LONDON — A majority of Conservative Party members want to see Theresa May resign as party leader before 2022, and almost one in ten want her to resign immediately, new polling has revealed.
A survey conducted by ConservativeHome has revealed that 52% of Conservative members wish to see the prime minister step down as Tory leader before the next general election.
Almost 10% of 1328 members polled think that May should resign now, while 36% thought that she should not resign.
This follows the prime minister’s claim that she is “here for the long term” when asked whether she would lead the Tories into the next election last week.
May said: “I’m not a quitter,” and “What me and my government are about is not just delivering on Brexit but delivering a brighter future for the UK.”
This contrasted with her comments to the Conservative backbench 1922 committee following the disastrous general election result when she said she would stay “as long as you want me.”
Despite speculation of her resignation being close, May has consolidated her position, aided by confusion about who her successor might be, and the fear amongst Conservatives that a change of leader would result in a potentially fatal general election occurring.
Paul Goodman, editor of ConservativeHome and former Tory MP said: “As matters stand, our judgement is that as matters stand she doesn’t have enough backing within either Party members or Conservative MPs to see her words of last week through.
“However, there is no consensus at all within the Party on who should replace her, and most Tory MPs (and activists) don’t want to risk another election soon. Which gives her the chance to rebuild her position, if she and her team can take it.”
A poll for ConservativeHome in August found that Brexit secretary David Davis and backbench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg were favourites to be the next Tory leader.
Reports on Monday morning suggested that May would attempt to consolidate her position as prime minister by reshuffling her cabinet, including moving Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
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