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School of Politics and International Relations

Professor Tim Bale, Tory members turn to David Davis in battle to succeed Theresa May


The Brexit Secretary David Davis is the narrow favourite among party members to succeed Theresa May, according to a new survey that was designed and its results compiled by Professor Tim Bale and Dr Monica Poletti of Queen Mary University of London and Professor Paul Webb of the University of Sussex. The survey on 1,000 Tory members, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, shows that 21 per cent of members backed David Davis as the preferred choice to replace Theresa May as leader. Only 17 per cent backed Boris Johnson and 26 per cent did not know or opted not to choose any candidate. Party members are reluctant for May to stand down now – with 71 per cent backing her to stay and 22 per cent saying she should quit. Professor Bale said: “A quarter of grassroots Tories don’t know who they want yet and around a third picked someone who, unless something incredibly dramatic happens, probably has no chance. So, for both Johnson and Davis, and just possibly for a very dark horse, too, there really is al to play for.”

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