Amongst all sections of the Public, Theresa May Currently Clear Choice for Next Leader of the Conservative Party.

Leadership Analysis, Policy trust, Personal Characteristics and How Do You Solve a Problem Like Boris?”

On behalf of the Mail on Sunday, we conducted a detailed review of public attitudes to the final five candidates for next leader of the Conservative party.

Today’s results, laid out in detail below show Theresa May has a clear public opinion lead, and is popular for the Leadership with current and former Conservative voters, leave and remain referendum voters, and Labour voters. Finally the home secretary scored highly on personal trust relating to key policy areas and the public’s perception of personal characteristics.

Using a randomised question position method to avoid any potential order bias and polling 1,013 UK adults between June 30th-July 1st and also used official parliamentary photographs (to aid name recognition) where appropriate alongside the name and stated position (or former position) of the candidates.

Questions were asked of the candidates together, separately and as “leadership contest head to heads” of  Michael Gove, Theresa May, Andrea Leadsom, Liam Fox and Stephen Crabb.  Summary results of the polling are detailed below.  The Full 53 Data Tables with weighting and sample information can be found here:

Results Summary – All Candidates

On Thursday June 30th the candidates for the next leader of the Conservative Party were finalised, following David Cameron’s decision to step down as Conservative party leader in September. Boris Johnson did not put himself forward for the leadership. The 5 final candidates are as follows.

• Michael Gove MP, Justice Secretary
• Theresa May MP, Home Secretary
• Andrea Leadsom MP, Minister of State for Energy & Climate Change
• Liam Fox MP former Defence Secretary
• Stephen Crabb MP, Work & Pensions Secretary

Between the following candidates who do you think would be the most suitable next leader of the Conservative Party?

Final Five



“Head to Head” Opinion Comparisions

If the Leadership becomes a straight choice between the following candidates who do you think would be the most suitable next leader of the Conservative Party? (note, questions were asked separately and appeared in random order on the page)


Michael Gove vs Theresa May

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Stephen Crabb vs Theresa May

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Michael Gove vs Stephen Crabb

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Theresa May vs Liam Fox

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Theresa May vs Andrea Leadsom

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Policy Trust Questions

Between the following potential candidates who do you trust most on the economy?

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Between the following potential candidates who do you trust most to negotiate with the EU?

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Between the following potential candidates who do you trust most on national security?

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Between the following potential candidates who do you trust most on immigration?

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Between the following potential candidates who do you trust most on public services such as the NHS and Education?

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Personal Characteristics*

*Complete perceptions of personal characteristics are in the data tables the below table represents the % of respondent who said ‘Yes’ vs “No” to the following personal attributes.

Would you describe this person as?

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And finally How Do You Solve a Problem Like Boris?”

This has been a long post and it’s a sunny day outside so revisting the musical theatre reference from our title – given there’s yet “another suitcase in another hall” for Survation’s former clear Conservative Leadership opinion leader Boris Johnson – “what happens now?”

After Michael Gove threw his hat into the ring, did Boris Johnson do the right thing by withdrawing from the Conservative Leadership Contest?

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Should Boris be given a role in a future cabinet?

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That’s all for now, we may follow up with additional research on Conservative party members later in the contest. I do hope you have the opportunity to leave the dramatic political television and enjoy the sunshine today -if you are in a part of the UK currently enjoying balmy weather – in direct contrast to the party political climate, which seems more barmy than balmy.  I’ve made some notes on today’s polling methodology and some background in the footer below.


Damian Lyons Lowe

Founder & Chief Executive

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Methodology notes


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Damian Lyons Lowe

Damian Lyons Lowe

Damian leads Survation's research offering, co-ordinating tech, social science & academic innovation to solve challenges. Damian has over 20 years of work experience within leading research environments including technology, healthcare, financial services and political science. He most enjoys co-ordinating the work of experts in their fields to provide genuine insights to commercial & non-commercial customers and friends to try to solve the challenges that exist within business and civil society.

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