This from the last CON contest in 2005
At this stage even with members it’s about name recognition
The above chart is from a YouGov poll of Conservative party members which was carried out by YouGov in early September 2005 and published on September 10th. The timing is almost an exact parallel with the current LAB fight – about 8 weeks before the issuing of postal ballot forms.
All the parties have totally different ways of doing this and in the blues case there is an exhaustive series of ballots amongst MPs to decide which two go forward to the members’ vote.
The point I’m making is that at this stage even with party members it is the most well-known at the time who will be topping the polling.
Once the campaign has started and the ballots go out then you can get a totally different picture.
As we all know in 2005 Ken Clarke did not make it to the final two and the uptil then relatively unknown David Cameron had an easy victory over David Davis.
I should add that in that leaderdship election YouGov’s final members’ poll was right to within 1%.