The possiblity of a 140 majority would surely tempt the new PM
There is little doubt that the Telegraph’s ComRes poll that appeared on June 11th played a major part in the Conservative leadership contest. It came out at a crucial time just as the MP rounds of voting were due to start.
As the headline above showed it pointed to a Johnson led Conservative Party winning a majority of 140 seats over LAB in a general election. The paper noted at the time:-
“Asked how they would vote if Mr Johnson was Prime Minister compared to his main rivals, 37 per cent said they would vote for the Conservatives, 22 per cent said they would vote for Labour, 20 per cent said they would vote for the Liberal Democrats and 14 per cent said they would vote for the Brexit Party.
Using these figures and taking out those who ‘didn’t know’ and ‘wouldn’t vote’, Electoral Calculus projects that the Conservatives would win 395 seats compared to 151 for Labour, 26 for the Liberal Democrats and no seats for the Brexit Party – suggesting that the former foreign secretary would have the ability to banish Nigel Farage’s party from Westminster for good.“
None of the other contenders got anywhere near that sort of success in poll and the unequivocal message from the numbers and the way it was presented in the newspaper was that Boris was the man to lead the Tories to recovery and a substantial victory.
Now that the leadership contest looks a certainty then we’ll get an idea whether the polling got it right.
Certainly the experience of new PMs taking over during a parliament is that their parties had substantial polling boosts. We saw that with Major in 1990, Brown in 2007 and, of course TMay in 2016.
If ComRes was right then the new PM effect with Johnson should dwarf them all. It could have an impact on the Tory performance in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election that takes place only a week after the new leader will be in place.
Not long to wait.