With ballot papers landing on doormats this weekend, the latest YouGov/Times poll of Conservative party members shows Boris Johnson is still heading for a landslide victory in the ongoing leadership election.
Despite rocky moments during the campaign with questions about the frontrunner's personal life, 74% of eligible members still plan on voting for Boris Johnson, with just 26% saying they will vote for Jeremy Hunt. This 48 percentage point lead is unchanged since our previous poll at the start of June.
With time running out, Hunt will find it difficult to syphon off Johnson voters in the final days. Over eight in ten (82%) members, and over nine in ten (92%) of those who are supporting Boris Johnson, now say they are fairly certain which candidate they will vote for. Just 15% say they might change their mind.
One reason why Johnson's lead hasn’t been damaged over the course of the campaign is because party members don’t seem to care much about his private life, with three quarters (77%) saying that it is not relevant to whether or not he would make a good prime minister, and just one in five (19%) saying it is relevant.
Amongst members who say they will vote for Johnson, 93% think his personal life is irrelevant compared to just 5% who think it is relevant.
Instead, party members voting decisions are mainly being driven by Brexit.
Whilst members are sceptical of both candidates’ abilities to get a better deal (just 45% think Boris will get a better deal and 22% think Hunt will) and think it is unlikely either will be able to get any deal through the House of Commons (36% think Boris would be able to, just 23% think Hunt will be able to), there are big differences when it comes to the issue of a No Deal Brexit.
While nine in ten (90%) party members think Boris Johnson would be prepared to take Britain out of the EU without a deal, just 27% think the same of Jeremy Hunt. As our previous polling has shown, by a large margin Conservative members want a Prime minister who is willing take Britain out of the EU without a deal, either straight away (24%) or if a better deal is not reached (59%).
So with time running out and Brexit pushing members towards putting their cross in his box, Boris Johnson looks all but certain to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, and Britain’s next Prime Minister.