This morning’s Times has a new YouGov poll of Conservative party members, asking mainly about Brexit and the party leadership.

Party members are a generally loyal bunch, so as you’d expect all the main players are seen as doing well, though Michael Fallon and David Davis stand out as having the best job approval. While everyone has very positive ratings overall, there are some contrasts between members who voted remain and leave, most obviously in the case of Boris Johnson. 83% of Tory members who voted Leave think Boris is doing well as Foreign Secretary, only 42% of Tory remainers think he is.

Despite the strongly positive ratings for Davis, there are doubts over the Brexit negotiations. 61% of Tory members think the government are doing well, 33% badly. Asked about what the government’s approach should be, 59% agree with Theresa May’s aim of leaving the single market and customs union and negotiating a new deal, 19% would rather just leave immediately with no deal, 12% would rather Britain did remain a member of the single market and customs union, 9% would rather Britain remain a full EU member.

In terms of the details of Brexit Theresa May appears to have some degree of flexibility with her members so long as Britain makes a clean break. 58% of Tory members would think a transition deal was fine (even if it includes payment and following EU rules), 61% think a one-off payment to settle Britain’s financial liabilities is fine too. Trickier would be any ongoing financial payment in return for market access (70% of Tory members would see this as unacceptable) or Britain remaining in the single market (69% would see it as unacceptable).

Looking to May’s future, there is very little appetite for her immediate removal (only 13% of her party members would like her to go now or in the next year), but equally there is relatively little support for her still being around come the next election (only 29%). Most Tory party members would like her to leave after Brexit (38%) or just before the next election (13%).

Who would be a likely successor is unclear. Boris Johnson leads the field as first choice, but only of 23% of members. Second is Ruth Davidson on 19%, third is Jacob Rees-Mogg, suggesting there are actually real party members who think he’d make a good leader, rather than just journos struggling to fill column inches in silly season. David Davis has now dropped to fourth place on 11%, Amber Rudd is on just 6%.

Asked what is most important to them in a leader the vast majority of party members say ability to win an election or competence as Prime Minister, rather than whether they agree with them politically. Their actual preferences paint a different picture though, with consistent differences between Remain and Leave Tories. Tory members who voted Leave say their first choices are Johnson (29%), Rees-Mogg (23%), Davidson (14%), Davis (13%). Tory members who voted Remain say their first choices are Davidson (29%), Rudd (14%), Hammond (11%), Johnson (10%).

YouGov also asked about various potential candidates individually. 58% think Davidson would make a good leader, 56% Johnson, 55% Davis, 42% Rudd, 32% Hammond, 31% Fox, Javid 29%. While the poll included some less high profile figures who have been talked of as potential leaders of the future, most party members didn’t really have an impression of them – 49% said they didn’t know enough about Dominic Raab to have an opinion, 65% said the same about Tom Tugendhat. Notably, of all those asked about Ruth Davidson was the only candidate that both Remain voting Tories and Leave voting Tories thought would make a good leader. It would be an extremely positive sign for a Davidson leadership campaign… if, of course, she had any interest in moving down to Westminster or seeking the job.

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549 Responses to “YouGov poll of Tory party members”

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  1. Andrew111

    “Fascist” seems an entirely appropriate term for the Guardia Civil (who use the fasces as their emblem) and, therefore, for the state that enjoins them to behave with Francoist zeal.

    The government in Madrid, isn’t Fascist. it just holds true to the Falangist principles of Franco.

  2. @ DavWel

    “But the gains in Tory votes in Scotland from 2011 to 2016 are likely to be thrown away by Teresa May`s hard brexit and the insidious stupidity of EVEL.”

    Interesting theory, I’d like to believe it, but how does that square with the rather large poll we had in June where SCon did quite well, and the electorate had already had almost a year to assess TM and her Brexit plans?

  3. Trigguy DavWel

    I doubt that anyone in Scotland was much exercised by EVEL. It’s only function is to stop a UK Government imposing legislation on England (or E&W) that their MPs don’t like.

    I’m assuming that DavWel would like to have a body of Scots MPs loyally trooping through the lobbies to support their government on issues that don’t affect them or their constituents, but I doubt that most Scots voters(other than committed Lab BritNats) thought similarly.

    As to Brexit, we’ll need to wait and see how the UK plans (if that term is appropriate) work out, before we see how Scots voters react to them. I get the strong impression that the current mood is “wait and see”.

  4. Princess Rachel

    Being reported that “700,000 completed ballots were seized by Spanish forces and not included in the count.”

    Claim and counter claim about irregularities, but police stealing completed ballots has to be “irregular” – unless they march under the fasces emblem, I suppose.

  5. I don’t know the total electorate (which is rather important!) but this seems to be the national result (as tweeted by Catalan News)

    Total votes: 2,262,424
    Yes: 2.020.144 (90,09%)
    No: 176.565 (7,87%)
    Blank: 45.586 (2,03%)
    Null: 20.129 (0,89%)

    If the 400 boxes with some 700,000 votes reportedly stolen by the fascists were included,.that would put the turnout at over 50% turnout.

    Even, if the thieves get away with their crime, that should still produce a Yes vote well in excess of the paltry proportion of the electorate that Brexiteers got and claimed to be a mandate to do whatever they wanted!

  6. Old nat

    5.3 million

  7. @Mike Pearce “Alan Johnson is a Blairite. He has always despised. Corbyn. Blaming him for the Brexit vote was what I would expect from him. Johnson would have been better off looking in the mirror and his own underwhelming performance in leading the Remain campaign. You have not demonstrated Corbyn was as of June 2016 ambivalent to remaining within the EU.”

    But it wasn’t just Johnson. He was lambasted from right across the party. I think you’re conveniently forgetting Corbyn’s call for immediately triggering A50 and then the 80% vote of no-confidence from the PLP who were furious with his performance.

    Corbyn, whatever your thoughts about his leadership or political beliefs (and I personally think he’s a poor leader and disagree with his politics), can’t be accused of not being consistent with his beliefs. To suggest he has suddenly decided that the EU is compatible with his Bennite vision for the UK despite all his actions to the contrary amounts to political ostrichism.

  8. The only way forward is to have an officially sanctioned and internationally monitored referendum, the result of which is binding. Otherwise complete and utter chaos will ensue

  9. Sea change

    Of course Corbyn called for immediate implementation, it was the politically astute thing to do. The Tories were bewildered, it was time to press the attack. Also the best chance to stop Brexit was to allow no room for the tories to breathe or collect their thoughts.

    When Corbyn said that I thought it was utterly brilliant but the idiots in the PLP had other ideas. I truly believe that Brexit could have been killed in the first few weeks if the PLP had supported Corbyn and put the govt on the spot.

  10. The plp thought their might be an immediate general election after the brexit vote and were desperate to get shot of Corbyn – so they used his referendum performance as a – pretty thin – excuse.
    I dont recall much criticism of Corbyn during the actual referendum campaign – after the disaster the hit slab after the scots referendum, it was a pretty reasonable tactic not to campaign alongside Cameron – and corybns campaigning was pretty much ignored by the media anyway.

  11. as for spain.

    just wow. Madrid has properly lost its s—. This is footage of the gaudia civil battering their way through a crowd to close the polling station in a small village. the villages all have their hands in the air – but they lay into them with batons and cs gas. This is just ordinary catalans – not exactly rent a mob – and this was happening all over Catalonia today.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XTHV2TixRI

    i ve seen a lot of clips and in nearly all of them the people have their hands in their air or are passively resisting – clearly this was an agreed tactic they stuck to all over. The contrasting brutality of the riot police is shocking.

    Has a modern state ever been so violently incompetent? gobsmacking. its pretty much guaranteed the spain will now break up – it just a question of how bloody Madrid wants to make that process.

  12. Reggieside

    I saw Corbyn on tv talking to an audience, I thought he was very good. Reasonable and serious. In contrast the official labour campaign had me screaming at the radio. I know I’m my own mind who was responsible for the No vote and it wasn’t Corbyn.

    Corbyn isn’t as red as that bl00dy bus!

  13. Reggieside

    It won’t just be Catalonia, Basque country will be next and then there are 5 more regions of Spain with independence movements. The Bavarians must be watching careful as they were denied the possibility of an independence by the same kind of constitutional article that they have in Spain. Support is only 25% but could well be on the way up after the election and then the events in Spain.

  14. PassTheRockPlease (7:40am 1/10)
    “The system is so suspect that rises in NMW severely effect care homes and it safing.”

    I’m sorry. You probably make a very valid point but I don’t know what NMW or safing mean.

    ————————————————–
    Reggieside
    I think that the events in Catalonia could be the start of a lot of unrest and rioting across Europe, a lot of it triggered by uncontrolled immigration.

    G’night all.

  15. pete b

    what has “uncontrolled immigration” got to do with Catalonia? Is there an award for the shoehorn of the day?

  16. @Reggieside

    Well it’s not long after midnight so a bit early to be giving the award for today, but Pete could be in pole position!!

  17. Over at the Beeb, they are saying this…

    “His remarks last week about capitalism’s “crisis of legitimacy” had already prompted the prime minister to intervene, just a day later, with her defence of the market economy.

    And now up steps Philip Hammond with his own take on the same song.
    The second is the glimpse it offers into an internal Conservative debate about how to take on Mr Corbyn.

    Accept he is at least partially onto something, and tack a little left.
    Or stick to a full-throated defence of the free, albeit regulated, market.

    The chancellor is also set to use his conference speech to mount a defence of free market economics, which he claims is coming under assault from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.”

  18. Now what is wrong with the picture uncritically painted by the Beeb in the post immediately above?

    The point is that there is a myth – perhaps propagated by liberal media – that capitalism is the same as free markets, and that if you are for capitalism you must inevitably be for free markets.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Because the point of capitalism, is to keep on accruing capital, and you may well keep going until you have vanquished, obstructed or bought out all competition. Left unchecked, capital can tend toward monopoly, depending on the sector. Some sectors are harder to corner than others.

    So Capital may frequently try and thwart free markets. I’m not sure about Corbyn’s position on the matter but it is entirely consistent to be FOR a free market while having issues with capital. And similarly, you can be for capital and be not so keen on free markets.

  19. REGGIESIDE
    “Has a modern state ever been so violently incompetent?”
    Yes,the British Indian administration in the last days of the Raj.

  20. It is so like the 30s now as to be uncanny.

    God help us.

  21. MARK W
    Thanks. That was good to know.
    Marr’s interview with Mrs May was, I thought, a defining moment in the examination by the fourth estate – which he understands and executes so well – of her ability to govern or to conduct negotiations over Brexit.
    The relevance and effectivenessof that examination is not to be measured by how many of the electorate watch the programme but who they are within the other estates in the governance of the country – how they might react, to her palpable inability to respond to or to engage in a rational or informative debate on critical questions, for example on the rights of EU citizens in post-Brexit Britain.
    If I were, among the parties to government of the country, the Queen, the leader of the CBI or the TUC, or the editor of a broadsheet newspaper, or indeed of the Sun, I would be asking is she similarly inept,lost for thought or words, and out of touch, in discussion with Juncker or Barnier, or with her own Cabinet? If I were the Chairman of the Conservative Party, I would be seriously considering whether I should be conferring with her and others to ask her to resign, or, if she did not go, I would mysel,f on this evidence of the effectieness of the Party in government, resign.

  22. @SEACHANGE

    Friends saw Corbyn at Bristol during the EU referendum campaign what was interesting was that there was no real interest by the media even the local media was not really concerned.

    It became very clear that the media both print and broadcast had decided this was a blue on blue affair. Indeed Corbyn was relegated to the sideline even the Alan had less air time than leave labour MPs

    I believe the backlash was always going to be on Corbyn since this was going to be another attempt to oust him. Indeed it was thought that in the early days of the result he would be gone.

    I felt that his immediate call for pushing article 50 was mischievous but in many ways would have made no difference to the situation that we currently have. having got to this situation we are in now I actually believe it would have been better to have called it earlier than later since the Tories have spent the majority of the time debating with themselves what brexit really means.

    Lastly I would agree that if Labour were in power they would be in the same position I think the rhetoric would not have been as bad but I fear that the stumbling blocks may have been less the money but what access means. I believe there is less labour MP that are talking of no deal and WTO compared to Tories

  23. AW
    ” John Pilgrim Your comment is awaiting moderation. ”
    I give up. Help.

  24. Princess Rachel: Of course Corbyn called for immediate implementation, it was the politically astute thing to do. The Tories were bewildered, it was time to press the attack. Also the best chance to stop Brexit was to allow no room for the tories to breathe or collect their thoughts.

    When Corbyn said that I thought it was utterly brilliant but the idiots in the PLP had other ideas. I truly believe that Brexit could have been killed in the first few weeks if the PLP had supported Corbyn and put the govt on the spot.

    I struggle to see that. An explanation might be interesting.

    passtherockplease: I felt that his immediate call for pushing article 50 was mischievous but in many ways would have made no difference to the situation that we currently have. having got to this situation we are in now I actually believe it would have been better to have called it earlier than later since the Tories have spent the majority of the time debating with themselves what brexit really means.

    The moment he opened his mouth with that, I lost trust in him. Perhaps any mischievousness got lost in the gravity of the situation.

  25. The point is that there is a myth – perhaps propagated by liberal media – that capitalism is the same as free markets, and that if you are for capitalism you must inevitably be for free markets.

    Agree Carfew but is also misunderstood by many on e left and there is a danger of creeping Statism in LP policy.

    I genuinely believe that Corbyn is an outcomes driven politician when it comes to public ownership but have a worry that the party could appear to be adopting the opposite of the Tories simplistic private good public bad assumption in favour of a public good private bad paradigm.

  26. @JimJam

    Well yes, it’s a possibility. However there are reasons to think they might be beyond a lot of that, as I have outlined previously.

    Firstly, McDonnell and his I’ll were somprepared to compromise that they let Blair have the reigns in the first place. Secondly, the 2017 manifesto was carefully judged and only took us back to Thatch in terms of rail, tuition fees etc.

    Thirdly, these days they make noises about not simply outright privatising the whole shebang, but simply introducing a state player into the market.

    Hyping the statism has been a typical attack line on Corbyn by the closet liberals, but people don’t seem to post much evidence in support of it. Presumably you have something compelling though…

  27. (…McDonnell and his ilk were so prepared to compromise that they let Blair have the reins in the first place…)

  28. Regarding the discussion of May’s prospects, the Times are serialising a book on the matter….

    “Senior courtiers were exasperated that May misled the Queen by saying she had a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), only to take another 17 days to nail it down, and then went on to breach protocol in the way she announced her intention to form a government.

    The delay led to irritation at May’s lack of “courtesy”, as the Queen’s speech was delayed for two days, meaning the state opening of parliament disrupted plans for Royal Ascot.

    Following the inferno at Grenfell Tower the week after the election, Downing Street staff became so worried about the prime minister’s welfare that one suggested sending for an SAS soldier to give her a pep talk to boost her resilience.”

  29. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/queen-misled-by-broken-theresa-may-kf6n3zdbv

    “She had to have her make-up redone before she visited the Queen because she had been crying. Aides grew concerned that she might not be able to go on. “She looked tired and I don’t think she was thinking straight,” one said.

    By the Friday of the week after the election, a senior political appointee decided help was needed, saying: “She was absolutely beaten, grey-skinned. I’ve seen people with shell shock and she looked worse than that.””

  30. Yes Carfew,

    I agree with you re the manifesto and Corbyn in particular but some of McDonnell’s rhetoric does leave room for such accusations.

    Moreover, I hear regular conflation in GC and branch meetings by, not just younger, members between markets and Capitalism and labelling of anyone who suggests ‘functioning’ markets are a good means of resource allocation as neo-liberal Blairites etc etc.

    So far, the balance has been OK but as I say there is a danger of creeping Staitism.

    It is certainly something the Tories are trying to develop as a theme and we can anticipate references to ‘back to the 1970s’, ‘Governments should not try to back winners and losers blah blah’

    I don’t think this has much traction presently especially with under 45s but I want to hear more about accepting markets whilst attacking current capitalist practices and outcomes from the LP leadership.

  31. Yes Carfew, reply redrafted to avoid auto-mod

    I agree with you re the manifesto and Corbyn in particular but some of McDonnell’s rhetoric does leave room for such accusations.

    Moreover, I hear regular conflation in GC and branch meetings by, not just younger, members between markets and Capitalism and labelling of anyone who suggests ‘functioning’ markets are a good means of resource allocation as N** L**** ral B***rite etc etc.

    So far, the balance has been OK but as I say there is a danger of creeping Staitism.

    It is certainly something the Tories are trying to develop as a theme and we can anticipate references to ‘back to the 1970s’, ‘Governments should not try to back winners and losers blah blah’

    I don’t think this has much traction presently especially with under 45s but I want to hear more about accepting markets whilst attacking current capitalist practices and outcomes from the LP leadership.

  32. @john pilgrim

    “Has a modern state ever been so violently incompetent?”
    Yes,the British Indian administration in the last days of the Raj.

    Ha yes – actually it made me think of britain in Ireland in the years after 1916.
    I guess by “modern state” i was thinking post ww2 democracies.

  33. Good new LSE article on Brexit issues, which most will agree with, however you might feel about the issue.

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/10/02/the-prime-minister-has-confirmed-that-brexit-is-a-step-towards-irrelevance/

  34. I don’t think it was mischievous just basic politics. The PM had promised immediate triggering of Article 50. The LoO called him out on it forcing him between a rock and a hard place. In practice the only way he could find to break that promise without opposition cover was to resign and argue he now had to leave it to his successor.

    It forced the PM out. Although I suspect he would have gone anyway, it took that choice away. It’s what, in our system, oppositions do. Don’t think you need a more complex explanation.

  35. @JimJam

    It wouldn’t be a surprise if someone gets tagged as a Blairite, if they give a Blairite response.

    Putting the word “functioning” in front of the word “markets” you may feel innoculates you against criticism, since you are talking about some ideal, but the youngsters are probably ignoring that contrivance and going by how markets typically behave currently, where they are frequently a rather poor means of resource allocation, as I explained the other day. It’s another liberal myth that they are so efficient, and economists can even show them to be mathematically efficient, if they pick a model that ignores the real world.

    In the real world these “efficient” markets commonly lead to price gauging on essentials and things like favouring fossil fuels because cheaper despite climate change, and things like misselling toxic debt and the banking crunch and much more besides.

    Not that I am against markets. It’s just that to make them work well can require some of the state intervention you seem to fear. Though you still haven’t given anything from McDonnell to have us quaking. I’m fully prepared to be quaked…

  36. @ ROGER MEXICO – why do you think the members poll is representative? Pollsters try to reweight polls to reflect a representative sample. Do you think if you just ask 1,001 people (as in the post election poll) but don’t have a process of reweighting them that they genuinely reflect 100,000 members???

    Anyway, you are missing the point. Whatever new leader CON were to elect that person would almost certainly be more ‘hard’ Brexit than May – hopefully with the sense to show the positive potential of leaving rather than the reluctant remainer approach of the current management team.

  37. @JimJam

    I should add that markets can at times of course naturally be efficient. It’s just that it’s by no means inevitable. Another concern of the young is the “rigged game” for example, that also became clear following the Crunch.

  38. Monarch airlines collapse is arguably due to Brexits effect on currency, which was not sufficiently managed risk wise. We have also seen Ryanair cancelling flights due to issues ( pilot holidays ?) and it makes you wonder whether we are about to go through a run of companies failing due to the financial climate.

    The UK economy is now struggling compared to other major economies and 2018 looks like being a poor year for growth. Even newspapers like the Daily Mail are starting to realise the consequences of Brexit. A £20 trillion trade in EU derivatives which is currently done in London is at risk, if no EU trade deal is agreed by April 2019. If the UK were to lose EU financial trade that does not need to be done in the UK, the consequences would be enormous.

  39. Yes but if it’s just markets being efficient then surely everything’s fine, natch.

  40. Hammond has to go. Asked about whether he is gloomy on Brexit – he says realistic?!?! FFS man, you’re the chancellor leading us through Brexit – if you can’t be at least cautiously optimistic step aside.

    The electorate need a bright optimistic vision of a post Brexit UK. Fear doesn’t work. It failed in the EURef, it lost May seats in the GE – we don’t need to sell lies but start marketing something more positive and imaginative than ‘the other lot would be much worse than us’.

  41. @ R HUCKLE – “If the UK were to lose EU financial trade that does not need to be done in the UK, the consequences would be enormous.”

    Indeed. LAB financial transaction tax, higher corporation tax, higher tax on higher incomes all just as we leave the EU and kiss goodbye to some very large money trees.

    A few jobs will go to Frankfurt but the bulk will go to places like NY, Singapore, Shanghai, Mumbai, etc.

    P.S. How are you linking Monarch to Brexit? They lost large markets like Egypt, Tunisia due to terrorism, were incompetent in hedging oil price (FX-linked) risk and clearly an inefficient operator in a highly competitive industry. The engineering part of the business is ongoing. Greybull will blame everyone but themselves but lets be grateful that was not a state subsidised business that the taxpayer had to bail out and nationalise into a loss making burden on future taxpayers.

  42. “Realistic” is fine by me-mandatory from a CFO :-)

    There are plenty of unrealistic views around-on both sides !

  43. TREVOR WARNE: Hammond has to go. Asked about whether he is gloomy on Brexit – he says realistic?!?! FFS man, you’re the chancellor leading us through Brexit – if you can’t be at least cautiously optimistic step aside.

    The electorate need a bright optimistic vision of a post Brexit UK. Fear doesn’t work. It failed in the EURef, it lost May seats in the GE – we don’t need to sell lies but start marketing something more positive and imaginative than ‘the other lot would be much worse than us’.

    We need the truth above a bright optimistic vision. What Hammond said was far more useful than the recent repetition by Johnson of something he read on the side of a bus over a year ago.

  44. TREVOR WARNE

    I agree re Hammond, but of course he is a Remainer at heart.

    It is clearer to me every day that the best way forward for the UK is to leave without a deal, but of course, having prepared for that eventuality.

  45. lol at the brextiers getting annoyed at hammond for not indulging in their sunny fantasies.

    Real tangible and immediate benefits of brexit are very hard to identify – all we get is tub thumping rhetoric about taking back control and breezy optimism. Its possible that all may come good and rosy in the long run – but – in the short term – Rhetoric and breezy optimism butter no parsnips – and dont do anything for our export market or GDP.

    The overwhelming consensus across the political and business establishment is that brexit is going to be very difficult and disruptive – but johnson and his fan boys dont want to hear this and just want to silence the nay sayers.

    “Hammond must go!” – shooting the messenger much?

  46. @Colin

    Oh, I didn’t need reminding of the Brown Terror! I’m struggling to think of a past PM more psychologically incompatible with the top office as Brown was.

  47. SC, I note you say past which excludes current.

    I put words in to your mouth though and suggest you think May and Brown are comparable in any way, your choice of words just tickled me.

  48. @Sea Change

    “I’m struggling to think of a past PM more psychologically incompatible with the top office as Brown was.”

    You don’t have to look far. Can you imagine May trying to deal with the financial crisis? Brown played a blinder. He was the man for that job – it was a good thing he was there.

    Cameron, for that matter, legged it as soon as things got difficult.

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