BORIS Johnson has soared ahead in the battle to replace Theresa May in No10, a new poll revealed today.
The Brexiteer big beast has twice the support of his nearest rvial among the Tory grassroots activists who will pick the next PM.
Boris Johnson is the frontrunner to be the next Tory leader and Prime Minister
His rise comes as Mrs May faces a rebellion from members who will try to force her out in a special meeting in a few weeks.
The Prime Minister has pledged to quit after sealing a Brexit deal – but is now under pressure to step down immediately as the Tories plunge in the polls.
A survey of activists by the influential Conservative Home website shows 33 per cent now back Boris to be the next party leader.
Next is fellow Brexiteer Dominic Raab on 14 per cent, with Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid following.
Several possible contenders such as David Davis, Matt Hancock, Esther Mc Vey and Penny Mordaunt are on less than 2 per cent each – suggesting they would face an uphill climb.
Conservative Home boss Paul Goodman said of Boris: “His resignation catapulted him to the front of the queue as the main Conservative opponent of Theresa May’s EU policy. And the worse she does, the more he thrives.”
But he added that Mr Johnson’s success could increase support for the PM among Tory MPs who don’t want to see him in Downing Street.
The next leader will be chosen by a vote of all Tory members from a shortlist of two selected by the party’s MPs.
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Dozens of constituency chairmen have signed a petition calling for a special meeting of the party where they would hold a no-confidence vote in Mrs May.
Although the motion wouldn’t be binding, it would ramp up the pressure on the PM to resign by showing she had lost the support of key local activists.
A separate Conservative Home poll yesterday showed three fifths of Tory members say they will vote for the Brexit Party in the European elections next month if Britain hasn’t left the EU by then.
London News Pictures Boris is loved by activists but divisive among Tory MPs
Getty Images – Getty Theresa May is under pressure from the grassroots
AFP Dominic Raab is second in the poll of Tory members
Theresa May spotted in yellow vest working as marshal at Easter race in her constituency
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