Polling June 19-20 included Conservative leadership head to heads featuring Boris Johnson vs Jeremy Hunt. This was repeated in another poll conducted today, between 1pm and 5pm. pic.twitter.com/8yRWHVRVFL
— Survation. (@Survation) June 22, 2019
Will those Tory members who decide will recoil from Boris Johnson given recent events?
Boris Johnson’s bust-up with girlfriend Carrie Symonds has handed a shock poll lead to his leadership rival Jeremy Hunt.
Two exclusive surveys by this newspaper – one taken before and the other after news broke of Friday’s dramatic incident – found that Mr Johnson’s lead of eight per cent on Thursday had turned into a three per cent deficit yesterday among all voters.
Among Tory voters, Mr Johnson’s lead as the man who would make the best Prime Minister has more than halved, from a 27-point lead to just 11….
….Survation carried out its first poll on the leadership contenders shortly after MPs concluded their voting on Thursday.
It found that when asked who would make the best Prime Minister, a total of 36 per cent of all voters backed Mr Johnson and just 28 per cent supported Mr Hunt.
But a second survey yesterday put Mr Johnson on 29 per cent and Mr Hunt in the lead on 32 per cent.
Among just Tory voters, Mr Johnson had a thumping 55 per cent on Thursday, with Mr Hunt on just 28 per cent.
By yesterday Mr Johnson was on 45 per cent and Mr Hunt was on 34 per cent – more than halving the gap between them.
When all voters were asked whether the incident had made them more or less likely to back Mr Johnson as premier, more than a third – 35 per cent – said less likely, and just nine per cent said it was more likely.
More than half of all voters (53 per cent) said Mr Johnson’s private life was relevant to his ability to be Prime Minister and three-quarters said that a person’s character was relevant to the contest.
Survation’s chief executive, Damian Lyons Lowe, said: ‘It is unusual to see a politician’s private life having this level of salience among voters.’
The Survation polling published overnight makes grim reading for those who expect Boris Johnson to lead the Tories to a majority at a general election.
The most accurate pollster at the 2017 general election finds Boris Johnson only gets the Tories a 2% boost if he becomes leader, which is stark contrast to the (in)famous ComRes poll that said Boris Johnson would lead the Tories to a landslide general election victory. So will this have an impact on Tory members?
Have a look at the YouGov polling of Tory members conducted before the story broke of Boris Johnson’s contretemps with his inamorata. 40% of Tory members say Boris Johnson cannot be trusted giving him a 7% net trust rating whilst Jeremy Hunt has a net trust rating of 21%.
Yet Boris Johnson wins the leadership 76% to 24% so this tells me Boris Johnson’s various issues are priced in with Tory members. So my view is that none of this will impair Boris Johnson’s chances of winning the Tory leadership. If he is to be denied the Tory leadership something much more serious and sustained needs to happen.
Boris Johnson’s support is eerily similar to the cult like behaviour of a lot of the supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump. No matter what scandals and terrible things they are involved their supporters will continue to back their man which is a reflection of hyper partisan times we live in. Like FDR on Sumner Welles, ‘he might be a bastard but he’s our bastard.’