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. CAMBRIDGERACHEL

    You did give that impression given your apparent wish to maintain Corbyn, rather than have a leadership contest that could provide a soft-left leader.

    ROLY

    You are correct, it could be BS in which case she will not be PM for very long.

  2. Another good day on the markets, Footsie 100 up to yet another post Brexit high, and the Footsie 250 recovering well although still below it’s pre Brexit level. The £ was up a touch against the Euro and Dollar and over 3% up against the Yen.

  3. @Tankred
    ‘Because the core of Tory support has traditionally come from Christians. The Church of England used to be known as the Tory party at prayer, and this tradition is still strong. ‘

    Many would dissent from that view and go so far as to suggest that the Tories are in reality the least Christian of the major parties.It is surely significant that nowadays very few clergymen appear to identify with the Tories – most are Labour or LibDem. Thatcherism ,in particular, with its emphasis on individualism became associated with pure selfishness and ‘looking after number 1’, whilst at the same time callously adding to the suffering of the poor and dispossessed. Many clergymen viewed her as little short of evil and would certainly have sympathy with those in society who labelled her as an AntiChrist figure.
    On the other hand , there are others who view Socialism as being the practical application of core Christian principles.

  4. ROLY

    The greater number of six pro-business/pro-European Tories would stop her.

    Political academics describe this as the internalisation of opposition.

    If had your views, I would be defecting to UKIP right now.

  5. You have to admit the Tories are ruthless and efficient.

    Brexit wins
    Cameron resigns immediately
    Candidates have to confirm within a few days
    First ballot a few days later
    A few more days and new leader anointed

    Compare it to the Labour shambles. I know it’s partly because ol’ Corby hasn’t resigned, but it really is a massive contrast. If they can’t run their own party, how could they run the country? Or indeed a p***-up in the proverbial brewery?

  6. TOH

    Not surprising, considering that hard Brexit has just been kicked into Outer Space,

  7. TOH

    Not unsurprising since the level of uncertainty of the next PM has fallen, plus a new PM in by tomorrow instead of waiting until September.

    Anyone who was willing to take on that risk, just got paid for it and early too.

  8. HAWTHORN
    If I had yours, I would be going to North Korea. However, I am and always will be a Tory. Also, you should not take posts to seriously when faced with 20,000 Labourites.

  9. ROLY

    “20,000 Labourites.”

    Or as you might say “Zulus, thousands of them”.

    You have just had your Battle of Isandhlwana, not Rorke’s Drift.

  10. Tend to go with Rollo here.

    Never believe a campaign or accession speech from anyone, let alone a Tory.

    ‘Greenest government ever’ and ‘stop banging on about Europe’ are two phrases that spring to mind.

    I do wonder if anyone might say to Cammo ‘you were the future once….’

  11. Hawthorn

    Sounds like you think it’ll be the externalisation of the internal opposition.

    I’m not sure on the scale or scope of defections to UKIP and a shift in the balance of politics but I would be surprised to not see a number of defections in this parliament.

    The other side of the coin is how many people who were put off the Tory party due to their right flank will engage with the party?

  12. Hawthorn

    My support for Corbyn is based more on the principal of party democracy than support for his policies. If Liz kendle was leader and faced the same sort of thing, I’d support her as well even though I’m not a fan of her approach. The correct approach was to start a leadership challenge, gaining 172 nominations would have been message enough to the members. But trying to deny the members a voice is disrespectful

  13. PETE B.
    Hello to you.
    You will know that Labour has had few leaders who wanted to win power through elections.

  14. I think what you’ll see is a period of external Tory unity whilst internally there are intense discussions about where the party will go, both on Brexit and on wider issues.

    I think the hyperbole about May is probably a result of people believing their own propaganda. Because she’s the Home Secretary, the left have to potray her as some sort of neo-fascist authoritarian. In fact, she trod very gently (too gently, probably) on migration, attacked the police and has a reputation for being very rigid about the boundaries of what intrusive surveillance she will agree to in her quasi-judicial decision making role.

    Because she has lasted so long at the Home Office, I think people have lost the ability to frame her in any other kind of light. Remember, as Tory chairman, she was regarded as a centrist and modernizer, and was part of the movement that tried to soften the edges of the Tories.

    As for Brexit, I think she’s being pretty straight about this. No continuation of freedom of movement, as it currently stands, will be tolerated. Either the EEA rules on the Single Market are varied for us, or we won’t be joining the EEA. Now there could be compromise, with controls on free movement rather than it’s complete abolition, but I very much doubt that what we end up with will cause very many Tories to defect.

    Remember also that euroscepticism and being “right wing” are not necessarily coterminous. As for one am at the very wet end of the blue spectrum, but voted Leave. I am getting to quite like the turn of events.

  15. @GRAHAM

    Thatcher was the first Tory PM to divert from the tradition of ‘high Toryism’ which had been long associated with the C of E. And let’s not forget that the C of E has been getting more and more leftist since the 1950s. The current association of Anglicanism with the left is a relatively recent phenomenon – I don’t see the same with Catholicism.
    Many of Thatcher’s associates were Jews, e.g. Keith Joseph, Leon Brittan and various others, so it could be argued that many of her principles were based more on Judaism than Christianity.

  16. NEILA

    It is possible that Theresa May could go for leaving the single market so maintaining restriction of movement, and use Ordoliberal policy to promote import substitution. However, I cannot see the City backing that. It would also take a lot more than five years to pay off (all of which would be painful) so I cannot see her being able to implement it even if she called a snap election.

    ALEC

    It was the campaign speech made her sound like Idi Amin, which is the part I am discounting.

    We shall of course have to Wait and See.

  17. Alec

    Yes I do remember all the BS from other times, I never believed it then, I didnt even believe the Francis of Assisi stunt. But somehow I do believe this at least to some extent and I’m not given to wishful thinking where tories are concerned. However I might be suffering from PTS given the events of the last two weeks

  18. Neil A,
    “As for Brexit, I think she’s being pretty straight about this. No continuation of freedom of movement, as it currently stands, will be tolerated.”

    Has she actually said that? As far as I could tell she just said “brexit means brexit” but no more detail than that.

  19. @Cambridge Rachel

    I think that being informed you had lost the confidence of a majority of your party, and would not be able to become PM even if your party won the election, would be a strong cue that it was time to resign. Democracy is at the ballot box, across the nation. If this were truly about democracy, it would be conducted as a public primary. It’s not democracy when you have to pay a fee to participate.

  20. It is hardly likely that any politician in the UK would start an import-substitution economic policy (beyond marketing, British beef, British furniture, etc.).

  21. Neil A

    My boyfriend certainly thinks May was too soft at the home office

  22. Angela Eagle: “Now I’m going to take a few questions from our friends in the media… is there anyone from the BBC? ”

  23. Chris Lane
    Yes indeed. Thanks for reminding me.

  24. The LP can get into an even bigger mayhem – people over the water seem to be really angry. The motion for next Friday is for no confidence in AE with an allowance in the phrasing of the motion for deselection. Merseyside has some experience in doing these things (even if at the behest of Blarites).

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

  25. “people over the water”

    Americans? Continentals?

  26. Hawthorn

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

    Not quite sure what you mean but May has made it clear that Brexit means Brexit and that includes controlling immigration. Presumably you feel the EU will go along with that, interesting thought. I hope your right.

    As to the Market today it is just following the trend of the last few days.

    Alan

    Certainly it has been possible to make money recently following Brexit. I took good profits last week.

  27. TOH,
    “Not quite sure what you mean but May has made it clear that Brexit means Brexit and that includes controlling immigration”

    Sorry to repeat myself but …when did May mention immigration, or *any* specific details about Brexit?

  28. Hi all

    May was asked at her launch regarding balance of single market v freedom of movement. She made it clear that it was more important to restrict freedom of movement.

  29. Jay blanc

    £3 to be a supporter is not a big barrier to participation, of course £45 a year is much more of a barrier. Most of expected the party to do away with the 3 pound supporter thing seeing as it worked exactly opposite to what was intended. But its still there, so in essence we have a primary election which is privately funded. In the states the primaries are publicly funded.

    If enough labour voters care about angela eagle leading the party they can sign up as £3 supporters and vote for her, if she wins I’ll support her

    Thinking about it almost everyone in the country is eligible to vote in the labour leadership election. Correct me if I’m wrong but the only barrier to becoming a £3 supporter is being a member of another party or working for another party. Potential selectorate could be as much as 40 million? All you have to do is pay the same as a big mac!

    If you don’t want Corbyn to be leader go out and sign people up, its really that easy

  30. NEIL A
    Exactly , May’s clear stance on Brexit and immigration was quite clear. I’m not a Tory but I suspect your penultimate paragraph is correct.

  31. @ Pete B

    Sorry for the Liverpool colloquialism- people on the other side of the Mersey – it is a very confused differentiatiation of the identities (the reorganisation of the boundaries of constituencies in Merseyside failed on this)

  32. Couper2802, do you have the specific words she used?

  33. Owen Smith joins the fray.

  34. May talked tough on immigration before she had her hands on the crown.

  35. Ok, I’ve found her words myself:

    ““In relation to the single market and the negotiations: we need to get the best deal…But I am very clear that the Brexit vote was also a message that we need to bring control into free movement. Free movement cannot continue as it has done up till now.”

    …which means? What? She didn’t mention any reductions or freezes, and she didn’t even rule out an increase. Why not?

    Her wording is very similar to what Hannan said in the Newsnight interview just after the referendum, and he wanted a Norway-style deal with “a measure of control”.

  36. Barbazenzero

    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…

  37. MIKE N

    I suppose there would be the question of why with so much cross party support for an election isn’t the government using the processes set out in the FTPA?

  38. EDGE OF SEAT

    This is what she said today:

    “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.”

  39. @Edge of Seat

    “Her wording is very similar to what Hannan said in the Newsnight interview just after the referendum, and he wanted a Norway-style deal with “a measure of control”.

    We all know what that means.

  40. @Edge of Seat

    I’m not sure how you could increase on “free movement” short of actually paying the fares of migrants, a la post-war Australia.

    I don’t doubt that May’s negotiating position will not be “no EU migration, full stop”. I also think it would be a pretty weak negotiating position if it was broadcast in detail, in advance, in order to satisfy the curiosity of polling geeks like us.

  41. @TOH

    “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.”

    Well yes. Unlimited freedom of movement is dead, but it is also very likely to fall away at EU/EEA level pretty soon, as it was never intended to operate in the way that it has done.

    It sounds very much like caps to me.

  42. @Roland

    I took you for a sophisticate who might have been alluding to more than one thing at once!! Is that so wrong?…

  43. @Cambridge Rachel

    “£3 to be a supporter is not a big barrier to participation”

    How strange to hear the idea, that a monetary fee is not a barrier to participation, come from a Labour supporter who is apparently on the left of the party.

    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. It’s not Democracy, it’s a members association taking a vote.

  44. @Neil A

    “As for Brexit, I think she’s being pretty straight about this. No continuation of freedom of movement, as it currently stands, will be tolerated. Either the EEA rules on the Single Market are varied for us, or we won’t be joining the EEA. Now there could be compromise, with controls on free movement rather than it’s complete abolition, but I very much doubt that what we end up with will cause very many Tories to defect”

    —————

    A load more may defect if we lose our banking as a consequence!!

  45. Alan

    No PM is going to invite and deliberately lose a confidence vote (IMO). Much easier to repeal the FTPA. Indeed, TM might even be tempted to do this if she was sure that Lab etc would prevent it in the HoL – it could be presented as TM wanting to obtain the support of the public to implement Art 50 but Lab seeking to stop this.

    Anyway, I don’t see TM doing this. She will lead and command the support of Con MPs. Unless things get rough with Brexit negotiations it will be GE 2020.

  46. “It sounds very much like caps to me.”

    ————

    Maybe. But maybe after they’ve snaffled our banking…

  47. The EEA has a ’emergency break’ clause on freedom of movement, that would probably satisfy May’s announcement that it can’t continue “in it’s current form”. So nothing has really changed, she’s still looking to EEA membership.

  48. MIKE N

    There is also the method of getting the house to agree to an early election? The most direct way to an early election in the FTPA.

    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.

  49. @Jayblanc

    “The EEA has a ’emergency break’ clause on freedom of movement, that would probably satisfy May’s announcement that it can’t continue “in it’s current form”. So nothing has really changed, she’s still looking to EEA membership.”

    Yes, but it’s not easy to implement and emergencies by their very nature are limited in time. A much broader agreement on caps/restrictions will be needed.

  50. 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.

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