That over a third of our Party member panel believes that Boris Johnson should resign is a menacing result for him. Remember that 93 per cent of more or less the same people gave him a thumbs-up in our first Cabinet League Table after the last general election.
Had this survey not gone out with local elections due very soon, the percentage saying he should quit might have been higher. Or if it had given respondents the option of saying he should go now or later: the latter could have dragged some votes over from the supportive column.
Perhaps we will do exactly that at some point soon, but I like to keep the questions as simple as possible. But enough of these might-have-beens: the fact is that a majority of Conservative members, if our survey is right, want Johnson to stay as Prime Minister and Tory leader, at least for the moment.
He is helped by almost exactly the same proportion believing that partygate is being overblown by the media and is not important to most voters. Last month, 59 per cent of respondents took that view while 38 per cent did not. This month, those figures have scarcely twitched: they are 58 per cent and 39 per cent.
Furthermore, 95 per cent are satisfied with Johnson’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – an emphatic thumbs-up. Our latest Cabinet League this week will give a sense of the panel’s view on his and others’ performance more widely.
But the headline message of this survey is that if Conservative MPs move against Johnson they will be doing so without the support of a majority of Tory members – if the survey is correct and as matters stand.