UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is the favourite choice among Tory members to become Conservative party's next leader after Prime Minister and party leader Boris Johnson's resignation.
Scandal-ridden Boris Johnson announced on Thursday he would quit as British prime minister after he dramatically lost the support of his ministers and most Conservative lawmakers, but said he would stay on until his successor was chosen.
New snap YouGov polling of 716 Conservative party members shows at first glance that the field appears to be diverse. Ben Wallace tops the list, at 13%, neck and neck with Penny Mordaunt (12%). Rishi Sunak takes 10% and Liz Truss scores 8%. Jeremy Hunt, who came second in the 2019 Conservative leadership contest, places joint eighth on 5%, alongside new chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, reports YouGov, reports YouGov.
But while the single top choice looks to be contentious, our polling facing five of the candidates off against one another results in a very clear winner: Ben Wallace.
Wallace wins all of his match-ups by wide margins. His closest competitor is Rishi Sunak, whom he sees off by 51% to 30%. He beats both Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt handily with 48% of the vote to their 26-29%. And most Conservative members (58%) prefer him over Jeremy Hunt (22%).
Liz Truss is a distant second in the head to heads, being firmly favoured over Jeremy Hunt but only narrowly defeating Rishi Sunak (by 5pts) and Penny Mordaunt (by 6pts).
Sunak and Mordaunt effectively tie their head to head (by 38% to 40%), while Hunt – who took a third of the vote at the 2019 leadership context – loses all of his match-ups by wide margins.
Ben Wallace became an Member of Parliament in 2005 - for Wyre and Preston North, formerly Lancaster and Wyre.
He led Boris Johnson's unsuccessful 2017 leadership campaign, before being rewarded with a cabinet post in 2019.
Wallace served in Germany, Cyprus, Belize and Northern Ireland where he helped thwart an IRA bomb attack.
He was also one of the main army personnel involved in recovering Princess Diana's body from Paris
While in the Scots Guards, he is said to have broken the record for the largest ever bill at the bar in the officers' mess.