Boris Johnson races away from rivals in Tory leadership race

Boris Johnson races away from rivals in Tory leadership race

Boris Johnson is streets ahead in the race to replace Theresa May as Tory leader and has an 18 point lead over his nearest rival Dominic Raab, a poll

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Boris Johnson is streets ahead in the race to replace Theresa May as Tory leader and has an 18 point lead over his nearest rival Dominic Raab, a poll of party supporters revealed today.

A poll on the influential Conservative Home website shows 33 per cent of people want Mr Johnson to take over as party chief.

He enjoys twice the support of his nearest rival Dominic Raab on 15 per cent, followed by Michael Gove on eight per cent, Jeremy Hunt on six per cent and Sajid Javid on five per cent.

The poll, published today, shows Jacob Rees-Mogg, David Davis, Matt Hancock, Esther McVey and Penny Mordaunt on just two per cent.

ConHome chief Paul Goodman said: Boris’ resignation catapulted him to the front of the queue as the main Conservative opponent of Theresa May’s EU policy. And the worse she does, the more he thrives.

‘The postponement of Brexit, the talks with Jeremy Corbyn, the return of Nigel Farage, the looming European elections, the sense of drift and paralysis…all these have bumped him up to his highest total since last August’. 

Boris Johnson looks unstoppable in terms of support from grassroots Tories who want him to be the next party leader, a new poll revealed today

Boris Johnson looks unstoppable in terms of support from grassroots Tories who want him to be the next party leader, a new poll revealed today

Boris Johnson looks unstoppable in terms of support from grassroots Tories who want him to be the next party leader, a new poll revealed today

Mr Johnson enjoys twice the support of his nearest rival Dominic Raab on 15 per cent, followed by Michael Gove on eight per cent

Mr Johnson enjoys twice the support of his nearest rival Dominic Raab on 15 per cent, followed by Michael Gove on eight per cent

Mr Johnson enjoys twice the support of his nearest rival Dominic Raab on 15 per cent, followed by Michael Gove on eight per cent

Mr Johnson enjoys twice the support of his nearest rival Dominic Raab on 15 per cent, followed by Michael Gove on eight per cent

Mr Johnson enjoys twice the support of his nearest rival Dominic Raab on 15 per cent, followed by Michael Gove on eight per cent

Theresa May has promised to quit as leader once Britain leaves the EU, but has so far failed to get a deal through Parliament.

As a result the party is set to be badly beaten in the local elections and European elections. 

Last night it emerged that three in five Tory members are set to vote for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in next month’s European elections.

In an indication of the size of the grassroots rebellion against Theresa May’s Brexit delay, a poll has found less than a quarter of Tory members are planning on voting Conservative.

The survey on the Conservative Home website found 62 per cent would be casting their vote for Nigel Farage’s new party.

It comes days after it emerged that Tory county councillors in Derbyshire were effectively going on strike by refusing to campaign for the European polls.

They said they would not take part because the elections ‘should not be happening’ – as the UK should have left the EU at the end of March.

The open rebellion comes amid growing anger at Mrs May’s decision to delay Brexit until the end of October, and over her negotiations with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn.

A poll in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday found that 40 per cent of Tory councillors plan to back Mr Farage’s party on May 23.

Fourth favourite for the job is Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Fourth favourite for the job is Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Fifth favourite Home Secretary Sajid Javid on five per cent

Fifth favourite Home Secretary Sajid Javid on five per cent

Fourth favourite for the job is Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on six per cent followed by Home Secretary Sajid Javid on five per cent

Brexiteer minister Penny Mordaunt is among the outsiders with around two per cent of support among grassroots supporters

Brexiteer minister Penny Mordaunt is among the outsiders with around two per cent of support among grassroots supporters

Brexiteer minister Penny Mordaunt is among the outsiders with around two per cent of support among grassroots supporters

And another survey for Conservative Home suggested party members were even more likely to defect than its activists.

The poll found just 23 per cent of members will vote Conservative next month, compared with 62 per cent who will cast their vote for the Brexit Party.

Four per cent say they will not vote at all and five per cent have not made up their mind. Another four per cent say they will vote for Change UK, the independent group which supports a second referendum, while less than one per cent will vote for Ukip. 

A Survation survey for the Mail on Sunday found Mrs May’s leadership is a problem for Tory councillors. Only about half said they were planning to vote Conservative at the European elections. That rose to 65 per cent if Boris Johnson were party leader.

Survation also found 43 per cent of Tory councillors believed May should resign now, with 33 per cent saying she should go after a Brexit deal has passed and only 21 per cent saying she should stay.

Referring to a decision by Derbyshire Conservatives not to campaign in the European elections, Mr Farage said: ‘The faithful servants of one of the oldest political parties in the world are on strike.

‘They refuse to go out and canvass, such is their anger – and, no doubt, sheer embarrassment – at the appalling mess created by our dishonest Prime Minister.’

It emerged last night that 70 local party chairmen have signed a petition calling for Mrs May to ‘consider her position’ as leader.

It means the National Conservative Convention, which represents Tory volunteers, now has a duty under the party’s constitution to call an ‘extraordinary general meeting’, the Daily Telegraph reported.

This would allow a no confidence vote in Mrs May to be held, even though it has been less than 12 months since the last vote, which the Premier survived in December.

Amid all the turmoil, Mrs May found something to laugh about yesterday as she spoke to choristers after the Easter Sunday service at a church in her Maidenhead constituency. Mr Farage enjoyed a cuppa at a tearoom at Shoreham Aircraft Museum in Kent.

 

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