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. FIrst

  2. PRINCESS RACHEL highlighted y’day that CON don’t operate in the same way as LAB, especially after LAB rule changes at conference but some concerns in the poll for CON’s internal coalition during these politically charged times. AW picked a few concerning May and #1 reason behind picking a replacement in due course but I’d add.

    – 52% (v 40%) of CON members that view cabinet as divided (rather than united) is clearly worrying.

    CON seem to wash their dirty laundry in the tabloid press but that is a big % and concerning going into conference with the leadership issue never far below the surface.

    If BoJo commits one more act of stupidity will he be sacked? I wouldn’t bet on it.

  3. JOHNB at 10.34
    “except that the EU is not to blame, is is? It is the UK that has decided to throw its toys out of the pram – yet again! If the EU says “Enough is enough” and decides that this is now the point when the toys will not be put back in the pram, what then?”

    Yes it is the UK that has decided to leave, but in the context of my 10.12 post it will be the EU which will get the blame IMO. As to the consequences that is clear. Significant rise in job losses in both EU& UK, loss of GDP in both, all of it worthwhile for us to be free of the EU for good, before it ultimately implodes. All IMO of course.

    You keep saying have a good day while you can, as I said to you before I am very happy with life we are leaving the EU. So have a good day to you as well.

    Not a great set of circumstances as I see it. No deal, loss of money bad blood on both sides loss of jobs, lower growth. That will be a successful outcome

    In my eyes, yes, as to me there is no sensible alternative to achieving sovereignty due to the EU’s attitude and in the long term we will be better off. Especially as I believe the EU will implode eventually.

  4. TOH – 12.28

    You seem to be confusing ‘fault’ with ‘blame’ (though in retrospect I am at fault for not being clear enough about the difference in my previous post!). Of course the right-wing (and far left-wing!) journalistic ideologues and politicians will blame the EU. The EU has always been to blame for everything as far as they are concerned. But ‘fault’ is a different matter.

    The ‘fault’ for the current situation lies totally with the inability of the UK Govt and, much more, with the right-wing press, to understand, as has been pointed out by others, that the EU is being totally straight and coherent about the whole thing. They know where they stand. Many of us in the UK who look seriously at the situation know where they stand. And I see no reason for them to shift their position, as it is entirely coherent.

    As for ‘significant rise in job losses’ in the EU, I have to say I doubt that very much. The EU will be in a much stronger position to find new markets for its goods and services than will be the case for the UK. (IMO) They will adapt quickly in an improving economic situation. We, on the other hand, may not. And if we do ‘adapt’ it is likely to be at the cost of job insecurity and the reduction in health and safety regulations. (Again, all that is IMO, of course).

  5. TM should sack Boris. A good sacking might restore some her leadership credentials.

    I don’t understand why he is popular with the membership.

    It would be painful, like the sacking Hilary Benn, but may be helpful after a painful adjustment.

  6. A very interesting poll, I think. Boris is obviously more of a divider than a uniter of Tories.

    As for Ruth Davidson, the Conservatives seem to be living the mirror image of Labour’s Scottish problem. In the first ten years or so after the formation of the Scottish Parliament, most Labour folk in it were ‘also rans’ – the ‘cream’ having gone to London to make their fortune. The SNP, in contrast, concentrated the bulk of its ‘cream’ at Holyrood, with the result that Labour there looked weak in comparison.

    Now we have the mirror image: the Conservative figure who would be most acceptable to the GB membership as a whole cannot be the GB leader, unless she takes a seat in the Lords (which is probably unacceptable, even to the more conservative Conservatives).
    Of course, there may be Conservative associations who would happily offer Ruth Davidson a secure seat at Westminster, but that would require a by-election or a General Election.

    We also need to ask: What then happens to the Scottish Tories? Would it make them more powerful than they are now? And would that be acceptable to ‘middle England’?

    It’s a conundrum for the men (and women!) in grey suits. Long may it be so! (IMO)

  7. ****** Very important to read regarding UK export trade *******

    London is the largest gold market in the world and it distorts UK trade stats. The trade stats quoted during the Brexit referendum were wrong.

    Take out the gold trading and over 50% of UK export trade is with the EU.

    If UK trade is debated, this should be remembered.

  8. @ MARKW – Sacking BoJo. If she could have she probably would have by now. The gossip back before the GE was that Hammond and BoJo would both go.

    – Spreadsheet Phil was sticking to Osborne austerity and had convinced May to find money in ill executed plans such as dementia tax, scrap triple lock, etc whilst failing to spend any money on the JAM type issues May was supposed to have believed in.

    – BoJo. Well Brexit aside the guy is no diplomat and harming our international standing. I find him funny, but you don’t want your F.Sec to be funny!

    Sadly the CON(+DUP) arrangement is so fragile that she can’t do anything that might risk upsetting the apple cart and as this poll shows BoJo has a lot of support within CON – too much support to risk sacking him and turning him into some kind of martyr figure for the back benches to rally around.

  9. Good afternoon all from a warm but muggy PSRL.

    The results for RM and JRM are interesting, but I am assuming that RM’s is in part driven by perceptions of broader electoral appeal where as JRM’s appeal is more to the true believers.

    In terms of differences between the parties, where I do think they are similar is the extent of distrust of the judgement of the broader party membership held by the traditional party hierarchy. Whilst stronger in Labour it is also a feature of the Tory party’s internal dynamic.

    Longer term, one of the key benefits to Labour of the mass expansion of membership could be access to future talent, a factor that seems to all to lacking in the current crop of politicians.

  10. R huckle

    Think I’ve mentioned before on these pages about gold exports, I think Sky have missed a big piece of the story. Gold imports don’t match up with gold exports in the short term although I presume they must do over the long term unless BoE is actively selling gold. But it’s curious how the the swings from being a net exporter to a net importer and visa versa seem to have the effect of smoothing out the trade deficit graph.

  11. Thetford Priory (Breckland) result:

    LAB: 57.7% (+28.0)
    CON: 29.5% (-3.7)
    UKIP: 12.8% (-24.3)

    Labour GAIN from Conservative.

    Interesting result from the heart of Brexit land

  12. Redrich

    Who is ‘RM’?

  13. AW

    I’ve seen suggestions that this poll is biased, not in it content or methodology but merely asking the question. It’s been suggested that the poll was commissioned to create a narrative of imminent leadership contest. Do you think that merely asking the question makes a leadership election more likely?

  14. @Princess

    Sorry typo meant RD.

  15. PR

    Before we get carried away with Labours win at Thetford we should consider why local council elections should not really be a judge on public mood.
    For instance the turnout at Thetford was a dismal17.2%. Lab 503 votes Con 257 and UKIP 112.
    On the same night Cons held 5 other seats, Lab held 4 and won 2 the other from a independent most if not all of these elections had dismal turnouts .I would suggest none of these results had anything to do with brexit, much more likely its to do with local issues and people being arsed to vote.

    “R huckle
    Think I’ve mentioned before on these pages about gold exports, I think Sky have missed a big piece of the story. Gold imports don’t match up with gold exports in the short term although I presume they must do over the long term unless BoE is actively selling gold. But it’s curious how the the swings from being a net exporter to a net importer and visa versa seem to have the effect of smoothing out the trade deficit graph.
    September 29th, 2017 at 1:33 pm”

    No expert on gold sales. But from what i have read previously, there are two main issues.

    Firstly the UK stores gold on behalf of foreign Governments and investors. When the gold is traded through London it counts as an export, even though it is not actually owned by the UK. The UK handles gold sales incoming to the UK and then sold. Presumably for example, African countries might not choose to trade or store locally. So they export to the UK and then it is traded in quite quickly or stored for a period before selling.

    Secondly, you might have noticed shops around the country buying gold jewellery etc to be melted down. Much of this gold is exported and not used to make new jewellery items. Most UK citizens are as precious as holding on to gold jewellery if they need to sell it. In some cultures gold is seen as very important and is kept hold of.

  17. @R Huckle & @Princess R – I think I’ll take the credit for the gold thing, as I recall I was the first to pick this up and I have mentioned it several times on UKPR.

    Note that this isn’t BoE gold – that is dealt with differently. This is non monetary gold, which is just another private investment. London is a major centre of this trade, and while the gold doesn’t actually move around the world, it’s nominal holding currency changes so it is effectively dealt with as an import/export. As such, it tends to reflect currency movements, and this is the important bit here.

    I’ve pointed out several times recently about apparently good trade figures showing big boosts to exports since the referendum. Brexiters have seized on these on occasion, but there have been a few months where the exports have been inflated by net exports of NM gold. Apparently this is what happens when your currency weakens, as investors want to shift their gold into stronger currencies. NM gold net exports in these circumstances should be viewed as a sign of weakness in the economy.

  18. Rachel.

    For some reason your BrexitLand label has me singing Brexit land to Soft Cells Bedsit Land and sado that I am I am mentally composing a verse before I get to the all lone in Brexit land chorus!!

    Was just discussing 80s music with a friend probably triggered it.

    FWIW, others than for a new leader what does the Tory membership do, a poll of Tory 2015 and 2017 voters might be more interesting.

  19. @ Trevor Warne

    BoJo. Well Brexit aside the guy is no diplomat and harming our international standing. I find him funny, but you don’t want your F.Sec to be funny!

    Couldn’t agree more! I wouldn’t mind a foreign secretary being funny if s/he was funny in a diplomatic way. The trouble with BOJO is that he can’t resist making a joke, irrespective of whether it is about someone whom it is important not to offend unnecessarily. It seems to me that is purely self-indulgent. I had hoped he would be a brilliant choice for foreign secretary but now I see him a buffoon.

    Fact that nearly a quarter of conservative MPs see him as a credible leader is an interesting comment on how people take these decisions

  20. John B
    “You seem to be confusing ‘fault’ with ‘blame’ (though in retrospect I am at fault for not being clear enough about the difference in my previous post!).”

    Don’t blame yourself John, I used “blame” very deliberately as I accept that we are the ones who voted to leave. Its how these things are perceived by voters that matters in the real World surely.
    I was also talking specifically in relation to context of a particular post.

    “As for ‘significant rise in job losses’ in the EU, I have to say I doubt that very much.”

    Your entitled to have that view of course. It was not my view, I was expressing but the view of the University of Leuven as I posted earlier:
    “ I noted with some interest the University of Leuven Report which indicated that reverting to WTO tariffs would cost the UK 500,000 jobs and the EU 1.2 million. “

    The University is in Belgium and is quite highly rated I believe.

  21. There is some polling data from Ashcroft about the 2017 General Elections. Part of it asked 20k people how they consider how they voted after the event. (29th June – 13th July)

    There are lots of details in there work looking at.

    These two questions stood out:

    Since the general election, has your opinion towards the Labour Party become more favourable, less favourable, or stayed about the same? (Line 95)

    Voted for in 2017 (more favourable – less favourable)

    Con -46
    Lab +49
    LD +15
    UKIP -33
    Grn +15
    SNP +35
    Other +1
    DNV +9

    So Labour is better considered among all voter groups except UKIP and Con.

    Since the general election, has your opinion towards the Conservative Party become more favourable, less favourable, or stayed about the same? (Line 101)

    Voted for in 2017 (more favourable – less favourable)

    Con -13
    Lab -75
    LD -65
    UKIP -34
    Grn -52
    SNP -76
    Other -51
    DNV -35

    I know the poll is a bit dated, but fundamentally highlights a picture that the Conservatives have a lot of work to do improve the public’s view of them.

    The poll is real goldmine.

  22. Alec

    “NM gold net exports in these circumstances should be viewed as a sign of weakness in the economy.”

    We can agree again, which makes a change after our recent exchanges.


  23. “ I noted with some interest the University of Leuven Report which indicated that reverting to WTO tariffs would cost the UK 500,000 jobs and the EU 1.2 million. “

    While I haven’t done the numbers, taking @Peter Cairn’s sage guidance in mind, these numbers do indeed look really bad for the UK in comparison.

  24. My criteria for new CON leader in say 2019:

    – actually be an MP, Ruth would have to give-up MSP and be handed a safe MP seat – unlikely
    – have a currently safe seat or suffer a risky political move to a safe by next GE (makes it unlikely for Amber Rudd, Stephen Crabb, etc)
    – “centre”. Tough one, I hope it is not a divisive MP like BoJo but the way the leadership runs it mind end up like that (or end up like Macron in France and get a total newb)
    – minimal baggage but some experience (impossible combo but here’s hoping!)

    Keen to hear anyone else’s “criteria” list.

    For now happy to bet it won’t be BoJo, Gove, Ruth, Smogg, Rudd or Hammond who have all fairly low odds but are unlikely based on my criteria.

    I had to look up who Tom Tugendhat was – zero experience by looks of it but guess that should be baggage free?

    My guesses (giving some reflection to the odds)
    DD – if he pulls off Brexit he’d probably be in to the last two as the “right” candidate although would right vote might be split and they all get knocked out in the run-offs (5-1)
    Raab – fairly principled, not too much baggage and a reluctant remainer direct switch? might help win votes lost in last GE? (30-1)
    Green – low risk, low reward. probably tarnished by being too close to May, technical interim if May run over by a bus though and might then keep the job in the same way May has (40-1, down from much higher a while back)
    Javid – backed Crabb before but viewed as loyal, has put in some time in cabinet, safe seat, etc (50-1 but has been lower and higher)
    Rory Stewart – safe seat, bit of time in cabinet, low baggage (75-1)

    beyond that your into the long shots

    Odds aside, I’m not keen on this global move to put newbs in powerful positions. Trump, Corbyn, Macron, etc. I would guess 80%+ agree on Trump. Macron’s opinion polling dropping fast as he meets the usual French issues. I would want someone with some experience as a diplomat at a senior level myself but its not me choosing.

  25. TW,

    JC has arguably too much experience as a diplomat, some of which has been used in an attempt to discredit him more widely.

  26. @ ALEC – the job numbers make wild assumptions.

    IMHO the following would happen in the short-term in a no deal situation
    – more EU would go home, leaving say 100,000 jobs to be filled by UK workers. skills issues aside that creates jobs to be filled by UK workers
    – we’d have an inventory build-up (+jobs)
    – we’d have to speed up a bunch of infrastructure to cope (+jobs)
    – more food and goods would be produced in UK due to tariffs (+jobs)

    against which
    – banks, etc would have to move some staff to EU (quite a few would do that anyway but -jobs, highly taxed ones at that!)
    – other services sectors (- jobs in areas not covered by equivalence rules and relying on passporting)
    – some manufacturing (- jobs in a few companies that have very high EU exports, net with above though and becomes a small +)

    Really it would come down to whether we had a confidence shock and whether or not the backlog of investment was freed up (BoE mentioned this again today).

    Medium-long term the jobs would depend on UK remaining competitive in its areas of strength (finance, tech, pharma, etc) and whether or not we reshored much manufacturing and agriculture (and had the workers both skilled and willing to do those jobs)

    Impossible to tell. UK has added 372,000 jobs in the last year alone, granted the issues with some of those jobs but with an employment rate of 75% we have very little slack in the workforce (ie pretty much everyone that wants to work is working, even if it is not in that great a job). Also lots of reports of Brits not wanting to do the work the E.Europes do so IMHO we’d have a lack of workers issue rather than big risk in joblessness.

    Certainly pizza delivery, amazon prime, etc in my area would see a drop in service in a WTO exit as I don’t see local Brits stepping into those jobs if E.Europeans go home.

    ONS data source here:

  27. Turk

    The thetford result could show that Brexit has ceased to be an issue and that it was the principle issue driving the conservative vote in eastern England. If that was the case then there could be lots of new marginals in that region

  28. @Charles “@Seachange In a conversation on Brexit you once told me that in the [end] wise heads would prevail, Do you still think that?”

    I still think on the balance of probabilities that some kind of deal will be struck. I have always thought that a disorderly Brexit is in no-one’s interest and that compromise will be found on both sides.

    However, the deal might end up to be transitioning to WTO – that’s still that possibility with just payments during a transition.

    I’m less confident of a comprehensive trade deal, 12 months on.

  29. I think the best Brexit referendum result for the Tories would have been a narrow remain victory which would have kept the EU as a live issue for another generation to the benefit of the Tories as Labour was losing more voters to UKIP that the Tories were

  30. “I know the poll is a bit dated, but fundamentally highlights a picture that the Conservatives have a lot of work to do improve the public’s view of them.”


    Doesn’t seem to make any sense, given how “scary” policies like affordable housing, a rail service that doesn’t require network analysis to plan a journey, and a return to the dark days before Blair of no tuition fees are supposed to be.

  31. @ CMJ – you could flip that argument on its head and say CON are still holding in with the VI despite being viewed so poorly. May is still viewed as best PM – even though peeps think she is doing a bad job. Has peak Corbyn past? Where are the extra LAB seats going to come from (unless they are happy with SNP as C+S partner)?

    Once Brexit is over, do those loyal Leave CON VI move to LAB as Brexit is no longer a reason to vote CON or do the Remain hiding in LAB VI want to stay with LAB fully signed up to the far-left agenda?

    While the polls stay close and Brexit is still live its impossible to say. LAB closed a 20pt lead in just 7weeks in the run up to 8Jun. As Rudyard would say ‘it is all to play for’

    I’d like to see a poll showing where peeps think Corbyn and LAB stand on a left-right scale and where they view their own position. I suspect CON have most conformity between voter-party-leader but without an updated poll I’m guessing – maybe the political mainstream has taken a large shift to the left?

  32. TW

    You gov did such a poll recently, one thing that didn’t seem to be picked up by commentators was how much voters views on Corbyn’s political position has changed. He’s rapidly moving to the centre in voters eyes

  33. @Princess Rach

    Polling on particular issues like nationalisation shows the centre didn’t really move that much.

    It’s just that for a couple of decades all there was on offer from the big three parties was different flavours of liberalism.

    It’s as if people were only offered different flavours of ice cream and then people go “LOOK! Everyone mostly prefers ice cream now!”

  34. Who on earth is Henry Bolton??

    Who on earth is Henry Bolton??

    Yes a surprise result


    you can gain some info here

    One imagines in a different life he would have been
    “outraged of Tunbridge Wells2

  37. Maybe not saying a lot but he looks better than Paul Nuttall. Mind you pretty much immaterial now, UKIP is finished as an electoral force

  38. On Bolton

    so much for the bookies getting thing right: Waters was the favourite

  39. jezza

    what must be worrying even for the starry or stary eyed followers of Labour is that there is no real pullaway from the Tories.
    The next election will be different from the last but because the campaign went well they will want to refight it and will be at a disadvantage.if the election is in 2022 the following may be in play:

    1. Brexit will have been brexit. As labour is unlikely to be proposing to rejoin middle class remainers in the SE can revert to traditional concens such as their wallets:

    2. The Public finances will be in surplus or near enough to all the Government to “reward” the people. To call for an end to austerity in 2022 may not quite have the same resonance or puling power;

    3. The labour manifesto will have come under scrutiny and there are no more rabbits;

    4.interest rates may be on the rise. labour already accepts that its election will lead to a run on the pound Cautious householders may think jezza has some good ideas .. but maybe just not yet.

    5. The pressure will be on labour to campaign as well as before . if it does not then the only way is down.

    6. The tory campaign cannot be worse;

    7. The tories might have sorted the student finance problem out

    8. The tories may offer tax reductions and then it will be Labour promising the torture dungeon;

    Long term bet: La bour to have less seats at the general election than now. Worth £20 of anybody’s money supporter or not

  40. @Trevor Warne

    Every single economic paper or actor currently states that one of the most serious issues for the UK economy is a serious and deepening labour shortage. You can pick any Chambers of Commerce paper from the last year if you don’t wish to be assailed by data from organisations that didn’t vote the ‘right’ way – Chambers stayed neutral in the referendum as the membership was split.

    So, as you say, there is little to no slack in the labour market. If loads of Polish brickies and/or nurses go home, we won’t miraculously generate new brickies and/or nurses from nowhere. Stuff won’t get built and sick people won’t get looked after. We’ve 24.000 unfilled nursing vacancies at the moment – that’s 2 full, entire years of national training. The areas of biggest issues appear to be engineering, construction, health, hospitality, education. the finance industry, haulage and hospitality. Although many of the vacancies in bulk are in trades and manual work, in fact, most of our most intractable occupational shortages are at the skilled end of things. Try finding a surveyor.

    We’re going to have to spend an awful lot more money than we’re used to doing on education and training. That’s actually good (really good), but it has to be paid for. Taxes are going to go up. I can’t see how it’s to be avoided.

    The Single Market and the economies it provided have allowed us to keep taxes down. That’s going to end. I’m actually fine with that, and what’s more a lot of people in my neck of the woods who voted to Leave are also fine with it. I’m….not sure…..a lot of Tories Leavers are going to be quite so happy with it.

  41. S Thomas

    Not worried at all, put on 20 points in the campaign last time, half of that next time will see us get a majority. More even handed reporting during the campaign period is the crucial difference so I expect the pattern to repeat but not as strongly

  42. Latest news from the former UKIP capital of the UK, Clacton.

    Three UKIP Councillors on Tendring District Council have just defected. This means that of the 22 UKIP Councillors elected two years ago, only eight are now still in UKIP.

  43. @S Thomas

    “The next election will be different from the last but because the campaign went well they will want to refight it and will be at a disadvantage.if the election is in 2022 the following may be in play…”


    Quite a list of doom and gloom for Labourites there. A barnstorming analysis unleavened by any possible downsides for Tories.

    Labour voters have been through it all before though and are suitably chastened. Many didn’t pay heed to the even lengthier book of doom frequently elaborated on prior to the last election. If only they had listened and realised any hope of an upswing was beyond hopeless.

  44. @Norbold

    Defected to the blue team?

  45. Gooft afternoon all from a humid Central London.

    Wee Ruth appears to be popular with Tory party members but shouting about the SNPs love affair with independence and the SNPs record in government is all very well, but it’s a whole new ballgame when you have to defend the UK Tory partys time in government.

    Ruth would also have to defend her pro immigration and remain views to the Tory hard right of the party and explain herself to the Jaywick type Tory voter who are more kipper and BNP in nature.

  46. @Catman

    “Defected to the blue team?”


    What kind of defection is that?

  47. S Thomas

    “labour already accepts that its election will lead to a run on the pound.”

    Is that your own idea to be deliberately misleading or have you just read that somewhere and accepted it at face value?

    Labour has not accepted there will be a run on the pound when they are elected, they are just planning for the possibility. It is called contingency planning and seems to me to be a highly sensible thing to do.

  48. Catmanjeff

    “Defected to the blue team?”

    Two have, the third has just left. Of the 14 who have left UKIP in the last two years, eight have defected to the Tories, six have gone independent.

  49. Having to put Brexit in action was always going be an albatross around the neck of which ever party is the Downing Street hot seat (IMO).

    The simple wish of the referendum outcome cannot be met in the real world without significant pain and difficulty.

    The Government has years of difficulty trying to fulfil the electorate’s impossible mission to deliver Brexit without large short term issues at least.

    Can Mrs May, or her future replacement take this battering for year after year without being seriously damaged by the time of the next GE?

    It’s a big ask…

  50. What the leadership poll mainly shows is the lack of decent candidates that the Conservatives have on offer – even in the opinion of Conservative Party members. It’s worth listing the full set (Good Leader – Bad Leader = Nett):

    Boris Johnson 56 – 36 = +20
    Damien Green 21 – 33 = -12
    David Davis 55 – 30 = +25
    Philip Hammond 32 – 54 = -22
    Amber Rudd 42 – 37 = +5
    Liam Fox 31 – 47 = -16
    Tom Tugendhat[1] 11 – 11 = 0
    Sajid Javid 29 – 35 = -6
    Jacob Rees-Mogg 53 – 32 = +21
    Ruth Davidson 58 – 18 = +40
    Dominic Raab 20 – 18 = +2
    Priti Patel 32 – 37 = -5

    What is notable is that, except for Davidson[2], who isn’t eligible, all the leading candidates have at least 30% of the members opposed. In the case of Johnson and Rees-Mogg 20% of say that they “Would make a very poor leader”.

    A lot of this is linked with opinions on Brexit, prominent Leavers or Remainers get marked down by the opposite side of the Party. Though being brown doesn’t seem to help either.

    YouGov also ran ‘head-to-heads’ between Johnson, Davis and Rudd. Johnson beat Davis 46-39 and both beat Rudd easily. It suggests Boris is the front-runner but not by much and that’s something that could switch in the campaign.

    As for Rees-Mogg his support, that so astonished Anthony, is no doubt due in part to the support of his media chums, but also in being seen as the candidate of the ultra-Leavers – from where he draws his support even more than Boris does. Pete B asked on the previous thread:

    Why wasn’t there an option for a ‘harder’ Brexit? I would take this to mean walking away from the negotiations now? I’m not saying whether this would be a good idea or not, but it might be the view of some voters.

    and in this poll the members were offered the option Britain should leave the EU as soon as possible and not seek to negotiate any sort of deal with the EU which was backed by 19%. This is emotional politics taken to its ridiculous extreme, but it is clearly attractive to many and Rees-Mogg may be seen as its standard bearer.

    Of course he would have to get to the final shoot-out first and the danger (if he stands) would be that he and Boris would split their support among MPs and one (or both) of them would not get into the last two.

    Of course there is still room for an outsider not even on the list to pick up support (Greening? Leadsom??), but apart from the over-keen Boris no one seems that eager for a contest at the moment and May looks safe by default.

    [1] I assume he was included as ‘Generic Backbencher’, in fact I had to check to see that Anthony hadn’t made him up. There does seem to have been some touting of him as a future leader:
    though the fact that his wife is not only French, but a French judge, might tell against him in some quarters.

    [2] Although she comes second, trailing Boris 23-19 (though she is most popular among remainers), oddly she doesn’t do much better among Scottish members than otherwise. This may suggest resentment at her potentially quitting or perhaps that she is seen as a less attractive candidate by those who know her.

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