The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union is the memberships’ favourite, suggests a Conservative Party members survey by Conservative Home.
In the Conservative Home poll of party members, Davis came in first-place with 24% of respondents picking him. Fellow Brexiteer, Boris Johnson came in second place with 18% of the vote. Respondents were asked, “Who should be the next leader of the Conservative Party after Theresa May?”
In third place is Priti Patel, the Secretary of State for International Development, with 8%
Next is Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, with 7% of survey respondents picking him. It is also worth noting that “Other” got a good showing, with Conservative Home reporting that many responses of this nature suggested that the membership are keen on choosing a fresh face from one of the more recent intakes of MPs.
Of the top three MPs picked, all supported the campaign to leave the European Union, something that could be suggesting that Conservative members want the next leader to be an original Brexiteer (unlike May who converted after the Remain-side lost), as well as showing that they want the government to “get on with the job” of leaving the union.
Also, it is worth noting that the favourite, David Davis, stood for the leadership once before in 2005 against David Cameron. While that was twelve years ago, he has certainly shown he has the ambition to lead.
Theresa May has not even led the party for one year, but questions about her future continue to persist following her failed gamble to increase her party’s majority one month ago.
While the survey may hint at who could next lead the Conservatives, recent political events show us that underdogs can surge at the last minute and surprises can come from nowhere.
Finally, while this is a survey of members, the membership only gets to vote on the final two after rounds of voting by MPs. This means that the members may not even end up getting their first or even second choice if a leadership contest occurs.
The full results of the survey by Conservative Home can be accessed here.1,191 members answered the question on who should replace Theresa May.