tony Benn got a change passed by Party Conference to change that situation.

  34. ASSIDUOSITY

    “Though it’s worth pointing out that negotiations are a two way process and could be handled badly by either party.”

    Of course.

    Nice summary, I think the real difference between us, and I don’t think it is large, is that you are more pessimistic about prospects for the UK than for the EU post Brexit.

    By the way I meant to post that I very much agreed with your post about Wales on the last thread. There does seem to be a strong upsurge in the cultural traditions.

  35. Chrislane

    David davis resigned his seat and fought it again, though I forget what principle that was for.

    Carwell resigned his seat when he joined Ukip and fought it again on his new party ID

    I believe that at least one of the gang of four did so as well.

    Wouldn’t it be difficult to resist calls to resign and fight a bye election on their new party ID?

  36. As the problem of etiquette came up … A bit long …

    Song about the etiquette by István Vass

    The etiquette book
    is useful to teach you that
    under no circumstance
    you should eat fish with a knife
    but the etiquette book has no rules on
    what’s better to kill fellow humans:
    cannon, gas or bayonet.
    Only the dead are good in etiquette

    The etiquette book
    is useful to teach you
    the righ manner with ladies
    when you are in high society
    but the etiquette book has no rules on
    how to respect mothers with children
    when the house bombed on them.
    Only the dead are good in etiquette

    The etiquette book
    is useful to teach you
    for what occasion you should wear
    A suit, or a dinner jacket
    but the etiquette book has no rules on
    the right manner when your body
    is overrun by lice
    Only the dead are good in etiquette

    The etiquette book
    is useful to teach you
    when you should wear court shoes
    and when the street ones
    but the etiquette book has no rules on
    what footwear you should wear
    when both of your legs are blown away.
    Only the dead are good in etiquette

  37. Mark Carney pops up again and immediately there is the usual negative effect. The first job of the new PM will need to appoint a quieter, more reserved Governor, I feel.

  38. Much to the disappointment of Monsieur Hollande no doubt:

    “At a separate hearing of the Treasury select committee, leading constitutional lawyers revealed that the French government legal service has informed the French government that the UK would be entitled to rescind a notice to withdraw even though it had invoked article 50.”

    This is now becoming the common positions, and is very interesting as it gives the UK very great flexibility in terms of its position within the EU. However, Prof Dougan, Liverpool University, who seems rather in vogue at the moment, pointed out that:

    ” any UK application to join Norway as a signatory to the European economic agreement – a means of maintaining access to the EU single market – could be vetoed by any single one of the remaining 27 EU member states, the four members of the European free trade area (EFTA) and the European parliament, meaning 31 different institutions or states could block the UK signing the EEA.”

    What is given with one hand is taken away with the other.

    Acquiring EEA ‘membership’ might be a much more difficult task for the next Conservative leader.

    However, there seems to be no means by which the UK can actually be forced out of the EU without an agreement, even after Article 50 is invoked as if the terms are not satisfactory the UK can revoke and, presumably, invoke again with an additional 2 years.

    Unless someone gets a grip on the process it could go on for years and years, and we may well have a General Election before Brexit – in 2020!

    I wonder if Conservative MPs and members will be paying much heed to this wranglings and if it will influence their choices.

    ‘Remainer’ MPs may want the whole thing to be kicked into the long grass, ‘Brexit’ MPs and the membership may opt for someone to get the whole thing over with before inertia almost inevitably sets in, and uncertainty becomes the new normal.

  39. Fascinating piece of research, how interesting.

  40. @ TOH

    “I think the real difference between us, and I don’t think it is large, is that you are more pessimistic about prospects for the UK than for the EU post Brexit.”

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I don’t think our positions really are that far apart. I am probably more pessimistic, perhaps cautious would be a better word, in the short to medium term.

    I have a sense that the world is generally moving towards an increasingly protectionist and economic bloc-orientated trading structure, if this is the case, I think things could be tough for the UK.

    Longer term, we are ingenious, have strengths in certain key sectors: pharmaceuticals, defence, aviation, creative industries, tech content and financial and professional services that could see us thrive, especially in a more open global market. But I fear now is a risky time to be embarking on such an adventure – if I am proved wrong in this regard, no one will be happier than me.

    “By the way I meant to post that I very much agreed with your post about Wales on the last thread. There does seem to be a strong upsurge in the cultural traditions.”

    Indeed. People too often confuse national identity with nation state. It is possible to have one without the other.

  41. “Acquiring EEA ‘membership’ might be a much more difficult task for the next Conservative leader.”

    I for one would hope for a new PM who doesn’t go down that route. If we’re going for EEA membership, it means paying contributions to the EU budget, and accepting free movement, without any involvement in EU decision making.

    That is not what the 52% voted for. Any Tory government doing that will see the rise and rise of UKIP.

  42. The 52% voted for a whole plethora of different reasons. Some of the 52% would be more than happy with a Norway style deal.

  43. poll troll
    Valerie: it is sad how many on the centre-left would rather the Tories completely screw up the country (more than has happened already), as it’s the only way they see of their party holding power any time soon.
    ————————————————————–
    I don’t know if you mean me? I certainly don’t want the country to go into economic decline.
    I can remember when GB was known as the ‘sick man of Europe’. I don’t want to return to those days.

  44. @ Laszlo

    Interesting poem.

    The poet, it seems, had an extraordinary life during which he made many journeys – and escaped others.

  45. Very interesting indeed on the ability to withdraw an A50 notice.

    I have thought for a while, that if this is legally kosher, then a TM Premiership might well go to the country with a Referendum on an ” unnacceptable” deal with EU-and recommend Remain.

  46. ASSIDUOSITY

    Thanks for the last post I think it is a very fair statement of the relatively small differnce between us on this issue.

    “But I fear now is a risky time to be embarking on such an adventure – if I am proved wrong in this regard, no one will be happier than me.”

    of course I agree with that but when the chance for BREXIT came many of us just had to seize it.

  47. @ ASSIDUOSITY

    So, Brexit doesn’t happen when it happens, and it happens, when it doesn’t – depending on political processes.

    Great for having a lot of angry people – for various reasons.

  48. @ David Carrod

    “That is not what the 52% voted for.”

    The problem is we have no idea what the 52% voted for.

    We know they voted against continuing membership of the EU, but that is as far as the proposition went.

    That’s why I am of the view that whatever deal is struck should be subject to some form of public ratification – referendum or General Election.

    Otherwise, it might not just be UKIP but a whole range of splinter organisations based on discontent – one way and the other – that build up a head of steam.

    A collective decision was taken to withdraw, a collective decision should now be taken where to go next. If this fails to happen the matter will never be closed, the resentments will fester and infect our body politic going forward, precisely when we should be concentrating on the economy and social issues.

  49. @Assiduosity: the EFTA has already said it welcomes any prospective UK application for membership. I wouldn’t expect a veto from any of the 4 EFTA countries then. On the other hand, it appears to me that the EU wouldn’t oppose an EEA deal for the UK, especially considering that would suit the economic interests of Germany and other northern European countries with strong trade links wih the UK.

    Having said that though, it is politically unfeasible for the EU to offer an EEA deal to the UK with conditions that appear to be more favourable than those that currently apply to Norway or Switzerland. It may well be the case that the UK won’t accept such conditions and will choose to negotiate a Canada-like free trade deal with the EU instead of full EEA membership. Such trade deal would take, however, many years to negotiate and would probably prolong the UK recession.

  50. @ Colin

    “I have thought for a while, that if this is legally kosher, then a TM Premiership might well go to the country with a Referendum on an ” unnacceptable” deal with EU-and recommend Remain.”

    I think that’s a possibility. I’m sure the likes of Hammond, Osborne, Morgan a few grandees and big money backers would support this.

    Equally, I wonder what Boris Johnson is up to backing Leadsom. I don’t believe in his Pauline conversion for one moment – never have – so does he hope that she goes in, guns blazing, and comes back with a spectacularly (from his perspective) bad deal that he and others can undermine from the back benches?

    I could be wrong, Boris may now be absolutely committed to the Brexit cause, but his column in the DT of last week didn’t seem to suggest that.

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