Rory Stewart overtakes Boris Johnson in Google search trends for Tory leadership candidates

Rory Stewart. Photograph: ITV.

Rory Stewart. Photograph: ITV. - Credit: Archant

An analysis of search trends around the MPs in the Conservative leadership race shows that Rory Stewart has overtaken Boris Johnson for the number of times his name was googled.

The two MPs have frequently topped the list of most-googled MPs in the race for the last month.

Others have risen and fallen with the news cycle, such as Esther McVey who was briefly most-googled after May 9, the day she announced her candidacy, and May 20, the day she revealed her policy agenda.

READ: Tory leadership contest: Who is running for the job?Andrea Leadsom was most-googled after she announced her resignation from Theresa May's government, but plummeted after that, even on May 25 when she announced she was standing in the leadership race.

Stewart, who was little-known to the wider public prior to the leadership race, has advocated a "citizens' assembly" on Brexit and has said leaving without a deal would be "a huge mistake".

His efforts on social media, posting his canvassing videos on Twitter and Periscope using the hashtag #RoryWalks have also attracted attention.

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In a tweet widely interpreted as aimed at Johnson, he said: "The star name will not always be the best choice."

However, his most recent boost started on May 30 - the day he apologised for having smoked opium.

READ: Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart in 'controversy' for smoking opiumAs Google updates its search trends traffic every few days, the current chart runs up to June 1 - and is likely to reflect a search boost for Johnson following Donald Trump's visit to the UK.

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On June 1, Trump endorsed Johnson for prime minister - but Stewart was still the most-googled candidate.

READ: 'Boris should be next prime minister' says Donald TrumpBut Johnson remains by far the favourite in the leadership race, with betting site Smarkets giving him a 43% chance of fulfilling Trump's wish - but giving Stewart just a 4% chance.

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