By the time the next Conservative leadership election takes place, the winner may not be in the list above, some of whom may not even be in Parliament.
Nonetheless, we believe that it’s worth bringing back our Next Tory Leader survey question (though quarterly rather than monthly). Here is its first finding since Boris Johnson was elected to the post two years ago.
Only three people make it into double percentage figures.
The first and the clear front-runner in this list is Rishi Sunak. The Chancellor has returned a consistently high score from our panel when asked about his handling of the pandemic.
He will doubtless gain from being presentable and new: unlike, say, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab and Sajid Javid, he hasn’t fought a leadership election before, and there is about him a vague but powerful sense of being the coming thing.
Besides, some will ask, who else is there?
One answer is Liz Truss, although her percentage score is the best part of three times less than Sunak’s. The International Trade Secretary has topped our Cabinet League Table for the last eight months.
This being so, it would be surprising were she not to feature prominently in the poll. Her supporters will see her 12 per cent as a total that she can build on.
Meanwhile, the third person in double figures is not even a Cabinet Minister.
It’s worth keeping an eye on Penny Mordaunt, who polls a bit better than a mass of her seniors in this trial canter. How has she done so while being neither at the top table, nor a prominent backbencher with an independent profile?
Our best guess is a mix of some aggressive Commons performances, a new book, Leave credentials (which still count) and a breezy, no-nonsense, military style.
That her views are more socially liberal than those of many Party members may matter less than her actually having some.
Authenticity counts for something in modern politics, and Mordaunt has a dash of it. No-one else makes it into double percentage figures. We’ll have another look at the Next Tory Leader question in the wake of the autumn’s Conservative Party Conference.