George Osborne's hopes of succeeding David Cameron as the next Tory leader have been dashed, according to a new poll that shows Boris Johnson and Theresa May ahead of the Chancellor among Conservative supporters.
The Mayor of London now leads among Conservative voters and the general public, with the Home Secretary second in both categories.
An Ipsos MORI poll for the Evening Standard found that Mr Johnson is the favourite candidate for leader among a third of Conservative supporters, a quarter back Ms May, while the number of Tories who prefer Mr Osborne has slumped to 23 per cent, slipping from first to third in the space of six weeks.
Mr Osborne was leading among Tory supporters with 32 per cent according to the last Ipsos MORI poll at the beginning of October.
The row over tax credit cuts, which Mr Johnson has spoken out about, has damaged Mr Osborne's reputation and he suffered a humiliating defeat over the issue in the House of Lords. Mr Cameron has pledged not to serve a third term as Prime Minister, meaning a leadership election will take place at some point before the 2020 general election.
The new leader will have to be given time to prove themselves to the electorate in time for the election, so many commentators expect the contest to take place in 2019.
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