Boris Johnson is in pole position to succeed Theresa May, according to a new poll

Rebecca Smith
Boris Johnson Attends His Constituency Declaration
The foreign secretary leads the ranking ahead of Ruth Davidson (Source: Getty)

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

In the new YouGov poll of Conservative members for the Times, the foreign secretary has leapfrogged ahead of rivals, with 23 per cent of the vote. Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, 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, while six per cent went for home secretary Amber Rudd and five per cent decided on 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 else 6 per cent
Don't know 5 per cent

A survey of Conservative activists for ConservativeHome earlier this month found 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 caused 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, to criticise 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 she will contest 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

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