The next elec­tion ‘may be fought by three men in their seven­ties’

. . . but our poll showed most vot­ers want BoJo

The Mail on Sunday - - Bojo's Brexit Revolt - By Si­mon Wal­ters PO­LIT­I­CAL ED­I­TOR

IF BORIS John­son’s Brexit ar­ti­cle does mark the start of his long-ex­pected bid for the Tory crown, he will en­joy strong sup­port among both the party’s grass­roots and the wider pub­lic.

Ac­cord­ing to the MoS’s most re­cent opinion poll, pub­lished two weeks ago, the For­eign Sec­re­tary is the firm favourite to suc­ceed Theresa May, and would beat ei­ther of his Cab­i­net ri­vals David Davis or Am­ber Rudd. How­ever, an even big­ger num­ber of vot­ers want a ‘fresh face’ drawn from be­yond se­nior Cab­i­net ranks.

There is also strong op­po­si­tion to Bri­tain quit­ting the EU with­out a deal – the so-called ‘hard’ Brexit favoured by John­son’s al­lies – with 58 per cent of vot­ers against that op­tion.

In the Sur­va­tion poll, 19 per cent of vot­ers and 21 per cent of Tories chose John­son as next Con­ser­va­tive leader, fol­lowed by mav­er­ick MP Ja­cob Rees-Mogg, Chan­cel­lor Philip Hammond, Brexit Sec­re­tary Davis and Home Sec­re­tary Rudd.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, the strong­est sup­port for the for­mer Lon­don Mayor was found among Brexit sup­port­ers, but he was also ahead of his ri­vals among Re­main vot­ers.

A to­tal of 31 per cent of all those sur­veyed said the Con­ser­va­tives would have a bet­ter chance of win­ning the next Elec­tion if May steps down, against 15 per who dis­agree.

More than four in ten vot­ers said Bri­tain’s prospects of get­ting a good Brexit deal weaken each day that May hangs on to power; 28 per cent dis­agreed. A to­tal of 29 per cent of Tories said the party needs a ‘fresh face’ as next leader against 30 per cent who dis­agreed.

Aside from Rees-Mogg, ris­ing star Tory MPs in­clude In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment Sec­re­tary Priti Pa­tel, ex-Army of­fi­cer Tom Tu­gend­hat, for­mer karate cham­pion Do­minic Raab and ex-di­plo­mat Rory Ste­wart.

AGE AT NEXT 73ELECTION

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