Public Know Boris, But Confuse Philip Hammond With Julian Assange


One thing crucial for any prime ministerial hopeful is that the public actually know who you are. A poll published on Tuesday reveals that in these stakes, Boris Johnson is doing rather well. However, the defence secretary Philip Hammond will be depressed to learn not only do most voters not have a clue as to who he is - some confuse him with Julian Assange.

A survey conducted by Tory peer and polling guru Lord Ashcroft revealed that 91% of those asked knew Boris was Boris.

But there was much worse news for some of his possible rival future Tory leadership candidates. Only 55% could identify home secretary Theresa May, just 29% knew who education secretary Michael Gove was and an embarrassingly small 10% could put a name to Hammond's face.

Gove has persistently denied he has his eyes on David Cameron's job despite rumours to the contrary. And both May and Hammond have recently been accused of being on manoeuvres.

But all three cabinet ministers would have to combine their ratings from the poll to overhaul Boris' commanding lead in public recognition.

Cameron however has a lead over the rest of his cabinet, with 94% of those asked being able to correctly identify the prime minister.

Lord Ashcroft's poll also discovered who the leading political figures were most often confused with.

Gove had the honour (or dishonour) of being mistaken for Ukip leader Nigel Farage. While some people mistook Hammond for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Nick Clegg, who has a relatively high public recognition rating of 80%, is sometimes confused with George Osborne or Peter Jones from Dragons Den.

A pretty impressive 89% of people recognised Ed Miliband, however perhaps understandably he was sometimes confused with his brother David, or more unfavourably, Bert from Sesame Street.

And Osborne might be pleased to hear he is sometimes mistaken for Hollywood star Tom Hanks - which is perhaps better than Jeffrey Osborne.