Duncan Smith streets ahead in latest Tory poll


British conservatives are set to back a man to lead their party who they believe can't win the next general election according to a new poll.

Sunday Telegraph

The poll found that 76 per cent of Conservative Party members questioned would back Mr Duncan Smith against 24 per cent for his opponent.

The survey was carried out on Thursday and Friday as Mr Duncan Smith's campaign hit turbulence. On Thursday night the campaign's vice chairman in Wales, Mr Edgar Griffin, was sacked over his links with the far right British National Party.

"I don't think the BNP issue has done any damage at all, because we took swift action to deal with Mr Griffin," Mr Duncan Smith told the newspaper."

However only 23 per cent of those polled thought Mr Duncan Smith had a "good chance" of winning the next general election though even fewer, just 11 per cent, think Mr Clarke has a good chance of achieving victory.

The poll sample was relatively small. ICM interviewed just 229 members from four constituencies in different parts of England.

Earlier yesterday Mr Clarke won the backing of three prominent Conservative student leaders. The Sunday Telegraphin turn published a letter from twelve chairmen of university Conservative branches in support of Mr Duncan Smith.

The party's 300,000 members will decide the next leader in a ballot to be announced on September 12th.