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. Thank god Andrea Leadsom has gone now we can get on doing what needs to be done – just rejoined the Tory party after 25 years – I am sick to death of the likes of IDS,Cash,Redwood and their ilk and have long wished they would join another party – they have been a plague on my party for too long – I generally campaign in Labour marginals or strong Labour seats never have seen one of them at the latter helping out.

    Of course I am very much hoping Labours NEC support Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate that together with the boundary changes – the Scottish Electoral position and UKIPS intervention should see Labour out of the picture for a very long time.

    Sorry bit of a Tory bias but the blog does seem heavy on the Labour side.

  2. @Alan
    “…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 (e.g. see SDP and Libdems at their peak). If Labour are in disarray as well, who knows what will happen?

    Lib-Dems are keen on a new GE and I reckon Labour are too, as are the SNP MPs. I think she would get the support needed.

    I’ve tried 3 times to respond but each one has triggered automod despite zero objectionable language, so this time I’ll keep it very brief.

    The LDs might want an early GE to try a rejoin EU approach in suitable dormitory towns, but they have very little to lose.

    Lab could be inept enough to go for it before they’ve kissed and made up internally but they would be certifiable to do so.

    Unless there’s a broad left alliance with Lab and the Greens I can’t see how it would benefit the SNP, who are probably hoping they have fought their last UK GE.

    A confirmatory GE once the exit deal is public might be a different matter entirely.

  4. MIKE N
    surely her govt would introduce an emergency Bill to repeal the FTPA? Or is there some provision preventing this?

    The HoL, where Con don’t have a majority would have to agree. As pointed out already, repeal wasn’t in their manifesto so the Parliament Act wouldn’t be applicable.

  5. PETE B

    Labour are in disarray and they are the one party who will be heavily disadvantaged by a UKIP surge yet Labour are wanting another GE.

    It’s like Turkeys voting for Christmas.

    Now that the Tories have a new leader and are about to boot Camo out from N10 all the spotlight’s will turn to the bingo hall leadership campaign of Angela Eagle…I mean this is prime time stuff.

    The Eagle has landed,…all eyes are on the eagle.

  6. @Alan Christie
    The ‘vast majority of people in England and Wales’ DIDN’T vote Leave; approximately 53% voted Leave and approximately 47% voted Remain – that is pretty much the narrowest majority you can get!

    That being said, clearly the Remain campaign failed in two areas in respect of the future:
    – firstly convincing enough floating voters of the flaws and contradictions in the Leave campaign
    – secondly, convincing enough floating voters that the uncertainties described by the Leave campaign about the future of the EU were spurious.

    I’m sure the appropriate pundits will be having a field day for years trying to explain why the messages on both sides were received with such different levels of credulity. There are lessons for political campaigning in decades to come.

  7. All parties in these circumstances say they want an election – most often when they do not want one – as in 2007 – the Conservatives were indeed spooked that Brown might call one.

    Mrs May certainly moved the rhetoric today into the realms of inclusivity – but saying you’re inclusive and being inclusive are two different matters. Still it interests me that the political agenda has clearly moved over the last 12 months – Corbyn here and Sanders and Trump in the USA and May’s repositioning is perhaps recognising this tilt in the public mood towards lets say more interventionist and less laissez faire government…

    Brexit may well mean however that there will be an early election – perhaps next year when the terms of leaving will have clarified…I’m not convinced that Mr Cameron will be the last Conservative PM to be defenestrated by Europe. I’m also note Mrs May’s part in the referendum was almost as low key as Mr Corbyn’s…

  8. @ Barbanzero

    “could be inept enough to go for it before they’ve kissed and made up internally but they would be certifiable to do so.”

    Apparently their election co-ordinator issued the warning of impending elections – finance, manpower, etc.

  9. Allan C

  10. LASZLO
    Apparently their election co-ordinator issued the warning of impending elections – finance, manpower, etc.

    Yes – the BBC report that on their live politics feed. The individual in that post more or less has to say that in the circumstances, I suspect, but it doesn’t mean they’ll agree to it should May ask for their help.

    According to the same feed, May has recently said:
    We got this huge issue of negotiating the Brexit, we’ve got the concerns about stability and the economy and the future of the UK, and I think if we were to have an early general election it would just introduce another destabilising factor. I don’t think that would be good for the economy, and I don’t think it would be good for people and their jobs.

    @Alan Christie
    “The ‘vast majority of people in England and Wales’ DIDN’T vote Leave; approximately 53% voted Leave and approximately 47% voted Remain – that is pretty much the narrowest majority you can get!”

    The gap is 6%, nearly 2 million more voted leave than remain. The result in England & Wales was clear.

    You highlighted two flaws in the remain campaign, I will highlight two on the leave side.

    1…UKIP hijacking the immigration agenda

    2..Leave having no visible presence in Scotland….

    Had UKIP not hijacked part of the leave campaign and leave had a bigger visible presence in Scotland then I reckon the final leave result would had been much bigger.

  12. The BBC also report on their live feed an “urgent question” re Article 50 from Labour’s Helen Goodman:
    Cabinet Office Minister John Penrose tells MPs that the “government believes [Article 50] is a royal prerogrative issue”.

    The BBC add:
    A group of unnamed business people and academics represented by the law firm Mishcon de Reya has launched a legal challenge to require a future prime minister to get the approval of Parliament before triggering Article 50.

  13. Actually I can’t see TM countenancing an early GE-whatever the perceived Party advantage.

    The public would react badly to yet another major political choice presented to them.

    She is the Steady & Safe candidate. She destroys her USP if she introduces yet more uncertainty into an uncertain environment.

  14. To the earlier discussion about representing the voters or the party (by the MPs) – and the latter being a characteristic of one-party states.

    Well, it’s a bit more complicated.

    It use to be the practice (it may still be) of the German SDP that MPs had to sign an undated resignation statement which could (though not necessarily) be triggered by voting against the party line. I guess it is because of the multi member constituencies.

    The U.K. is complicated – there is constitution, historic legacies in favour of the legitimacy by the voters – but the party name is on the ballot paper, and normally the party pays for the fee and the campaign costs, which, at least to some degree, legitimacy by the party.

  15. Actually I don’t think that a GE is on the cards for some time (unless some of the Conservatives and some of Labour go mad).

    The main reason is the uncertainty that needs to be calmed, but also, I think, the HoC is a bit taken aback by the schisms, radicalisation, etc.

  16. Cameron just announced he’s leaving on Wednesday afternoon, when Brenda gets back to Buck House.

  17. @Allan Christie
    I’m not saying the result is in any way unclear – just that it was not by a ‘vast majority’; I mean, it’s a woolly phrase at best, but surely you would need at least 65-35 to be able to say the majority was ‘vast’?

    On your points about campaign weaknesses, I agree with one and disagree with another; I agree Leave should have been able to mount a more robust campaign in Scotland, but – frankly – I think UKIP won Leave the vote by being unabashed about maxing out on immigration as an issue – without that I think Remain would have squeaked home.

    My point was more about messages and was not meant to be partisan (though I could have been clearer) – regardless of whether the messages on either side were valid, Remain failed to get their messages believed whereas Leave achieved credibility – why?

    My personal thesis is that it was a combination of Leave’s messages being more directly relevant to individuals and simpler to understand.

  18. New PM by Wednesday evening Cameron has said. Eagle must be flapping (no pun intended) that her leadership launch has been booted right off the news agenda.

  19. So May calls a no confidence vote in her government, Tories are whipped to vote no confidence or possibly just abstain. May goes to Queen and resigns, Queen then asks JC to form a government, he says ‘no problem luv, and orders the removal van’. Then JC invokes article 50 (closet Leaver) and heads of to Brussels to negotiate our exit…..

  20. Laszlo

    “The main reason is the uncertainty that needs to be calmed, but also, I think, the HoC is a bit taken aback by the schisms, radicalisation, etc.”

    Well I’m pretty shell shocked and I’m nowhere near the action


    Had david Cameron not called a referendum he did not have to call we wouldn’t be discussing it here. History is full of ifs and maybes. In the end, I think the result was far better for leave than the leave camp would ever have expected. However, how you can call 53% ‘decisive’ baffles me – the 1975 result was decisive as the majority was comprised of 2/3 of voters.
    Leave won because they ran a very slick campaign, had the backing of most of the press, and were openly prepared to lie and lie blatantly. The remain camp always seemed to be a bunch of losers right from the outset – no vision, no positive message, just excuses and apologies.

  22. @AC – “However I have to ask the question..If the EU and what it means was defined by remain then why did that message fail to convince the vast majority of people in England and Wales who voted leave?”

    Well the answer to this one is extremely simple – the Brexit voters thought they could have something better. The fact that whatever this could not be defined was ideal for the Leave campaign.

    If and when the actual Leaev offer becomes firmly defined, Brexit voters may then wish to revisit their choice – no on really knows on this though.

    All speculation on what might or might not happen is just that – speculation. Opinion polls will determine what actually happens, with remainer like May being very keen to sieze on any sign that opinion has shifted.

    The argument over ‘betrayal’ if we have another vote and the result is to remain would be entirely bogus, for anyone who believes in democracy. In effect, they would be saying that democracy on the 23rd June 2016 is the only democracy that matters, and any subsequent democracy would have less legitimacy. This is clearly wrong.

  23. @BigFatRon

    The majority in England outside London was 57%-43%, nearly all English marginals were Leave. There will be no GE prior to Brexit deal, too risky as UKIP would exploit the situation ie ‘Vote UKIP or they will backslide’ and Tories might lose their majority. Plus after the trauma of Leave result, not likely Tories will be so confident in unpredictable times.

    On the vote to leave EU, Tories will unite & will have the DUP onside. There may be a few Tory Rebels but there will probably be more Labour Leavers supporting the Gov’t.

  24. @Allan Christie

    “However I have to ask the question..If the EU and what it means was defined by remain then why did that message fail to convince the vast majority of people in England and Wales who voted leave?”

    1) because David Cameron was the front man of the Remain campaign
    2) Because Leave managed to get 2 huge lies into the public consciousness and brazenly stuck with them and repeated them from first to last (those were that £350 million per week would be spent on the NHS after Brexit; the other being that Turkey would join the EU)

    In contrast the Remain Campaign came up with some rather exaggerated worst case scenarios but always seemed embarrassed to repeat them when challenged. However despite this there was still no “vast majority” in England and Wales for anything…

  25. The mood music from May on economic policy looks to be a move towards some sort of Ordoliberalism.

    Not ideal, but far better than the current situation.

    She could only manage to it with help from the opposition though.

  26. @Barbazenzero

    The government would believe that it a Royal Prerogative issue, wouldn’t they? But there will be massive pressure on May to call a parliamentary vote on the issue – not just from the lawyers and other parties, but by many within her own party as well.

  27. COUPER2802

    Considering JC can’t get a vote of confidence past his own party, what are the chances of him getting one in the HoC?

    FTPA means after a vote of no confidence anyone who wants to become PM needs a vote of confidence in the house within 2 weeks or an election is called.

    I don’t think TM will call a GE, she’ll enjoy a honeymoon period and noone is likely to do anything too troublesome while Brexit is being negotiated and then it’ll be too close to 2020 anyway to play games to engineer an early election.

  28. @couper2802

    “On the vote to leave EU, Tories will unite & will have the DUP onside. There may be a few Tory Rebels but there will probably be more Labour Leavers supporting the Gov’t.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure of the maths. Many Tories could simply abstain rather than vote against and claim that it’s a conscience issue. The vote may be a lot closer than you think. I think a vote is important to remind the PM of the importance of parliament in our democratic process in this age of referendums.

  29. I feel that both the Tory & Labour Parties have been building up to the last few weeks for the last almost 40 years. The Tories split between Europhiles and Eurosceptics, Labour between Socialism & social democracy.

    The Tories have settled the matter & out of the EU has won, they will unite and make the best if it ensuring they hang on to power.

    The Corbyn – Plotter battle may decide whether Labour is socialist or social democratic and perhaps once settle Labour will unite and provide credible opposition.

    Scotland most likely will leave the UK within the next few years, that too is a battle that stared almost 40 years ago, with the first devolution referendum

    There was a rose moon, a midsummer full moon occurs, which personally I am crediting/blaming for recent events.

  30. @Alan

    The fact you didn’t realise I was joking just shows how mad things are becoming. I agree with you no early GE.

  31. @couper2802

    Oh well, give it a month or two and Putin will invade the Baltic states and we’ll have WW3. Then the EU referendum will have been long forgotten. Time to settle down and buy the popcorn for the long show ahead.

    The government would believe that it a Royal Prerogative issue, wouldn’t they?

    A knee-jerk response was only to be expected, but if the legal challenge goes ahead then I suspect they will change their minds rather than risk it being appealed right up to the European courts, which would be embarrassing to put it mildly as well as making it a very time consuming business.

    Would they risk putting the A50 notification in and later becoming a laughing stock by the ECJ ruling it invalid?

  33. @Couper2802
    Well now you are defining a sub-set of England and Wales – and you still can’t get anywhere near the kind of majority that most people would call ‘vast’!

    It’s irrelevant anyway – the vote has been taken and is ‘out’.

    I think you are wrong on the likely outcome of an election – UKIP appear to be fading a bit now, especially without Farage as cheerleader, and Labour are a total shambles; IMHO the Tories will romp home with a large majority if the have the nerve to go for it, with a small increase in Lib Dem seats and maybe UKIP picking up a handful.

    I agree with you, though, that Brexit will certainly pass through the Commons,. especially if there is some element of Single Market retained; enough ‘Remainers’ will feel morally obliged to respect the will of the electorate that it will get a comfortable majority.

  34. Hawthorn

    May’s speech was a renunciation of thatcherism, totally incredible. I’ve seen that some tory commentators has caught up with the fact that thatcherism is a dead end and we have seen some hints that not everyone in the tory party was equally keen on extending and deepening thatchers legacy. But I’m shocked by the apparent depth of the change of direction. I can’t believe that May almost word for word quoted one of my heroes Elizabeth Warren.

    I think you are right, she can’t make good on her words without support from the opposition which makes me think about those rumors over the weekend of conservative and labour MPs joining together to form a new party. Is the aim to drive the more extreme tories out of the party into a new grouping based on Ukip, while the ‘moderate’ labour MPs defect to the tories. Or perhaps something like the National liberals?

    Of course it could be meaningless platitudes, but i hope not. The country is more broken than most realize and we need to move in a different direction.

  35. This outcome just shows what idiots the Blairites were in trying to destroy Ed Miliband. It also shows how poor his leadership was at presentation.

    It looks as though Theresa May has just stolen the Ed Miliband/Will Hutton brand of social market/ordoliberal economic policy lock, stock and barrel.

    If Labour had had the guts and discipline to follow through on Milibandism, then they could be owning this.

    I just Labour can position themselves to pick up the ball if May drops it.

    Either way, it should mean a move away from Thatcherite neo-Liberalism. I don’t really care which party does it as long as it happens.

  36. COUPER2802

    I understood you weren’t entirely serious. The idea of JC trying to get a confidence vote in the HoC amused me.

    I guess I was just expanding on why I thought there would be no early election.

    Even if the awkward squad jump to UKIP in 2019 in the face of Brexit not being “full divorce”, TM won’t be putting any contentious legislation forward at that point in the cycle so could probably work for the remaining year with effectively a minority. That’s assuming the Scotland is still in the UK.

  37. That should read “I just hope”.

    Apologies for my consistently awful typing.


    The silver lining of Brexit is that the Toffs are scared of the Plebs again.

  39. I can’t believe people take what TM has said at face value. She is just trying to be conciliatory to everyone in the hope of building support, but we’ll have to see long term what she intends to do.

  40. @cambridgerachel

    It’s not a new dawn, May’s speech was just like Cameron’s to the Tory Party conference last year. Probably same speech writer. .

  41. @Hawthorn

    ‘It looks as though Theresa May has just stolen the Ed Miliband/Will Hutton brand of social market/ordoliberal economic policy lock, stock and barrel.’

    Sounds far too much like the kind of thing I’d like to see happening, and so I expect it won’t come to pass.

  42. I am not making my judgment based on any personal faith in Theresa May.

    It is just based on a judgment of what a hard-headed Tory pragmatist should do. The Tory Party is reliant on business to be the base of its support. The vast majority will want single market access at all costs. May will have to deliver for them. This means permanently losing the right wing UKIP-leaning Tories due to that not stopping immigration (or only providing a fig-leaf). In other words, the current Tory electoral coalition is broken.

    Therefore the only solution is to properly realign the Tories towards the centre to gain support there and to provide support to Brexit-leaning areas of the country so that the Establishment does not get another good kicking.

    Of course if she fails, a soft-left Labour Party could pick up the ball without being radically different to the Tories on economic policy (as the Overton window would be shifted left).

    Of course, they would need to get rid of a certain mule-headed beardy chap.

    If May went for hard-Brexit, she would be toast.


    I’m a little intrigued that you quote Elizabeth Warren as being a hero of yours.

    I sincerely doubt she would be a hero of Jeremy Corbyn’s.

  44. “Please not. We don’t want a, “50 shades of grey,” thread, thankyou”


    Lol, keen to have fifty shades of speculation about Labour but not others? Imagine that!!…

  45. I think this change in the tory party has been brewing for a while, the 2008 crash got many conservatives thinking after all it was conservative economic policy which caused the crash as they were quite aware. The immediate problem the conservatives had was to deflect the blame away from their constituency, ie, the wealthy. Hence the mending the roof while the sun was shining stuff. But they always knew it wasn’t going to solve the problem, the question was/is how to solve it while keeping as much of the loot as possible.

    Of course many conservatives didn’t see the need to stop the looting and conserve their gains and were dismissive of the prospect of a violent rebalancing. I think this was shattered by the leave vote, its seen as a revolt against the status quo. Many commentators on both sides interpreting it as an expression of anger and despair. This was compounded by the reaction to the attempted coup against Corbyn, although many here gloss over the 130.000 people joining labour, it would have been noted.

    Now we have a combination of a huge static cloud of anger and resentment, all it needs is a lightning rod. The corbyn saga has shown that even unimpressive lightning rods can cause big sparks. The next lightning rod might be highly conducive and could come from the left or the right, the centre has to move fast to prevent a potentially devastating unheaval.

    All of the above is probably nonsense but fun to write

  46. Carfrew
    From your response I’m not sure that you got what I was alluding to. More, Polly Tickle than, political.

  47. Hawthorn
    Yourself and Cambridge Raich seem to believe everything Tory politicians tell you. I agree with Couper 206 whatever. May’s speech’s
    sounds exactly the kind of bullsiht these people always come out with. I well remember the sainted Margaret talking about St Francis of Assisi whilst preparing to debollock Arturo Skargillski.
    Suddenly you guys have decided Theresa May will be the next Rosa Luxemburg. She will be right wing and tough, I’m falling in love again.

  48. Hawthorn

    You mistake me for a hard leftist. But also regardless of her politics Elizabeth Warren is an awesome woman

  49. Roland

    If you are right, I’ll see you on the barricades! Obviously we will be on opposite sides :d

  50. Hawthorn
    Before you say “the opposition wont let her”, other than the sweaties,
    What opposition?

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