NEW YORK – Boris Johnson looks set for a landslide victory over rival Jeremy Hunt in the race to become Britain’s next prime minister.
According to a YouGov poll published in the Times newspaper, Johnson is backed by 74 percent of Conservative Party members with Hunt languishing on 26 percent.
The survey also suggests that the vast majority of the 160,000 grassroots party members who will receive their ballot papers this weekend don’t believe Hunt’s claim that he’s prepared to take Britain out of the European Union without a deal. Only 27 percent think Hunt would do so, compared with 90 percent for Johnson.
In an interview with the Times, Hunt sought to play down perceptions that Johnson’s status as the Brexit referendum’s poster child would influence the outcome of the vote. Preparing for a exit without an agreement with Brussels is key, he said, adding that the best way to deliver Brexit would be do so with an accord.
“The choice on this election isn’t actually between our approach to no-deal, it’s who is the candidate who is most likely to negotiate a deal so that we don’t have those difficult decisions to take,” Hunt said.
The new prime minister is expected to be announced — and then take office — during the week of July 22.