A new survey by Conservative Home suggests that Tory membership support for the PM to remain in power is growing.
39% of surveyed members said they would not want Theresa May to stand down ahead of the next election in 2022 – or possibly sooner - up from 27% in June.
The most popular answer give was still for May to leave, with 51% saying they would like her to do so at some point before the next vote and 8% calling for an immediate departure from office.
In June, 71% of surveyed members called on the prime minister to step down some point before the next election, a comparison that shows that things are moving in May’s direction.
Will Theresa May step down?
We live in a new political era of shock and surprise, where the unexpected has become the expected. Many called on Theresa May to step down soon after June’s exit poll, but the prime minister is set to lead the country into 2018.
At this stage, with Labour beating the Tories in the polls, and May’s approval ratings overall still significantly negative, it looks more unlikely than likely that she will lead her party into the next election.
Much will depend on the Brexit deal she eventually agrees with the EU. Furthermore, with Jeremy Corbyn unlikely to stand down before the next election (the Guardian recently reported that he plans to fight the next vote), a future election could be another battle between May and Corbyn.
This will draw immediate comparisons with the 2017 election, something that could hinder Theresa May. For May to succeed in the next election if she stays on, she would need to do the TV debates, commit no immediate U-turns and have a fully-costed, widely popular manifesto.
And even she could still lose.
Perhaps it's best for her to step aside.
The full results of the survey can be accessed here.
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