Tory members want Ben Wallace to replace Boris as leader - poll

The Defence Secretary's popularity has soared since Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Published

Conservative members have voted overwhelming for Ben Wallace to replace Boris Johnson as the party's next leader, in a poll posted on the ConservativeHome website.

The Defence Secretary bumped his predecessor, Penny Mordaunt, from the top spot, becoming the most favourable candidate for the next Conservative leader.

Foreign Secretary Lizz Trust slid in as third most-favoured among Conservative members, to take over from the Prime Minister.

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace
Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace

Once highly favoured candidate for the successor of Mr Johnson, Rishi Sunak, has since taken a blow to his reputation, following controversy over his family's finances and tax affairs, which has seen him fall in popularity in the poll.

Out of the 755 people surveyed, the Defence Secretary, who is currently fronting Britain's retaliation to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, received support from more than 15 percent of respondents.

Mr Wallace's popularity has surged since Putin's invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, despite having fallen for a hoax call by Russian imposters in the early weeks of the conflict.

When last surveyed by ConservativeHome in December, Tory members did not mention Mr Wallace's name as a potential next leader.

In a separate survey hosted by the website, regarding the satisfaction of Tory members regarding the performance of Cabinet ministers, Mr Wallace topped the chart, rating more than 85 percent.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak faced criticism for not disclosing his wife's non-dom tax status
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak faced criticism for not disclosing his wife's non-dom tax status

Mr Johnson remained at the bottom of the survey, hitting a satisfaction rate of negative 21.

The Prime Minister's result falls in the wake of a vote of no confidence against his leadership last month, the biggest threat to his supremacy to date.

Chancellor RIshi Sunak witnessed the greatest defeat in satisfaction rates, falling from 20 percent six months ago to six percent recently.

In between the two surveys, the Chancellor was subject to a huge argument over the disclosure that his heiress wife, Akshata Murthy, was enjoying non-dom tax status.

In addition, Mr Sunak alongside the Prime Minister was fined by police, following an extensive investigation into the Partygate scandal.

Chair of the House of Commons' foreign affairs committee, Tom Tugendhat, was also a favourite among Tory members, as a potential candidate for Prime Minister, landing as fourth most-favoured Conservative MP.