11:46AM, Tuesday 28 June 2016
Theresa May looks to have stolen the initiative in the race to Number 10.
According to the results of a You Gov poll released last night, the Maidenhead MP was just ahead of the former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in the national standings.
And the majority of bookies have now installed her as odds-on favourite to become the next Conservative leader.
When asked the question ‘Which of the following do you think would make the best new Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party?’, 19 per cent of the general public favoured the Home Secretary – one per cent more than opted for Old Etonian Johnson.
No other candidate even managed double figures, with Michael Gove in third place on just five per cent.
More tellingly however, particularly with a leadership contest brewing in the Conservative Party, May was favoured by 31 per cent of Tories, compared to 24 per cent for Boris.
She was also in the lead among Labour and Liberal Democrats included in the poll.
And she is the current preference among 26 per cent of Remain voters, as well as 18 per cent of Brexiteers.
Nominations for the Conservative Party leadership race are due to open tomorrow morning, following last night’s meeting of the party’s backbench 1922 Committee.
After close of nominations on Thursday, MPs will select just two candidates to go before 150,000 Tory members who will decide the contest.
A final result is set to be declared on September 2.
The two-horse process has prompted a scramble to find a so-called ABB (Anyone But Boris) candidate.
Visit www.yougov.co.uk to see the full results.
The UK has voted to leave the European Union in yesterday's referendum - and while the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead fell into the remain camp, Slough voted to support a Brexit.