The Times have released a new YouGov poll of party members – the report is here and the tables here.

Theresa May’s time is essentially up. Party members are normally the loyalist of the loyal, but even here there are few good words to be said. Only 20% of her own members think she is doing well and 79% think she should resign. Asked about her record, 25% of Tory party members think she has been a poor Prime Minister, 38% a terrible Prime Minister.

Let us therefore move swiftly onto her replacement. The obvious frontrunner with party members remains Boris Johnson. He is seen as a good leader by 64% to 31%, and is the first choice of 39% of party members, easily ahead of his rivals. He has the highest positive ratings on every measure YouGov asked about – 77% of party members think he has a likeable personality, 70% that he would be able to win a general election, 69% that he shares their outlook, 67% that he is up to the job, 69% that he would be a strong leader, 61% that he would be competent.

Johnson is very clearly in pole position – yet in past Conservative leadership elections the clear early frontrunner has not necessarily gone on to win (and indeed, there is no guarantee that Johnson will even reach the final round or get to be voted on by party members). One can recall the time when Michael Portillo was the obvious frontrunner to succeed William Hague, or David Davis the obvious frontrunner to succeed Michael Howard.

Looking at the rest of the field, Dominic Raab is in second place in first preferences on 13%. As the other candidate to have resigned from the cabinet – and likely to be see as a “true Brexiteer” by members – he comes closest to Johnson in the head-to-head match ups and beats ever other candidate in head-to-head figures. Considering he has a substantially lower profile than Johnson, it is a positive finding.

Of the Brexiteers in the cabinet, Michael Gove is the second best known candidate after Johnson, but polls badly on many counts. While most see him as competent and up to the job, he is not seen as capable of winning an election or having a likeable personality. Andrea Leadsom is seen as likeable, but not as an election winner. Penny Mordaunt receives high don’t know figures on most scores.

Looking at the candidates who backed Remain in the referendum, Sajid Javid seems best placed candidate from that wing of the party. In first preferences he is in joint third with Michael Gove, and in the head to head scores he would beat Hunt, Hancock, Mordaunt or Stewart (and tie with Leadsom). He scores well on being likeable, competent and up to the job, but his figures are more mixed on being seen as an election winner.

These are, of course, only the opinions of party members. While they will have the final say, they do not get a say on who makes the shortlist. That is down to MPs, and as things stand there is very scant information on who is doing well or badly among that electorate.

955 Responses to “YouGov polling of Tory party members”

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  1. Gove is Peter Baelish aka Littlefinger

  2. @ Peter Cairns and TonyBTG

    I don’t know much, but I know enough to suspect you’re giving away spoilers. Careful now, some of us who missed out may want to watch some day. When the kids have left home… And we buy a TV… And a suitable subscription…

    Oh OK, just go ahead.

  3. @shevii

    Thanks for the polls update!

    Looks like the only last minute one we may be missing is a Survation, and if it’s not shown up now it probably won’t.

    Prediction time, then… I’m going to go for
    Brex: 30 seats (33%)
    Lab: 16 seats (20%)
    LD: 10 seats (15%)
    Con: 8 seats (12%)
    SNP: 3 seats
    Green: 2 seats (8%)
    Plaid, DUP, SF, Alliance: 1 seat each

    The polls are a mess, the subsamples and MRP aren’t convincing, so I’ll be happy with the model if I get within 3 seats on the big 4 and within 1 on the rest.

  4. @ JAMESB – So you don’t know and couldn’t even be bothered to check on google. SLOW HAND CLAP.

    Now that you will have looked on google then do you see any new cabal that does not have S&D in it??

    A few combinations might occur depending on the full results. Macron seems to be waiting to see where his lot might become “king makers”.

  5. Will Leadsome going create a DOMINO effect.

  6. Ester McVey is Edmure Tully?

  7. @Lee Moore

    “You do realise that there are 167 countries in the world that manage to strugge by without being members of the EU ?”

    I always thought that the reason that countries like Japan and Indonesia hadn’t joined Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey and Albania in the queue to join the EU was because they weren’t on the continent of Europe, but you make a very good point that I’d been missing. They haven’t applied to join because of the EU’s bureaucratic inefficiencies, the freedom of movement between member states, crippling restrictions on the ability to strike independent trade deals, the ECB, the Euro and the organisation’s anti-democratic superstate ambitions. Why isn’t Farage making more of this? It’s the killer argument, surely? If the EU was so bloody brilliant why are only 27 countries in it and 167 outside? And these 167 are all doing so well too! The numbers have it. 167 countries can’t be wrong.


    @ Norbold etc

    I hear what you say on the reasons and arguments for staying loyal to Labour in these EU elections, but voting is a very individual and personal choice and I can’t in all honesty, put a cross in Labour’s box on Thursday. I really, really can’t and I’m aware that this may gall those who feel there are bigger and more tactical fish to fry at the moment, long ball games and all that, but I have to be true to myself here. I’ve been appalled by Corbyn’s handling of Brexit, and the weasely evasive nonsense of people like Budgen, Lavery, Gardner and McCluskey. I’m also disillusioned by the weakness of their opposition to Faragism. Surely, if there was one political party with the ability to call out Farage and all his demagoguery and sophistry it would be the nation’s oldest, proudest and most powerful centre left political party. How are they letting the old malevolent charlatan get away with it? Limp, insipid and mealy-mouthed equivocation is all we get and the real venom is usually spent on other people on the left. “Friendly” fire seems to be much more fun than engaging with the real enemy on the far Right. Some in Momentum seem to think Tom Watson is the real enemy here or, in Lavery’s world, the second referendum fanatics. That’s Lavery the chairman of the party, by the way.

    If we were electing a government tomorrow, I’d vote Labour, but it would be essentially an anti-Tory vote in the knowledge that a split Left in a FPTP system hands power in perpetuity to the Tories. But here’s the rub; if we had a truly representative electoral system, I’d be having a very serious look at other centre left political parties in a General Election.

    Might have done that some time ago too if the electoral system had allowed us to escape the obsolete duopoly that basically dragoons millions of voters into one of two camps for fear of the alternative.

  8. Well it’s early days for predictions, we’ve got until Sunday. But I’ll got for it anyway. I don’t fancy having a go at percentages, but I’ll go for seats:

    BXP: 32
    LAB: 14
    LD: 12
    GRN: 8
    SNP: 3
    PC, DUP, SF, All: 1 each
    CON: 0

    I know I’m going out on a limb a bit with 0 seats for CON, but I’ll probably never get the chance to say it again, so why not. I’m a little worried about SE England, but otherwise, I don’t think it’s so ridiculous, especially given tonight’s events.

  9. CiM
    “Looks like the only last minute one we may be missing is a Survation, and if it’s not shown up now it probably won’t.”

    I answered an Opinium poll about an hour ago.

  10. @ CIM – I’d nudge LDEM up a bit and LAB down a fraction tis all. Posted my prediction a while back and its going to stretch the boundaries of my ranges but can’t be bovvered posting a revision.

    If you think BXP will be 30-34.99% you can get pretty good odds (just been lifted at “4”, ie only 25% probability). Betfair has moved more towards the 35-39.99% bucket but I don’t see them getting that much (at least not at the implied probability levels on offer)

    Elsewhere LAB in 2nd place at evens seems worth a punt (I don’t see LDEM and the tactical vote thing getting them above LAB)

    Turnout is split around the 40% buckets. I got decent odds on 30-39.99% but its now just about favourite and mostly covered.

    Nothing else looks very appealing. LDEM, LAB and CON odds moved quickly with the polls and missed out there.

    NB only bet what you can afford to lose, blah, blah, blah..

  11. Regarding Labour: I don’t think the Labour party today serve much purpose anymore. They only won in 1997, 2001 and 2005 because they were reliant on the Northern, anti-Thatcher vote, which has since ebbed away. Blair tried to replace this with his non-EU migrant purge of the country, which only affects London.

    In short, Labour were supposed to represent the working class. However, given Labour keep flooding the country with low-skilled migrants, the working class are moving away from Labour and as of right this second, towards the Brexit Party.

  12. CB – I was thinking you were reaching for excuses and then down came the quote from the ludicrous incompetent that our leader has appointed as party chair.


    “This whole Brexit Custerf*#k was started by a Tory not so cunning wheeze to see off Farage. Now, with the Tories deeply holed and Labour baling like crazy because neither can see a safe way to deliver Brexit that satisfies Leavers it could possibly fall to Farage to deliver Brexit. It’s a thought that makes my teeth curl, though you can’t but admire the poignant irony. My feeling is that if Farage did progress that far, he too would realise the problems involved, or maybe he already understands but either likes prodding dying horses or can’t bring himself to apologise.”

    Or perhaps he has balls and morals? I guess you would have done a cost-benefit analysis before helping Poland and Belgium in the World Wars.

  14. SHEVH

    What evidence do you have to suggest that the Tories would have won a thumping majority had Labour come out in favour of Remain back in 2017. It may have resulted in Labour losing a few seats in the East Midlands but I suspect they may have picked up a few seats elsewhere to compensate for those losses.

  15. @Mike Pearce

    I’m not sure the Tories would have won a majority much larger, but Labour are ambiguous about Brexit.

    To be fair, the Tories dug the elephant trap for themselves, and they are quite wise to stay well away.

  16. @JimJam

    “CB – I was thinking you were reaching for excuses and then down came the quote from the ludicrous incompetent that our leader has appointed as party chair.”

    Fear not, my good man, I’m just very angry with the party I love and have campaigned and voted for all my life. No more than that, and tomorrow gives me a free hit on Corbyn’s Brexit stance. I shall stay and fight for Labour probably to my dying day and hope to see a Labour Government once again in my life time. I’ve got far too much emotional investment in the party to walk away now and have faith that it anchors itself once again in mainstream social democracy. People like Lavery are, I’m afraid, the reason that less tribal and dedicated Labourites than me have drifted away from the party.

    Bit I’m still determined to have my free hit against Corbyn tomorrow. And, in so doing, a smack at Farage too. It’s important that the overt Remain parties add up or exceed the Brexit Party. It’s a referendum by proxy for me tomorrow.

  17. I shall be consistent with the result of applying D’Hondt to the YouGov polling in my analysis above:

    BXP 35 seats
    LD 15
    Lab 8
    Grn 7
    SNP 3
    PC 1
    Con 1
    +3 NI seats (probably SF,DUP, Alliance)

    although I wouldn’t put any money on it, I hope that it turns out something like this because it would shake Corbyn out of his complacency.

  18. @ Mike Pearce

    Not that much to be fair and it is certainly a fair point you make.

    However right to leave was ahead in the polls and also leave/remain question had leave ahead. Also if you look at the marginals either side of the line after 2017, they are stacking up 2/3 leave for each remain seat.

    I conceed that is not enough evidence for my opinion but that’s my view.

  19. Jim Jam @ 7.21 pm

    %s I ran with the cakculator were

    SNP 37% 3 seats
    BRX 15% 1
    LAB 14% 1
    LD 10.5 1
    CON 10

  20. Cont, sorry on misfire

    SNP 37 3 seats
    BRX 15 1
    LAB 14 1
    LD 10.5 1
    CON 10
    GRN 9.5

    So SNP 4th chance is below GREEN. I should have listed the 6th seat as between 4 parties

  21. Davwel

    That amounts to 86.5%.

    If you are giving a (probably generous) 2% each to ChUK and UKIP, that leaves 9.5% for SGP.

    So, on your figures, Seat 6 will be between LD 10.5% : Con 10% : SGP 9.5% : SNP 9.25%.

    Yet you seem confident that your figures are correct?

  22. Davwel

    I note that my assumption as to your allocation of 9.5% to SGP was correct.

  23. CROSSBAT11
    “I always thought that the reason that countries like Japan and Indonesia hadn’t joined Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey and Albania in the queue to join the EU was because they weren’t on the continent of Europe”

    A certain former French president used to make the point that more of France was in the continent of South America than of Turkey was in the continent of Europe.

  24. Sorry for spurring your quick eyes and calculations, ON.

    My fingers are not so agile as they once were, and when reaching the foot of the box for typing in messages, it`s too easy to stray across the `Submit Comment` small box, and off the message goes unfinished.

    I did allow 4000 in the calculation for CHUK, UKIP and some independents.

  25. Davwel

    ‘Tis easily done.

    Still, your allocation of vote share to parties seems somewhat idiosyncratic, when compared to the polls that we do have for Scotland, so I remain puzzled as to why you think the polls tell folk which Unionist Remain party to vote for.

    Your choice of numbers, of course, supports your decision (some time back) to vote LD – so there must be a degree of suspicion that they are the ones that allow you to reassure yourself that you made the right choice.

    We’ll find out on Monday!

  26. Trigguy

    Well it’s been 4 days. Anyone who is bothered at all must surely have seen it by now.

    Anyone without a TV can’t really be that bothered :-)

    Farage is the Night King

    Where is Arya when we need her…..

  27. Lee Moore,
    “You do realise that there are 167 countries in the world that manage to struggle by without being members of the EU ?”

    And how many of them are poorer than the UK?

  28. Peat Worrier’s Farewell to Andrea Leadsom – that would make a fine title for a pipe tune!

    And so farewell
    Andrea Leadsom
    You reminded me
    Of the terrifying benevolence
    Of a nurse in the grip of
    Munchausen’s by proxy
    After her accidental
    In Upton Snodsbury.

  29. The Trevors,
    “They are not th!ck racists they knew why they voted LEAVE and they know they want someone to get on with Leaving and start standing up for British job and British industry.”

    You seem a bit excited here, but just what are they expecting? The leave party just consigned british steel to the bin. It could certainly have found a method to save it, for example national interest. Not difficult. Brexit has doomed it.

    ” Let’s not forget that if Labour had come out for remain in 2017 there would probably be a 100 seat Tory majority now and Brexit done and dusted.”

    I’m not convinced that is true. First, remainers did much better in the election than expected, and it isnt clear to me this would not still have boosted labour. I recall commentators being surprised how labour made gains in leave areas.

    Second, it isnt clear that even with a few more MPs conservatives would have been in much better position than they were, with labour reluctantly agreeing and DUP support.

    Third, labour would have been leading a clear demand for remain, which would have motivated more public support for this. The situation we have been in is the big majority of lab and con going round trying to persuade people to support a compromise leave. yet in fact remain has strengthened. So with a lead, it would have strengthened more.

    Fourth, I have repeatedly argued the conservatives want to remain. They would therefore have found some other excuse not to leave.

  30. My prediction for Sunday….

    BXP 30 seats
    Lab 14
    LD 14
    Grn 7
    SNP 3
    PC 1
    Con 1

  31. My prediction for the Scottish seats as declared on Monday. –

    4 MEPs supporting remaining in the EU : 2 wanting to Leave.

    3 MEPs supporting Scots Indy : 3 wanting to stay in the UK.

    The actual parties don’t matter very much.

  32. My Prediction for Sunday;

    Nobody will Care they’ll all be watching the Westminster Train Crash!


  33. Tonybtg,
    “We really need a Jon Snow to finish May off in dramatic Game of Thrones style because she is completely convinced that her path is the right one and everyone else is wrong.”

    I already posted, but the David Davies waylaid interview is very telling.

    There we have a leave campaigner supporting the May deal. The deal does make the UK subordinate to the EU which it is not as a member. This is at best contrary to the spirit of leave.

    The real difference is that notwithstanding the spin, the deal states in black and white what the future relationship of the Uk to the EU will be. and people like the activist who have read it, understand the weak position it places the UK in.

    What they dont understand is that we will have similar deals following a ‘no deal’ brexit, though they are likely to be worse. These just havn’t been written yet. I am sure MPs do appreciate this point, and know that if the leave activist reacts in this way to the deal, they would in 5 years react even worse to the final result of no deal.

    The interview was proof to me I am right, that conservative MPs undertsand how bad would be their position after no deal brexit.

    Theresa May is a democrat not an absolute ruler. She simply reflects the will of her MPs. For autocrats with dreams of empire, look to Farage.

    By the way, did you know the plot of game of thrones mirrors a history of the kings of Scotland and their misfortunes?

  34. Tonybtg,

    I always had Gove down as Qyburn!!!


  35. ON

    “A Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times put the Tories on 11% and Farage’s outfit on 16%. A poll released on Sunday by YouGov and Datapraxis for Hope not Hate and Best for Britain put the Tories on 10%”

    I did take notice of several more polls, without doing a thorough job and weighting by the sample size.

    For SNP supporters 3 v 4 seats and 37 v 40% is of little importance, but for LibD and Greens getting that extra 3% and wining a seat is pretty important.

  36. Danny

    GRRM has said that he took inspiration from the Barons War, aka Wars of the Roses,

    “She simply reflects the will of her MPs”

    Which ones are they? I don’t see too,many MPs rushing in to support her at the moment.

    As a remainer my view is that if we must have Brexit rammed down our throats, it must be a no deal Brexit completely owned by a Tory leader. Not some fudged BRINO nonsense where everyone can spin that it was somebody else’s fault.

    Brexit is a Tory vanity project and they must own it and go down with it and good riddance to the lot of them.

  37. Farage is the Night King. Where is Arya when we need her…

    Boris, is the Mad King. We need a King Slayer, Gove did that last time round, does that make him Jamie Lannister?

    Or maybe the Moggster is the Mad King. Prepared to burn us all with his no deal Brexit!

  38. @TONYBTG

    “As a remainer my view is that if we must have Brexit rammed down our throats, it must be a no deal Brexit completely owned by a Tory leader. Not some fudged BRINO nonsense where everyone can spin that it was somebody else’s fault.

    Brexit is a Tory vanity project and they must own it and go down with it and good riddance to the lot of them.”

    Rammed down your throat…… otherwise known as losing a referendum?

  39. Davwel

    “for LibD and Greens getting that extra 3% and wining a seat is pretty important.”

    Of course – as getting a seat is pretty important for Con and Lab as well, as is getting a 2nd seat is important for Brexiteers.

    I’ll stick with my prediction, though. The seat allocation from Scotland will, pretty accurately reflect the current positions on the 2 constitutional issues.

    Of course, I’d be very happy if the odd vote or two enhanced both of the stances that I take, but that wouldn’t affect the underlying positions.

  40. BRXT

    Yes we lost a referendum that Cameron gambled on to shut Farage up and placate the id1ots in his own party.

    So we lost. I don’t dispute that. Leave won end of. Cameron rolled the dice and lost.

    So get on with it and follow through on the gamble and stop messing about. Don’t try to hide behind some daft compromise that leaves us worse off without even giving us many of the much trumpeted advantages of being out.

    Own it, do it properly, and hold yourselves up to be accountable if and when it all goes wrong.

    My prediction is that when it all starts to unravel it will be hard to find anyone who owns up to ever voting leave.

  41. TONYBTG,

    “Boris, is the Mad King.”

    Well if only for the hair I had Boris down as Brienne of Tarth!


  42. @Sorrell

    “When does the count take place? ”

    I can give a definitive answer to this, as I shall be there, as an authorised LD counting agent in my local borough (Waverley).

    Verification of the ballots takes place, from late Sunday am to early pm. This takes a long time. The actual count is expected to begin at about 4pm.

    I’ll be there from about 2:30 – gossiping with colleagues from all parties, and carefully observing the stacks of ballots as they pile up.

  43. [email protected] Rammed down your throat…… otherwise known as losing a referendum?

    Gloating will only ever make enemies.

  44. Something odd on BBC live feed:

    “Mrs May looks set to spend tomorrow campaigning for the European Parliament elections”

    It’s a bit late now isn’t it? I didn’t think campaigning was allowed on the election day, or is that not true for EP elections?

    I’m not saying it’s her fault, it’s surely bad reporting.

  45. Peter Cairns

    “Well if only for the hair I had Boris down as Brienne of Tarth

    Or maybe Gregor Clegane!


    Trying to think of someone for Corbyn.


  46. Tonybtg,
    “GRRM has said that he took inspiration from the Barons War, aka Wars of the Roses,”

    Indeed, but the spectacularly bloody events realy happened to Kings of scotland. Someone said being king of scotland was the most dangerous job in Europe. They were keener at killing each other than killing the English.

    “Rammed down your throat…… otherwise known as losing a referendum?”

    I think the mad king used molten gold. (probably using equipment ex British steel)

  47. TO

    As in that well known ballad –

    “Roaming in the gloating, on the bonny banks o’ Snide”.

  48. Be interesting if ledsom’s resignation is a harbinger that in fact may will NOT be leaving.

  49. Danny

    Perhaps a more fitting analogy to the demise of May might be the murder of King Wenceslaus III of Bohemia in 1306.

  50. New thread – on EU election polling

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