- Brexit Secretary David Davis is ahead in the jostling to replace Theresa May.
- Conservative activists believe Davis is their best bet among current frontrunners.
- But almost a third of members choose ‘none of the above’.
- Cabinet ministers reluctant to move against May due to fear Corbyn will become PM.
LONDON — The Brexit Secretary David Davis is now the favourite among Conservative Party activists to replace Theresa May as their leader and Prime Minister.
A new survey of Conservative members by the Conservative Home website found that Davis is the first choice to replace May with 24% of members, overtaking the foreign secretary Boris Johnson on 18%. International Development Secretary Priti Patel is in third place at 8%.
The Brexit secretary is the current bookies favourite to replace May at 4/1 with Ladbrokes, ahead of the Chancellor Philip Hammond and Johnson.
Davis is far and away the most popular member of May’s cabinet with activists, with a net satisfaction of 78%.
May, on the other hand, has dropped from first place to second to last. She now has a net satisfaction with Conservative members of minus 26%, according to another poll conducted by ConservativeHome this week.
ConHome’s research suggests that party members are far from excited by the current frontrunners in the race to replace May, however.
While Davis is the current frontrunner, more party members said they would choose none of the above, when offered to choose between the leading 7 frontrunners.
The survey did not offer members the option of current leader of the House Andrea Leadsom. Business Insider revealed last week that the former leadership candidate has been urged by dozens of MPs to put her name forward in any future contest.
Senior cabinet figures are increasingly jostling for position following May’s failure to win an overall majority in last month’s general election.
“There is no plan, no strategy, no direction,” One Conservative minister told the Financial Times.
Fear of a second general election is so far preventing any attempt to oust May, however. As one Conservative MP tells the paper: “The person holding the party together is Jeremy Corbyn. The fear of Corbyn is greater than any nuance in the Brexit negotiation.”
The prime minister told her MPs last month that she would stay as long as they wanted her to, telling the first meeting of backbench MPs since the election that “I have got you into this mess so I will get you out of it.”