Cleverly triumphs as 2018’s Best Politician on Social Media

Combining humour, personality, and robust combativeness has proved a winning formula for the Deputy Chairman.

Knowing what people value from a politician on social media is always tricky. Is it taking the fight to the other side? Championing your own cause and values? Deploying humour? Humanising oneself, and by extension one’s colleagues, by giving a glimpse into your life and personality?

Our winner in this category displays each of those qualities in his online activities, hence his stonking victory – congratulations to James Cleverly. Commiserations to Liz Truss and Gavin Williamson, whose strong Insta games didn’t get them over the line.

As for our fourth wildcard contestant, it’s interesting to note that the Absolute Boy still picked up 13.5 per cent of the votes among Conservative members. His digital clout is undeniable.

Our survey. Next Tory leader. Johnson is top again. Javid second, Raab third. Hunt is now fourth.

There are three contenders in double figures, one well ahead of the other two – and a very long tail of names in single figures,

It’s much the same story in our final Next Tory Leader survey of 2018.  Boris Johnson is top with more than double the score of the man who stays second – Sajid Javid.  The Home Secretary continues narrowly to fend off Dominic Raab, who stays third.

Last month, Johnson was on 24 per cent.  He moves up a bit to 27 per cent.  Javid puts on a point to come in at 13 per cent.  Raab does likewise and is now on 12 per cent.

David Davis drops from ten per cent to seven per cent.  Jeremy Hunt is up from seven per cent to nine per cent, and displaces Davis in fourth place.

But the snapshot picture is that there are three contenders in double figures, one well ahead of the other two – and a very long tail of names in single figures, to which we must add Esther McVey, new in the table this month.

Footnote: Theresa May can’t now be challenged via a confidence ballot for the best part of a year, so as a courtesy we’ve suspended a question we’ve asked since July last year – namely, if she should resign as Party leader and when.

However, it would be foolhardy to assume that she will necessarily be in place in twelve months’ time or earlier.  So the Next Tory Leader question stays pertinent.

WATCH: Cleverly – “Rejecting this deal means damaging uncertainly…and a real risk that we don’t leave the EU at all.”

At the start of Channel 4’s TV debate on Brexit, the Conservative Party Deputy Chairman makes his case.

Yesterday in the Commons. More opponents than supporters of the Prime Minister’s deal on the Conservative backbenchers.

That said, there was more backing for her from her party than some of today’s headlines suggest.

Distinguishing a supportive question to a Minister from the Conservative backbenches from a non-supportive one is necessarily a term of art.

With that cautionary qualification in mind, we offer our best shot at estimating which questions to the Prime Minister from her own Party were supportive, non-supportive, and neutral – for example, requests for information.

We do so simply to get a flavour of where Tory MPs are on the proposed Brexit deal, to which the answer, as you might expect, is “deeply divided”.

This morning’s headlines suggest that Theresa May had a more hostile reception than our breakdown suggests, but you are in a very bad fix as Prime Minister when the number of unsupportive questions outnumbers the number of supportive ones/

Supportive backbenchers

  • Peter Bottomley
  • James Cleverly
  • Alberto Costa
  • Vicky Ford
  • Richard Graham
  • Damian Green
  • Patrick McLoughlin
  • Huw Merriman
  • Andrew Murrison
  • James Heappey
  • Nick Herbert
  • Neil O’Brien
  • Andrew Percy
  • Nicholas Soames
  • Matt Warman

Total: 15

– – –

Neutral

  • Peter Aldous
  • Luke Graham
  • Kirstene Hair
  • Greg Hands
  • Caroline Johnson
  • Marcus Jones
  • Jeremy Lefroy
  • Edward Leigh
  • Maggie Throup
  • David Tredennick
  • Martin Vickers
  • Bill Wiggin
  • William Wragg

Total: 13

– – –

Unsupportive backbenchers

  • Steve Baker
  • Peter Bone
  • Conor Burns
  • Bill Cash
  • Mark Francois
  • Justine Greening
  • Dominic Grieve
  • Boris Johnson
  • David Jones
  • Owen Paterson
  • Mike Penning
  • Dominic Raab
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg
  • Desmond Swayne
  • Michael Tomlinson
  • Ross Thomson
  • Theresa Villiers
  • Sarah Wollaston

Total: 18