Poll Boost For Sajid Javid As Tory Members Back Him To Win BAME And Younger Voters

Home secretary has said Boris Johnson is "yesterday's news" and he is the "change candidate"

Tory members see Sajid Javid as the leadership candidate that can boost the party’s prospects among young and BAME voters, according to a new poll.

The survey, carried out by YouvGov, shows that while most Conservatives still favour Boris Johnson to be their next leader and prime minister, they view the home secretary as best placed to offer the party a “proper choice” in the final run-off.

The poll found that 67% members believe Javid could help the party make progress with young and ethnic minority voters - key groups which the Tory lost to Labour at the last general election. While 13% disagreed, Javid still had a net positive rating of 54%.

The survey also found 56% (compared to 46% for Johnson) of Tory members thought Javid could understand the challenges faced by people outside Westminster.

Meanwhile 55% said Javid did not look or sound like a typical Conservative.

Javid launched his bid for the top job on Wednesday, calling the ex-foreign secretary “yesterday’s news” and casting himself as the “change candidate”.

PA Wire/PA Images

Under Tory Party rules, MPs whittle the number of candidates down to two and party members choose the winner.

The polling, commissioned before the launch event, also suggested Javid was viewed by party members as capable of uniting Remainers and Leavers and building a broad coalition of voters that could beat Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

A spokesman for Javid’s campaign said: “Today’s results show a clear appetite for a fresh face and new ideas at the top of the Tory Party. It’s vital that the Party’s final contest is a real contest that reflects modern Britain.”

The boost for Javid could pile pressure on other candidates to drop out as MPs search for one ‘stop Boris’ candidate to swing behind.

Johnson topped the first ballot of Tory MPs and the number of leadership candidates was cut from ten to seven, with more than double the support of his nearest rival.

Johnson won the votes of 114 MPs ahead of Jeremy Hunt, who came a distant second place 43 votes.

While Brexiteers Michael Gove and Dominic Raab secured 37 and 27 votes respectively, centrists Matt Hancock and Rory Stewart won 20 and 19, and Javid counted 23 supporters.

Andrea Leadsom, Mark Harper and Esther McVey all failed to secure the backing of the required 17 MPs to continue in the contest and have been eliminated.

How the YouGov poll of 944 Tory members ranked candidates on key questions

Who can unite Remainers and Leavers?

  • Sajid Javid: +6%
  • Jeremy Hunt: +2%
  • Michael Gove: -2%
  • Boris Johnson: -4%
  • Dominic Raab: -17%

Who can relate to the challenges faced by ordinary people?

  • Sajid Javid +35%
  • Dominic Raab+20%
  • Boris Johnson +9%
  • Michael Gove -8%
  • Jeremy Hunt -12%

Who doesn’t look or sound like a typical Conservative?

  • Sajid Javid +26%
  • Dominic Raab -14%
  • Boris Johnson -15%
  • Jeremy Hunt -41%
  • Michael Gove -43%

Who can make progress with ethnic and youth voters?

  • Sajid Javid +54%
  • Boris Johnson +38%
  • Dominic Raab +14%
  • Jeremy Hunt -4%
  • Michael Gove -23%

In a separate development, Theresa May’s chancellor Philip Hammond has challenged the leadership candidates to commit to keep national debt falling.

In a letter to all candidates, he called for the potential leaders to publish plans to maintain the deficit limit at 2%.

He said the MPs had to show a “dividing line between the fiscal responsibility of our party and the reckless promises of John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn”.

He added: “I therefore ask you, as a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party, to pledge that if you are the next Prime Minister your government will, at a minimum, have a clear commitment to keeping our national debt falling every year, and to maintain the current limit of the deficit at 2% of GDP at least through 2021-22.”


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