Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt named first choice to replace prime minister Theresa May by five per cent of Conservative members –  but Boris Johnson tops the list

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A CONSERVATIVE members’ poll has named a city MP among the politicians who could succeed prime minister Theresa May.

Portsmouth North Conservative Penny Mordaunt picked up five per cent of votes in a YouGov survey gauging voters’ first choice to replace Mrs May when she steps down. 

Defence secretary and Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Defence secretary and Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The prime minister said she would start timetabling the move next month, having continuously faced pressure to resign throughout the Brexit process. 

Caroline Dinenage, the Conservative MP for Gosport, said it was ‘no surprise’ to see Ms Mordaunt’s name on the list, saying ‘she’d make a great PM’. 

But with an overwhelming 39 per cent of votes it is former London mayor and foreign secretary Boris Johnson who tops the poll – having this week announced his goal to become leader. 

While Ms Mordaunt has not indicated an intention to stand, having recently taken up the role of defence secretary, her name ranks just shy of a number of senior Conservatives. 

Havant MP Alan Mak said he was undecided on who he would back in the leadership race, but painted a picture of what the future leader must be capable of. 

He said: ‘Our next leader must be a unifying force that can bring the country and party together and have the business and ministerial experience to make a success of Brexit to boost our economy and living standards.’ 

Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab is Mr Johnson’s closest rival in the poll after he was named the first choice of 13 per cent of voters. 

Meanwhile Michael Gove and Sajid Javid earned nine per cent of votes, Jeremy Hunt picked up eight per cent and Andrea Leadsom matched Ms Mordaunt with five per cent. 

Rory Stewart got four per cent and Matt Hancock got one per cent.