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.
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".
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.