Jeremy Hunt would lose the final round of a Tory leadership contest against all of his main potential challengers, a new poll of the Conservative grassroots has suggested.
The former health secretary has left the door open to another bid for the top job, as he said he would “have to see what the circumstances are and then make the decision” on whether to stand.
But a ConservativeHome survey has shown Mr Hunt may face an uphill battle to secure victory, even if he was to make it to the final two candidates when Tory members decide the winner.
The survey asked grassroots members who they would vote for in a variety of potential final two combinations – but Mr Hunt finished as the runner-up against every hypothetical challenger.
For example, in a contest with Liz Truss, Mr Hunt got 24 per cent of the vote, while the Foreign Secretary was backed by 59 per cent of respondents.
It was a similar story against Rishi Sunak – 55 per cent to 20 per cent – and against Penny Mordaunt – 63 per cent to 18 per cent. Against Ben Wallace, Mr Hunt got just 14 per cent of the vote compared to the Defence Secretary’s 72 per cent.