The latest survey of support for Cabinet members among grassroot Conservative Party members shows both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak falling down the league table of gov't ministers. In the April survey, Johnson's popularity has declined to +6.6, from +33.1 in March. Meanwhile, Sunak has fallen to the bottom of the table on a net rating of -5.1 from +7.9 previously.
- Conservative Home reported that much of the reasoning behind the declining ratings was not due to the impact of the 'partygate' scandal, but views among grassroot Conservative members that the Johnson gov't and Sunak's Treasury policies are 'too left wing'. This follows Sunak's poorly-recieved spring statement in March combined with a previously-announced increase in National Insurance Contributions.
- Political betting markets have shifted further in recent days, with 2022 now viewed as the most likely year for Johnson's exit from office. An implied probability of 46.3% is assigned to Johnson leaving Downing St. this year, up from 22.7% on 10 April . according to data from Smarkets. The implied probability of Johnson lasting until 2024 or later has fallen to 39.7%, from 51.6% on 12 April.
- Should Johnson leave office/be ousted by Conservative MPs, there are few clear frontrunners. The collapse in Sunak's popularity severely damages his chances of becoming the next Conservative leader. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (coming in second place in the ConHome table with a rating of +64.0) is the bookies favourite at present, but it is not clear whether she has widespread support among Conservative MPs. Table-topping Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (+85.0) has previously stated he would not be interested in the PM's job, but his standing among party members has soared during the course of the war in Ukraine, boosting his prospects.