The Tory Leadership Race

With today’s news that Prime Minister May will resign on 7th June, it was clearly time to have another look at the stakes for all the potential runners, following our last check in January 2019. Here is today’s graph, tracking back about a month’s worth of data of the cumulative social media conversation (there is a gap where the system was turned off for a week, but it hasn’t impacted much).

As can be seen Boris Johnson is now way ahead of the field, whereas the last time we looked he was not nearly a front runner. As one of his colleagues helpfully put it today, Boris’ popularity has soared now that he has learned to shut up (with friends like these….).

Boris 24 May

While the message is clear, this doesn’t make it helpful if one wants to look at how the others run, so here is the chart with Boris gone.

Rest of Tories 24 May

And so it goes, in desecending order: Hunt, Gove, Stewart, Raab and Rudd about level, Davis and Lidington about level, and then the rest of the pack declines into – Hancock, Javid, Mordaunt, McVey, Gauke, Truss and (last but not least) Brokenshire. If you want it in probability (aka Odds) terms, it is (expressed as a percentage):

Boris 42.9%
Hunt 11.4%
Gove 8.8%
Stewart 6.0%
Rudd 4.0%
Raab 4.0%
Lidington 2.9%
Davis 2.9%
Hancock 2.5%
Mordaunt 2.0%
Javid 1.8%
McVey 1.3%
Gauke 0.7%
Truss 0.3%
Brokenshire 0.1%

Thus Boris is nearly 1/2 Odds, Hunt just over 1/10, Rudd about 1/25 etc etc. The sharp eyed of you will be saying “But where is Angela Leadsom” to which the answer is “it depends”. She was running about 1% until she resigned as Tory leader, at which point Social Media went nuts and pushed her up to 8%, but this is probably a spike and her long term run-rate is far lower.

But before you take our data and run to the bookies (this is advisory data only and  does not constitute advice etc etc) remember that at least since Margeret Thatcher’s day the Tory initial front-runners seldom survive the race to the finish.

Incidentally, if you want to see more about our technology’s use in election tracking, this is a useful summary post.