Deputy political editor for Sky News Sam Coates broke down the voting patterns of over 1,000 Tory Party members via a survey conducted jointly by Sky and YouGov, revealing that the Party still had a lot of “affection” for the caretaker Prime Minister. Of the Tory member respondents, 46 percent of them said they still backed Mr Johnson, while support for the two other candidates appears reflective of their respective backing of the PM.
It comes as Rishi Sunak, whose resignation helped spark Mr Johnson’s fallout, said the PM was still “not replying” to his messages.
Mr Coates said: “The affection that the Conservative Party has for Boris Johnson is evident. We asked: ‘What if Boris Johnson was actually on the ballot paper?’
“And he wins by a landslide. 46 percent say they would vote for him, 24 percent for Liz Truss, and 23 percent for Rishi Sunak.
“This group of people, the Conservative Party, quite clearly do not think that Boris Johnson should have been slung out of No10 at all, in this poll.”
Mr Coates went on to reveal that, according to the poll, Liz Truss has a “commanding lead” over Rishi Sunak, with an overwhelming 66 percent of the vote.
Of those members that have already voted, within those polled, the proportion of support for Ms Truss went up to 68 percent. Roughly 60 percent of those polled had already voted, versus around 50 percent of all Tory members.
And concerning those in the polling that have not voted, the differences between the two contenders are much smaller, though 26 percent of respondents say they do not yet know who they would support.
Ms Truss holds 44 percent of the member’s votes, while Mr Sunak has just 29 percent. Extrapolating from this sample to the Tory membership as a whole, Mr Sunak would need to win considerably more than half of the undecided votes to have a chance at overcoming the foreign secretary.
READ MORE: Truss to win Tory leadership with 68% voter backing – poll [REVEAL]
But Mr Johnson tried to resist standing down even as ministers, including Cabinet members, resigned around him in the wake of a series of scandals, including Partygate.
Asked if Mr Johnson took too long to resign, Mr Sunak told ITV’S This Morning: “In the end, it went on for a couple of days – it was a bit odd.”
Mr Johnson has not declared who he supports in the race to replace him, but his most staunch allies have come out in favour of Mr Sunak’s rival Liz Truss.
Asked if the Prime Minister still talks to him, Mr Sunak said: “No, no. I’ve reached out to him but understandably he’s not replied.
“That’s fair but it wasn’t just me, at the end of the day, 60 other members of the Government all resigned as well.”
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