Could George Osborne be the UK's next Prime Minister?

George Osborne Budget 2013

David Cameron is five years away from giving up his position of Prime Minister, but George Osborne could be the one to replace him.

Wednesday’s budget was an interesting one. It was full of the cuts we all expected, but it also had a few surprises like the national living wage for workers over the age of 25.

Whatever one thinks of the budget it would appear that George Osborne has come out of it well. Could we be watching a future Conservative leader and Prime Minister?

Conservative members and readers of Conservative Home certainly think so.

Conservative Home

In the latest future leader poll by the site the chancellor was up seven points - the increase highest of any candidates - on 22%. However, Mr Osborne did not lead the poll.

First place went to Boris Johnson on 23.2% and second to Sajid Javid on 23.0%. The three are practically tying.

But it is George Osbourne’s jump that is most significant. Javid’s is up an impressive six points, whilst Johnson’s is up two points. Meanwhile Theresa May has fallen into fourth place on 13% (down two points).

Overall, George Osborne appears to be gaining momentum.

900 members took part in the survey. Access the results here.

YouGov

However, the poll by Conservative Home is not all. Analysis by Will Dahlgreen and William Jordan for their YouGov polling on the budget indicates that:

“More say the Budget is fair than unfair, and most of the policies are popular”

43% said it was fair compared to the 33% who said it was unfair. Compared to some of the other budgets this was not viewed as the fairest but overall it appears to have performed reasonably well.

Individual policies were also polled by YouGov. The increase in the threshold for income tax (originally a Lib Dem idea) was the most popular with 84% saying it was a good idea. The living wage also proved popular along with the benefits cap being lowered and the 2% of GDP defence spending target.

David Cameron has said he will not seek another term as Prime Minister in 2020, so someone in the Conservative party will need to take the reigns. The party has a wide range of talent and will likely have an interesting leadership debate when the time comes.

If Osborne plays his cards right and keeps up this momentum then he could find himself in the prime position to lead his party and eventually his country.

View the full results of the YouGov poll here.

Betting

What do the betting markets say? Boris Johnson is still the favourite for next Prime Minister (according to William Hill) with odds of 11/4, but Osborne is a clear second with odds of 7/2. Andy Burnham's are 7/1, whilst Liz Kendall's are 25/1.

Could George Osborne one day lead the UK? It's more likely than you might have thought.

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