‘They’re both rubbish’: UoB Conservative poll finds low support for Johnson and Hunt


By Teddy Coward, Investigations Editor

The poll gave Boris Johnson a 26 percent approval rating and Jeremy Hunt 16 percent.

The final two candidates to become the next Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader have not been well-received by Conservative UoB students, according to a poll carried out by the University’s Conservative Association.

The option for ‘they’re both rubbish’, named in jest, topped the poll with 58 percent. The poll was carried out among members of the Bristol University Conservative Association via Facebook, with 33 responses by 4 July.

So it's between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.

What do our members think?

👍 for Johnson
❤️ for Hunt
😢 for they're both rubbish

Posted by Bristol University Conservative Association on Thursday, 20 June 2019

Whilst acknowledging the ‘unscientific’ nature of the poll, incoming Chairman of BUCA, Robert Porter, believes the ‘politics on lots of issues’ from members of the Association ‘is pretty representative of voters as a whole’, citing this as ‘one of the effects of being at a left-wing University such as Bristol.’

Commenting further, Porter believes that the poll ‘really just reflects voters’ broader distaste of the candidates. ‘Of all the potential candidates we had at the beginning of the hustings they are the most uninspiring. People want something new and that’s just not there with either candidate.’

'People want something new and that's just not there with either candidate.'
Incoming BUCA Chairman Robert Porter on Hunt and Johnson

When asked which other candidates members of BUCA would have liked to see in the final two, Porter responded: ‘With the exception of Andrea Leadsom and Dominic Raab, I think we’d have preferred to see literally anyone else. A lot of us really like Rory Stewart and his campaign.  He was amazing at communicating with voters. But he was never going to win with the broader membership. We actually invited him to come speak earlier on in the year although he unfortunately wasn’t able to. Hopefully we can try again and have more success!’

‘We did another poll early on in the contest and Michael Gove won that by quite a large margin. He’d have definitely been my preferred candidate. During his time at DEFRA he’s actually done something, in an otherwise paralytic government, and mirrored up Conservatism with a care for the environment. His time as Education Secretary also shows that he can create radical change.’

‘Sajid Javid was also pretty popular. The fact that he grew up in Bristol, on Britain’s most dangerous street, and then grew to become Britain’s first Asian Home Secretary is pretty incredible.’

The Liberal Democrats are also currently in the midst of a leadership contest, as Kingston and Surbiton MP Ed Davey faces the Party’s deputy leader Jo Swinson.

In a marked contrast to the views by Conservative supporters on the race to be PM, incoming President of UoB’s Lib-Dem society, Fergus Ustianowski, said that he thought Davey and Swinson ‘both are amazing’.

He added: ‘[Support for the pair] is about 50-50 amongst our committee. However, both candidates are brilliant so it’s a choice between who’s best out of two really good candidates.’

The new Conservative Party leader will be announced on July 22, whilst the new Liberal Democrat leader will be known the following day.

Featured Image: Photo courtesy of BBC News

Do you think the two candidates for Prime Minister reflect views of the University population?