Could there be an effort to see that she doesn’t make the final 2?
One aspect of the two member surveys that we had overnight is that all the ConHome one was carried out yesterday while the YouGov poll fieldwork started on Friday and went through till yesterday. Given we know that most responses tend to come in during the first period of fieldwork then YouGov was probably more influenced by Friday and Saturday respondents than Sunday and Monday.
The ConHome survey, where participants are self-selecting party members, all happened yesterday after a period when the focus started to turn on Leadsom with the other leading “outer”, Gove, being pilloried right across the board in the media. For many members, I’d suggest, it has only been in the past couple of days that they’ve been made aware of Leadsom.
ConHome “polls”, as I’ve argued many times here, cannot be compared to surveys carried out by major pollsters. But we can compare one ConHome survey to previous ones carried out using their same approach. A week ago May on 29% was 1% ahead of Boris with Leadsom on 13%. So in the space of a week on this methodology she has tripled her support. Boris of course is not now on the list.
CON MPs, who’ve been described as the “world’s most sophisticated electorate”, vote today in 1st round of the their leadership contest.
I wonder if in subsequent rounds there’ll be an effort to try to squeeze Leadsom out of the top two by May supporters tactically voting for whoever looked best able to impede the climate change minister. This, of course, is what happened to Michael Portillo in 2001.
My current view is that if it is Leadsom versus May in the Members’ ballot then the former is in with a very good chance. It’ll be a bit like Corbyn versus Burnham where the former appealed to the selectorate’s “heart”.