Penny Mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch are the favourites to become the new Tory leader among the party faithful, a new poll has indicated.
Conservative Home – a news and analysis blog popular with grassroots activists – conducted a survey of its readers and the top candidate to replace Boris Johnson is Ms Mordaunt.
The international trade minister, who was previously at the Cabinet Office, got 19.6 per cent, with Kemi Badenoch, the former equalities minister coming a close second with 18.7 per cent.
Former chancellor Rishi Sunak, who currently has the most MPs backing him at 37, came in third place on 12.1 per cent.
Brexiteer Suella Braverman, who has vowed to withdraw Britain from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) if she wins, came in fourth with 11.5 per cent.
Foreign secretary Liz Truss, who launched her bid today with a promise to cut taxes, received 10.93 per cent. She was previously top of the survey when website readers were asked last December.
This was closely followed by former soldier Tom Tugendhat, who has never held ministerial office, but is promising a “clean start” for the party.
Jeremy Hunt, Nadhim Zahawi and Sajid Javid are the next three and their paltry totals may be some cause for concern as Conservative Home can be a useful barometer for how the party faithful are feeling.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps, seen as a good communicator and Boris Johnson loyalist, is just ahead of home secretary Priti Patel who comes bottom of the pile.
The previous top of the survey was defence secretary Ben Wallace, who is a popular MP among the Tory grassroots, but on Saturday he decided he wanted to focus on current job of “keeping this great country safe” and not stand to be leader.