The three leading contenders from last month's poll have thus pulled ahead of the next two down.
Boris maintains his narrow one point lead over Gove, and May's recent advance inches further forward.
"He is the Ulysses of our time, and sees the leadership as his Penelope. The Mayoralty is only Calypso - a stopping-point on the way back to what he sees as his own, as his possession. His competitors are the suitors. He is coming for them with a quiverful of fiery arrows."
The Mayor of London's leadership ambitions are haunted by what Donald Rumsfeld would call a Known Known and a Known UnKnown.
The Known Known is the unhappy timing, from his point of view, of the next general and Mayoral elections. The first takes place in May 2015. The second takes place a year after. Were Boris to re-enter the Commons in 2015 and David Cameron to lose, the election the former would not be able to enter an immediate Conservative leadership contest without being seen to break his word to serve a full-term as Mayor. (It is one thing to be both Mayor and an MP, as Ken Livingstone has done. It would be another to be both Mayor and a Party leader.)
The Known UnKnown is the general election result. I write above about the possibility of Cameron no longer being Prime Minister after 2015, but it's far from certain that this will be the case. He may well return to Downing Street at the head of another coalition government - either a recasting of this one with the Liberal Democrats, or a new one with the minor parties. A Boris who had re-entered the Commons would, in these circumstances, be entitled to a Cabinet post: given his twice-victorious record in London, a Labour City, it could scarcely be otherwise.
The results of our latest survey, conducted late last week, now find as follows:
Gove's steady rise will reflect the view of members that he is the Government's most effective Minister - in terms both of shaping policy to Conservative ends and taking on the left.
There's no convincing reason for Boris's fall of ten points other than the obvious one: he hasn't been in the news much during the past month.
This poll should be read in conjunction with James Forsyth's column in this week's Spectator. James sets out the Mayor's planned path to the Premiership - which we will return to.
More directly to the point, as far as this poll is concerned, is Boris's apparent belief that Gove will now not run for the leadership post-2015 if David Cameron loses.
James claims that the Mayor now sees Theresa May, the deporter of Abu Qatada, as his main potential rival. She's up in our poll - but her rise is modest.
Gove may not stand for the leadership if his friend, David Cameron, vacates it. Or he may. But one thing is certain: he has no shortage of admirers who would urge him to.
These include the Prime Minister himself. George Osborne, of course, is not on easy terms with Boris, to put it mildly.
The prospect of the Cameron and Osborne duo pleading with Gove to stand - and preserve their legacy from the ravages of Boris - is not so far-fetched as to be beyond raising.
Abu Qatada could have launched a last ditch legal appeal, rather than get on that plane from RAF Northholt. Why didn't he? Perhaps life in Belmarsh was proving unpleasant. Perhaps he and his family were slowly ground down by all the negative publicity and its consequences. Perhaps he simply thought he'd lose in court. But whether so or not, he and his lawyers must certainly have been persuaded that he will now get a fair trial in Jordan. And the factor that would have made the difference in this calculation would have been the new treaty between Britain and Jordan, drawn up after months of toil by James Brokenshire and Theresa May.
This is a huge moment for the Home Secretary. She has already notched up Abu Hamza on her office wall. Now she can add the name of Abu Qatada, one of Al Qaeda's most senior players. The Government's critics will say that we shouldn't be in the ECHR at all and that, were we not, Qatada would have been forcibly deported many years ago. They are undoubtedly right on the first point, and probably so, too, on the second, since our courts have twice upheld efforts to expel him. But they are missing an important point. The word on the street is that Britain's politicians are lost amidst a swamp of human rights laws - to the scorn of benefit-claiming terrorists.
What is the best course to take in an interview if your name has been touted as a future Conservative leader - and you might not be averse to the prospect? Phillip Hammond provides a masterclass of how to navigate such choppy waters in his interview with Paul Waugh in this week's House magazine.
But is the Defence Secretary really "on manoeuvres"? An important difference between Hammond and those others mentioned in the same breath as the leadership - Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Theresa May - is that there is no suggestion, no sign of a Hammond team: of an operation that works on his behalf. (Up to a point, this is also true of the Education Secretary.)
His public demand for a further scaleback in welfare spending can be seen simply as a Minister defending his Department. And his following in Gove's footsteps on how he'd vote in an In/Out EU referendum were one held today could be read as a man speaking his mind - as could his vocal criticism of Downing Street over same-sex marriage.
None the less, the accumulation of events is suggestive. But what's good for the goose is good for the gander: having written earlier this morning that it's too early to take a firm view about Boris, it follows that it's too early to take a view on anyone else. And Hammond has work to do: keeping our armed forces out of the Syrian swamp, for a start.
The sum of Lord Ashcroft's stupendously sizeable poll about Boris Johnson this morning - Ashcroft Polls will soon be taking samples from the entire country - is that the London Mayor is more popular but less rated than the Prime Minister. Our proprietor writes on this site today -
"When asked who would make the best PM, each of the three party leaders or Boris, David Cameron came out narrowly ahead on 33 per cent, two points ahead of Ed Miliband, four points ahead of Boris and 26 points ahead of Clegg. Among Conservatives, Cameron was the clear winner over Boris, by 81 per cent to 18 per cent."
Stephan Shakespeare wrote recently on this site about a YouGov poll on Boris, which found that "30 per cent of the intending voters in this sample said they would vote Conservative with Cameron in charge, and 36 per cent said they would vote Conservative with Johnson".
However, as Shakespeare himself pointed out, polls that ask how people would vote today were the party leaders different are highly speculative. His polling converges with Lord Ashcroft's in finding that Boris scores well with UKIP voters, despite his shape-shifting views on Britain's EU membership.
All in all, Boris has protean strengths, some weaknesses and a proven track record as a Conservative election winner in what is essentially a Labour city - as well as a marvellous sense of the challenges facing ever-pullulating London.
But there is no evidence that he is better placed to succeed David Cameron than Michael Gove or Theresa May or the unexpected candiate who pops up in leadership elections and usually wins. Furthermore, the timing of a Boris Commons re-entry and a post-2015 poll don't fit neatly: he remains Mayor until 2106.
And finally, the whole caboodle may never arise, since Cameron could well lead a re-formed Coalition after the next election. I end in oleaginous agreement with the proprietor: the case for Boris as leader isn't proven, and it's too early to start making it.
The Davis support is hardcore. When asked who should lead the Party into the next election, 14% of respondents name him. 15% plump for Boris.
But the overwhelming favourite to lead the Conservatives into the next election is...David Cameron, with over half the vote: 55% to be precise.
Apart from Davis and Boris, no other leading Tory gets out of single figures. William Hague comes the closest, at just over 5%.
Just under 1850 people responded to the survey, of whom over 800 were Conservative Party members. The figures above are taken from the latter's views.
By Paul Goodman
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Ed Miliband could scarcely do otherwise than focus his questions on the bits of the Government's mid-term review that David Cameron didn't want to publish. And David Cameron could scarcely do other than answer that he had always intended to publish it anyway. This ensured that today's Prime Minister's Questions was pantomime to such a degree that the Christmas season seemed still be stretching on.
None the less, I think the session cast just a little bit of light on the great debate about whether or not the result of the next election is already clear. The three examples of allegedly broken promises that Milband cited related to the NHS, women, and "tax cuts for millionaires". The first and third especially are Labour heartland concerns. But the party's biggest strategic problem is voter lack of trust in it to manage the economy. As usual, Miliband's questions had nothing to do with trying to solve this problem.
Devil: Come on, Boris, old bean. This is your moment! Cameron is unpopular. You are popular - loved, idolised, adored: look at the Olympics. The Party knows that he won't and can't win. Just look at this morning's borrowing figures - benefit spending up, corporation tax receipts down: Osborne in crisis. Get back in the Commons now! Mount a coup! Take over, call a general election and win! Go for glory!
Angel : Look, Boris, my old chumaroo, this is all a pyramid of inverted piffle. First of all, being an MP and Mayor is one thing - though are you certain you'd find a by-election that suits? - but being Leader and Mayor is quite another. There'd have to be a Mayoral by-election - in which case the media and some London Tories would round on you: adventurism, selfishness, abandoning the capital to Labour - you know the score. Or else you'd have to try both jobs at once - and get the same reaction, but on a national scale. This is madness, my friend, sheer madness.
Devil: Bunkum and balderdash! You can find a way of fudging it! Look at the polls - the voters want you, and outside London too. If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly! Screw your courage to the sticking place!
Angel : Hang on for a minute. Take this polls business. One solitary poll - just one - put you marginally ahead in London and the regions. But its headline finding put you level with Cameron. Another poll on the same day found you made no real difference. ConservativeHome found that 18% of respondents want you to lead the Party into the next election. 49% want...Cameron!
Devil: That'll change when voters get a real choice: you or Miliband. You can transform the mood and change the psychology. Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers!
Angel : It won't change. Cameron's problem isn't the current polls. It's that he's stuffed without the boundary review. He can't get seven points ahead of Labour, let alone ten points - and that's the kind of lead he needs to form a majority Government. And nor could you! You'd be taking over the wheel of the Flying Dutchman!
Boris: Cripes!...Er -
Devil: - Let's tackle that head-on. The boundary review problem will get no easier after an election. So your bird in the band is worth two in the bush. You can't afford to hang on. There may be some other strong runner by 2015, or whenever the election takes place. Hammond. Greening. An unknown! By 2015 you could be yesterday's man! They flee from me that sometimes did me seek, with naked foot stalking in my chamber...
Angel : Go on then! Just try it - and see what happens. Do you really believe that even if you somehow find a seat, win a by-election, contrive a no-confidence vote in Cameron, and then win a leadership election that there would be no consequences? Cameron, Osborne and many others would never, ever forgive you. The party's loyalties would split asunder. Months of intense briefing of the most vile, no-holds-barred, personal kind! And he who wields the knife, etcetera: remember Heseltine!
Well, dear reader, there you have it. Those are the arguments either way. I can't help thinking the angel has the better of them.
But we're talking Boris. And with Boris, you never quite know what will happen next. He is the great exception to every rule. Indeed, I dreamed of him last night. His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear'd arm crested the world: his voice was propertied as all the tuned spheres, and that to friends; but when he meant to quail and shake the orb, he was as rattling thunder...
By Paul Goodman
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Returned from a fortnight on the Isle of Wight. The isle is full of noises...
Here is the situation as I see it as the conference season comes into view.