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Boris Johnson has a massive lead in the Tory leadership contest, poll finds

Johnson has a 26% lead over his nearest rival.

Image: Dominic Lipinski

MEMBERS OF THE Conservative Party overwhelmingly want Boris Johnson to be the UK’s next Prime Minister, a new poll has found.

The former foreign secretary has hoovered up the backing of 39% of the membership, according to a YouGov poll for The Times conducted this week.

He holds a massive lead over his nearest rival, fellow Brexiteer Dominic Raab, who is favoured by 13% of Tory party members. All the other contenders are in single figures including Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Jeremy Hunt.

The format of a Conservative Party leadership contest sees the party’s MPs hold a series of ballots, with the candidate that garners the fewest votes eliminated at each stage.

When there’s just two contenders left the winner is then selected in a wider vote of all party members. Today’s poll suggests that if Johnson can survive the series of ballots he would easily be elected by the wider party members.

In a head-to-head run-off between Johnson and Raab the poll suggests the former Mayor of London would decisively beat Raab by 59% to 41%. His margin over all the other candidates was even wider.

Unsurprisingly Johnson didn’t poll well among Tories who voted Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum, coming in fifth place among that cohort. In total 31% of Tories think he would be a “poor” leader and he is less popular in London than the rest of the country despite his eight-year stint as mayor of the capital.

Johnson confirmed that he will contest the leadership race at a private event yesterday. His announcement prompted Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to label him a “complete and utter charlatan”.

“The prospect of him becoming prime minister of the United Kingdom is, I think, one that will horrify many people across Scotland,” the leader of the Scottish National Party said.

“Even the Scottish Tories here are terrified at the prospect because I think they know what it would do to their standing,” she added.

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Ceimin Burke

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