Penny Mordaunt current favourite for next Conservative leader among party members

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The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP. Creator: PO (Phot) Owen Cooban. Credit: UK MOD © Crown
  • Snap poll of Conservative party members finds over a quarter (27%) say Minister of State for Trade Penny Mordaunt is the candidate they most want to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.
  • Kemi Badenoch comes a distant second (15%), followed by Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss (both 13%).
  • When candidates are paired together in head-to-head contests – as will happen at the final members’ vote – Mordaunt comes out on top against all other candidates.

876 GB adults, 12th– 13th July 2022

A new YouGov snap poll of Conservative party members – put into field yesterday immediately following the confirmation of candidates – shows that Penny Mordaunt is the new favourite for leader among members, after previous preferred choice Ben Wallace declined to stand.

When members are asked to choose one candidate from the field for their preferred leader, the Minister of State for Trade tops the list convincingly, at 27%. Kemi Badenoch comes a distant second at 15%, followed by Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss on 13% each.

On this question, Mordaunt is the favoured candidate among members who voted Leave in 2016 (29%), and the second favourite among those who voted Remain (20%, to Rishi Sunak’s 25%).

Pairing off the candidates in head-to-head contests – as will happen at the final members’ vote – shows Penny Mordaunt beating all comers.

Her closest competitor is Liz Truss, who she nevertheless convincingly beats by 55% to 37%. She likewise firmly sees off Kemi Badenoch by 59% to 30%, and Rishi Sunak by 67% to 28%.

Mordaunt takes the majority of the Leave vote in all of her head-to-heads, and either takes the Remain vote too, or closely splits it (she takes 44% against Rishi Sunak’s 50%, and 45% to Tom Tugendhat’s 47%).

While Rishi Sunak appears to have the most support among Tory MPs at the nominations stage, he performs poorly in the head-to-heads.

The only candidate he definitely seems to be beating at this stage is Jeremy Hunt, by 57% to 25%. He is effectively tied (within the margin of error) against both Suella Braverman (his 45% to her 42%) and Nadhim Zahawi (both 41%).

The former Chancellor of the Exchequer loses to Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat and Liz Truss as well as Penny Mordaunt – the latter two by very wide margins.

Additional head-to-head matchups show Liz Truss convincingly beating both Tom Tugendhat (by 57% to 36%) and Kemi Badenoch (by 54% to 37%). In a Tugendhat vs Badenoch face-off, there is an effective tie, with the former on 42% and the latter on 44%.

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