Politics professor debunks poll with the runaway Boris Johnson lead
- Credit: AFP/Getty Images
A poll commissioned by the Telegraph has put Boris Johnson far ahead in voters' opinions - but several commentators have cast doubt on its methods.
The survey of 2,017 adults between June 7 and 9 found that if Boris Johnson were Tory leader, 24% would vote Conservative - nine per cent ahead of Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab.
The poll also found that under this hypothetical Johnson leadership, the Brexit Party vote share drops from between 12% to 14% under other candidates, to 9%.
The figures have spurred speculation that the candidate, who has gathered the support of 64 MPs, is the only person who can see off the Brexit Party threat.
The poll also found that 27% of respondents felt Johnson has what it takes to be a good prime minister, 13 points ahead of his nearest rival, Jeremy Hunt.
You may also want to watch:
Crunching the numbers, Sky News has projected that a Johnson leadership would give the Tories a general election with with a majority of 140 seats.
But academics and professional pollsters have warned against taking too much from the poll.
- 1 These are the 322 Tory MPs who voted against extending free school meals to children
- 2 Betty Boothroyd delivers scathing assessment of Boris Johnson's government
- 3 Priti Patel set to hand private firms £28 million in government contracts to deport asylum seekers from UK
- 4 Question Time: Ex-Tory minister accused of making 'sickening' comment about free schools meals row
- 5 The harsh truths learned from halt in Brexit talks
- 6 Downing Street withholds praise for business and local authorities offering free meals to hungry children
- 7 At the upcoming US election, Donald Trump really is toast
- 8 Priti Patel bullying inquiry may never be released, hints Boris Johnson's new civil service boss
- 9 Boris Johnson 'plans to resign' in six months because he can't live on £150k salary
- 10 German MEP tells Boris Johnson he 'owes' Britons a Brexit deal as she urged a return to EU trade talks
"Making any decisions based on polling about a hypothetical general election with a hypothetical party leader and then trying to translate that to seats incorporating a new party into the equation with nearly a quarter of the vote would be ... Brave," said Deltapoll founder and former YouGov pollster Joe Twyman on Twitter.
Manchester University politics professor devoted a thread to breaking down "a number of obvious methodological problems" with the poll, calling it "badly designed".
In the thread, he elaborates on several assumptions that the poll has made.
He starts by pointing out the poll assumes both the candidates and their political positions are equally well-known by the respondents.
In addition, "The poll assumes voters are good at predicting their own behaviour in a hypothetical situation," he said. "They really aren't. There is a lot of good evidence on that."
It's "uttlerly nuts" to assume people can predict, after the year in politics we've had, their future reaction to the unknown impact of a new prime minister on the political context.
He also warned against the electoral maths being done on seat changes, suggesting it's simply not possible to translate votes into seats with the shifting party landscape.
"There's nowt wrong with the fieldwork or representativeness of this poll," he said. "It's just badly designed, pretending to give info that its simply not possible for a poll to give."
Johnson's campaign launch coincides with the poll results.
Although the Telegraph employs Johnson as a columnist, the poll conducted by ComRes was weighted to represent all British adults.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.