Gove ahead for first time in Tory leadership poll as he moves ahead of Boris Johnson

Justice Secretary Michael Gove. Andrew Matthews/PA WireJustice Secretary Michael Gove. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Justice Secretary Michael Gove. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
JUSTICE MINISTER Michael Gove is ahead in a poll to lead the Conservative Party for the first time.

The monthly poll carried out by key Tory blog Conservative Home has put the pro-Brexit cabinet member as a front-runner, ahead of Boris Johnson.

Mr Gove’s rating is up six points to 26 per cent, having risen by 12 points last month, when he reached 20 per cent.

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Fellow Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson’s score falls by 13 points, taking him to 20 per cent.

Last month, his total of 33 per cent represented a rise of 14 points. He is in second place.

Former Conservative Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox’s rating fell by two points, leaving him on 16 per cent and he is now in third place.

Paul Goodman, the man overseeing the poll for Conservative Home, said Mr Gove’s new positioning may be due to Mr Johnson’s performances on the political interview TV programme The Andrew Marr Show shortly after he announced he was campainging to leave the EU and in front of the Treasury Select Committee.

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Mr Goodman said: “A further factor may be that the more party activists think about Gove’s early declaration for Brexit, the more they like it. And they have shown a lot of support this month for this site’s recommendation that the Justice Secretary be appointed Deputy Prime Minister: some two in three of them backed it.”

Mr Gove, who was Education Secretary during the Coalition Government, has not publicly said he would like to become a future leader of the Conservative Party.

Earlier in 2016, Theresa May went top of the survey, and Liam Fox replaced her in February.

Last month, with Mr Johnson leading the wake of his declaration for Brexit, he took the number one spot.