The Boris Paradox: Hated by the Elite, Loved by Voters

Boris has again topped the ConservativeHome reader survey, taking 1 in 4 votes (24.25%). Sajid Javid (11.6%), Dominic Raab (11%) and David Davis (10.5%) trail far behind. All the other hopefuls are also rans, not even making it into double figures. The ConservativeHome survey is of course not a representative weighted survey of members, it has however in the past been reasonably accurate and there is little doubt that with more than double the support of anyone else Boris is the clear front runner. Except with Tory MPs, who if May should fall next week would in all likelihood prefer a boring, steady-as-she-goes leader. That didn’t work out so well last time…

Boris is detested by his former colleagues in the political media. The overwhelmingly remain-backing political class will never forgive him for leading the Leave campaign to success. The broadsheets traduce him every day. The political editors of the tabloids look for any excuse to give him a kicking. Yet only last month he was once again found to be the most popular leading politician in England

So that is the paradox of Boris; loved by the Tory membership, detested by Tory MPs, popular in the country despite the daily drubbing in the national media. Proven to be able to win votes against the odds in London (twice) and during the referendum. His appeal to voters is strong, and rational Tory MPs who want to beat off the threat from Corbyn will need to focus on who can win votes. Keeping Corbyn out of Downing Street is in the national interest, Boris is the most likely person to do that…


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