Tory party members tend to prefer Boris Johnson to remain prime minister, however
With just a few weeks to go until the next Prime Minister is announced, new YouGov Conservative membership polling, on behalf of Sky News, shows that Liz Truss has maintained her commanding lead over Rishi Sunak.
The latest results put Truss on 66% (from 69% in our last poll on 12-17 August) and Rishi Sunak on 34% (from 31%). This gives the foreign secretary a 32-point lead as the race enters its final stages, down on the 38-point lead from our poll at the start of the month.
Truss has been the clear front-runner in all YouGov membership polling since the final two candidates were decided, and these latest figures are no different, with only marginal changes to previous results.
With nearly all ballot papers now having been received, 57% of the party electorate say they have already cast their vote, while 38% are still intending to do so. Those who have already submitted their ballot papers have voted for Truss by 68% to 32%. The margin is a little narrower amongst those who are yet to vote, but Truss still holds a strong lead. Amongst these members, 44% intend to vote Truss, 29% for Sunak, and 26% are still unsure. Removing those who are undecided, gives a 60%/40% split amongst those who have not yet voted.
While Liz Truss is the clear favourite over Rishi Sunak, her popularity pales in comparison to the outgoing Boris Johnson. Indeed, when asked who they would vote for if the ballot also included the current Prime Minister, members would much prefer Johnson (46%) over both Sunak (23%) or Truss (24%).
A majority of members (55%) now also feel that MPs were wrong to effectively force Johnson to resign in July, while 40% say they were right to do so.
With the candidates’ teams having spent the campaign bitterly briefing against or outspokenly attacking one another, and with the party coming in for criticism for choosing to debate culture wars issues instead of more pressing economic concerns, it is no surprise that many members are unimpressed with how the campaign has been conducted. Just 17% feel the campaign has shown the Conservative party in a good light, while 42% say the way the candidates have behaved has shown it in a bad light.
See full results here