Badenoch has double the support of Braverman among members to be next Tory leader, poll suggests


Kemi Badenoch has twice as much support among Conservative members to be the next party leader as the next candidate, new polling suggest.

A survey from the Party Members Project run out of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Sussex University, carried out by YouGov, asked 725 members for their views.

Once the “none” and “don’t know” responses were removed, Ms Badenoch had the support of 31% of those questioned.

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She was followed by Suella Braverman on 16% and Tom Tugendhat on 15%.

Reports have suggested support for Ms Braverman among Tory MPs is waning, while Ms Badenoch is said to have dressed down Rishi Sunak and his general election strategy in the first Conservative shadow cabinet meeting.

The full list of results is as follows:

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• Kemi Badenoch: 31%;
• Suella Braverman: 16%;
• Tom Tugendat: 15%;
• Jeremy Hunt: 12%;
• James Cleverly: 10%;
• Robert Jenrick: 7%;
• Priti Patel: 6%;
• Victoria Atkins: 2%.

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It is worth noting Jeremy Hunt has already ruled himself out of the race.

The exact rules for how the next party leader will be chosen are yet to be established – and it is not clear what role the membership will have.

However, with Bob Blackman becoming chair of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, the wheels are now in motion for the process to begin in earnest.

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According to Professor Tim Bale of QMUL: “Leave supporters among the membership are twice as likely – 20 vs 9 – as Remain supporters to back Suella Braverman for the leadership. Badenoch, too, attracts more support from Leavers, even if the difference in her case – 33 vs 28 – isn’t quite so pronounced.

“Tom Tugendhat, on the other hand, is significantly more likely to find favour with Remainers – 18 vs 11.”

Ms Braverman has more support among working-class Conservatives when compared to middle-class Tories – with the inverse true for Ms Badenoch and Mr Tugendhat.

Ms Badenoch and Ms Braverman are more likely to attract former Liz Truss supporters, while Mr Tugendhat gets the backing of those who thought Rishi Sunak would make the best leader in 2022.

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When it comes to age, Ms Braverman has more support among the over 50s, Mr Tugendhat is stronger in the below 50 range, and Ms Badenoch attracts support across the spectrum.

Interestingly, if Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are included as options, Mr Johnson leads Ms Badenoch by 20% to 10%, while Mr Farage is level with Mr Hunt on 10%.

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