Tory Party under Boris Johnson could regain votes of ‘lost Conservatives’

Boris Johnson beat ten other Tories in the poll including Lord Cameron, Kemi Badenoch and Suella Braverman
Boris Johnson beat 10 other Tories in the poll, including Lord Cameron, Kemi Badenoch and Suella Braverman, should the Tories move on from Rishi Sunak - WPA POOL/GETTY IMAGES EUROPE
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Boris Johnson is the only Tory who would outperform Rishi Sunak against Sir Keir Starmer if the party changed leader, a new poll has suggested.

The poll, commissioned by Lady McAlpine, a long-standing party supporter, found that the former prime minister is the most popular candidate to succeed Mr Sunak as Tory leader.

He beat 10 other Conservatives, including Lord Cameron and Kemi Badenoch, to become the favourite to replace Mr Sunak should the party change leader.

More than half of those who voted Tory in the 2019 election and have decided to vote for a different party this time but haven’t decided which, said they would vote for the Conservative Party if it were led by Mr Johnson.

Lady McAlpine commissioned Whitestone Insight, a member of the British Polling Council set up by ComRes founder Andrew Hawkins, to survey 13,534 British adults online between Jan 23 and Feb 7.

‘A squeaky clean party would beat Labour’

The survey asked whom the respondent would rather vote for between Sir Keir Starmer and a range of different Conservative politicians.

It found that 28 per cent of people would vote for Mr Johnson against Sir Keir Starmer, compared to 25 per cent saying they would vote for Mr Sunak over his rival.

Among the “lost Conservatives”, who said they won’t vote Tory at the next election but don’t know who to vote for, 52 per cent said they would vote for Mr Johnson over Sir Keir.

This is compared to 39 per cent saying they would vote for the current Prime Minister over the Labour leader.

Suella Braverman, the former home secretary, and Penny Mordaunt, the Commons Leader, received 23 per cent versus Sir Keir, with Priti Patel polling at 22 per cent and Ms Badenoch 19 per cent.

The former prime minister topped the poll for potential successors to Mr Sunak, with Ms Mordaunt coming second and Lord Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, coming third.

More than four in 10 (45 per cent) of 2019 Conservatives said that they could be persuaded to vote for the Tories again if Mr Sunak were not leader.

Lady McAlpine said that she believed if Mr Johnson led a “new squeaky clean Conservative Party”, the Tories would beat Labour.

She said of the current party: “If we have the brains, they’re not evident and that’s because the personality is not there, the charisma is not there. To be a leader, you have to have enormous charisma to be a good leader.”

She added: “It doesn’t matter where Boris goes in the world. People like him and therefore listen to him. They don’t like you, they don’t listen to you.”

It comes after The Telegraph revealed that 70 per cent of current Conservative voters said the party was “wrong to force Boris Johnson to resign”.

Tory strategists want to deploy Mr Johnson on the campaign trail later this year, despite him and Mr Sunak falling out in 2023 over Mr Johnson’s honours list.

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