Justice Secretary and Brexiteer Michael Gove is currently the peoples’ choice to take over as Conservative Party leader when David Cameron steps down, according to ConservativeHome, an independent publication covering the British Conservative Party.
The fresh poll gave Gove the lead with 31% of the vote, comfortably ahead of Liam Fox and Theresa May who were joint second-place on 16%.
Boris Johnson, who according to the same survey published in March was the most popular choice at the time with 33% of the vote, has fallen behind into third with just 14%.
Gove has enjoyed leads in back to back ConservativeHome surveys, unlike May, Fox, and Johnson, who each topped polls only to quickly fall away.
In last month’s, Gove was the preferred person to become the new Tory leader among respondents, with 26% of the vote. One month later, his popularity has increased by five percentage points.
In 2014, an Ipsos MORI poll found that the former Education Secretary was the most disliked politician in the country. This was at least partially a result of some of his radical ideas for reforming Britain’s schools — like ten hour days, tougher disciplinary measures, and more intense testing for pupils.
Now, according to ConservativeHome, the MP for Surrey Heath is the stand-out candidate to take over from Cameron when the Prime Minister eventually steps down. His strong involvement in the campaign for a Brexit is likely linked to his sudden success.
As the graphic above illustrates, 70% of respondents backed Conservatives who support a Brexit for the leader position.
This should come as no surprise, given that a YouGov survey published last month said that 51% of Conservative supporters wanted Britain to pull out of the 28-nation bloc, compared to just 29% who believed Britain should remain.
As summarised by ConservativeHome website editor Paul Goodman, who spoke to The Telegraph: “The Justice Secretary is clearly seen by our Party members as the pro-Leave Cabinet member who is performing most powerfully in the campaign.”
He added:”Party members are clearly minded at the moment to support a pro-Leave candidate: 70 per cent of them do so — almost exactly the same number as those who say that they will either vote for Brexit in June’s referendum, or are likely to.”
Boris Johnson has long been tipped to become the next Conservative party leader due to his pro-Brexit stance as well as his popularity as Mayor of London and amongst party members. However, the results of the latest poll may throw this assumption into disarray.
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