In charts: Rishi Sunak or Sajid Javid may be Tories’ best chance of winning next election

·2 min read
Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak - Leon Neal/Getty Images
Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak - Leon Neal/Getty Images

Rishi Sunak or Sajid Javid may have the best shot at retaining the Conservatives’ majority at the next general election, according to polling.

Research conducted by Ipsos this week showed 31 per cent of British adults think Mr Sunak, who resigned as Chancellor on Tuesday, would do a good job as prime minister – the highest of any Tory contender in the race to succeed Boris Johnson.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, was second with 30 per cent, while Sajid Javid, the former health secretary who also quit on Tuesday, was third with 29 per cent.

Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, and Dominic Raab, the Deputy Prime Minister, were joint fourth, with 22 per cent believing they would do a good job in Number 10.

As the Conservative leadership contest gets under way, MPs will be turning to polling in the hope of understanding which contender could deliver a Tory win at the next election.

Polling from Ipsos in June showed Mr Sunak had the highest support of all the main frontrunners among those who voted Conservative in 2019 and Leave in 2016.

The polling also showed that 26 per cent of Liberal Democrat voters said they viewed the former chancellor favourably.

Following the huge swing from the Conservatives to the Lib Dems in the Tiverton and Honiton by-election last month, MPs may be tempted to opt for Mr Sunak in the hope that he can shore up the vote in Tory heartlands.

Mr Javid has a slight edge in the North, with 27 per cent of voters viewing him favourably versus Mr Sunak’s 26 per cent – something of note to the Conservative MPs in Red Wall seats.

Separate polling from YouGov at the start of the year showed that around 92 per cent of people have heard of Mr Sunak and 89 per cent have heard of Mr Javid.

Priti Patel is the most well-known of all contenders, with 94 per cent having heard of her – but she is also the most unpopular, with 52 per cent disliking her. Fifty per cent said they disliked Michael Gove.

Only 37 per cent said they had heard of Mr Wallace, while 35 per cent said they had heard of Penny Mordaunt, the trade policy minister. The two came top of a recent ConservativeHome poll of who should lead the party after Mr Johnson.

Mr Wallace also came out more favourably than Sunak in the Ipsos poll of Liberal Democrat voters and just as favourably among Labour voters, suggesting he may also have the wide appeal needed to deliver a majority.

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