Boris Johnson favourite among Conservative members to succeed Theresa May

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is firmly in the lead among Conservative party members for succeeding Theresa May as Prime Minister, according to a new poll.

In the new YouGov poll for the Times, Conservative members - who choose the party leader, the foreign secretary has leapfrogged ahead of rivals with 23 per cent. Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson was in second place on 19 per cent, while staunch Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg was in third on 17 per cent.

Asked if they had to choose, which of the listed options would they most like to see as Tory party leader, 11 per cent of members opted for Brexit secretary David Davis, six per cent for home secretary Amber Rudd and five per cent for chancellor Philip Hammond.

Read more: May urged to investigate if BoJo broke ministerial code

Which of the following would you most like to see as leader of the Conservative party?

Boris Johnson 23 per cent
Ruth Davidson 19 per cent
Jacob Rees-Mogg 17 per cent
David Davis 11 per cent
Amber Rudd 6 per cent
Philip Hammond  5 per cent
Dominic Raab 2 per cent
Priti Patel 2 per cent
Damian Green 1 per cent
Liam Fox 1 per cent
Tom Tugendhat 1 per cent
Sajid Javid 1 per cent
Someone elese 6 per cent
Don't know 5 per cent

A survey of Conservative activists earlier this month for ConservativeHome found that Johnson had dropped back in popularity, falling into fourth place behind Rees-Mogg, Davis, and justice minister Dominic Raab.

Johnson put himself back in the spotlight after setting out his Brexit vision in a 4,200 word article ahead of May's big speech this month.

That racked up controversy over his referral back to the claim that Brexit would allow the government to plough £350m a week back into the NHS. That led to Sir David Norgrove, head of the UK Statistics Authority, criticising Johnson for a "clear misuse" of government figures, while home secretary Rudd said he was "backseat driving".

And yesterday it emerged the Prime Minister was being urged to investigate whether the foreign secretary had broken the ministerial code with the claim.

The majority of Conservative members in the survey said they wanted May to step down as leader, with 64 per cent wanting her to leave before 2022. That is despite the PM's pledge that she will fight next the next General Election.

Some 13 per cent called for her resignation before Britain has left the European Union.

Read more: Hammond and Johnson paving way for bad Brexit deal

Full story: Boris Johnson favourite among Conservative members to succeed Theresa May: City A.M.