Sajid Javid is Tory activists’ choice to be next party leader – poll
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Sajid Javid is Tory activists’ choice to be next party leader – poll

Sajid Javid, the home secretary, is the popular choice of Tory activists to be the party’s next leader, a survey revealed on Saturday.

The MP for Bromsgrove came top of in the monthly poll by the ConservativeHome website with the backing of 22% of the 1,107 votes cast.

He replaces Jacob Rees-Mogg who last month topped the poll for the fifth time in succession having been either at the top, or second choice to “other”, since the 2017 general election.

Rees-Mogg is now the fourth most popular choice, with Michael Gove, the environment secretary, lying second and “other” third.

The shift in opinion has been dramatic. Three months ago Javid was polling just 2%. In the wake of his appointment as home secretary, he took 10% of the vote, coming third. Last month, that rose to 13%.

The poll is seen as a reliable barometer of grassroots opinion although it can shift quickly. The latest result seems to suggest a move away from finding a replacement from the old team and looking for someone new.

Commenting on the result, ConservativeHome editor Paul Goodman said: “There may be a sense that change is coming sooner rather than later – that Theresa May might not be prime minister by this time next year, or even earlier, and that the time has come to think more probingly about a replacement.

“Javid may offer what party members seem to have been looking for since we restored the Next Tory Leader question: something new – a change from the old gang.

“At any rate, his elevation to the Home Office has clearly persuaded many of our panel members to give him a second look, and some like what they see – especially, perhaps, since he has now come round to backing a clean Brexit.”

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