Nearly half of electors, 47 per cent, view the Prime Minister as someone who is brave and sticks to her principles, an Opinium Research survey found.
It comes after a tough political week in which she faced a vote of no confidence in her leadership and was reportedly called nebulous by Jean-Claude Junker, president of the European Commission.
The survey also found that more than half of voters, 53 per cent, disapprove of the way the PM has handled Brexit, compared to 28 per cent who approve. She is pictured here arriving for a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels on Friday
Although the sound was switched off, TV cameras caught Mrs May and Mr Juncker exchanging what looked to be heated words on Friday for at least a minute
However, more than half of voters, 53 per cent, disapprove of the way the PM has handled Brexit, compared to 28 per cent who approve.
In a bruising week for Mrs May, the PM drew fire for pulling a crunch Commons vote on her Brexit plans, survived a confidence motion bid to oust her among Tory MPs, and was largely rebuffed at an EU summit in Brussels.
Mrs May said she had decided to pull the vote because she would have lost if it had gone ahead on Tuesday night.
But just the day after she faced a vote of no confidence in her leadership after Sir Graham Brady, chair of the powerful Tory 1922 committee, secured the 48 letters from MPs needed to trigger the process.
There were cheers as 1922 committee chairman Graham Brady announced the result in the Commons on Wednesday
Theresa May put a brave face on her situation on Wednesday as she reacted to the outcome of the Tory no-confidence ballot
BORIS JOHNSON For PM; Trump Comes To Town. Trump’s comments, in which he said PM May’s Brexit plan would kill a US-UK free trade deal, were published as she hosted him on his first presidential visit to Britain
|JONATHAN LEMIRE and JILL COLVIN, AP|AIWA! NO!|US President Donald Trump lobbed a verbal hand grenade into Theresa May’s carefully constructed plans for Brexit, saying the British leader had wrecked the country’s exit from the European Union and likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States.
Trump, who was on his first presidential visit to Britain, also told The Sun newspaper that May’s nemesis, the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, would make a “great” British prime minister.
Trump said he had advised May on how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”
“She should negotiate the best way she knows how. But it is too bad what is going on,” the president said.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid published an interview with Trump as May was hosting him at a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Britain’s World War II Prime Minister Winston Churchill – the leader who coined the term “special relationship” for the transatlantic bond.
The Sun said the interview was conducted Thursday in Brussels, before Trump travelled to Britain. His remarks on Brexit came the same day May’s government published long-awaited proposals for Britain’s relations with the EU after it leaves the bloc next year.
The document proposes keeping Britain and the EU in a free market for goods, with a more distant relationship for services.
The plan has infuriated fervent Brexit supporters, who think sticking close to the bloc would limit Britain’s ability to strike new trade deals around the world. Johnson and Brexit secretary David Davis both quit the government this week in protest.
BUSINESS INSIDER|AIWA! NO!|Theresa May has dampened the prospect of an imminent progress in Brexit talks with EU negotiators.The prime minister told reporters at Thursday’s EU summit that she is not expecting an “immediate breakthrough” at the meeting, where she will try to convince the 27 other leaders to make concessions.
Several EU leaders have already indicated that they are not willing to offer May significant further concessions in talks. Theresa May has moved to dampen expectations of a breakthrough in talks as she arrived in Brussels seeking Brexit concessions from EU leaders. The prime minister told reporters on the doorstep of the summit that she is not expecting an “immediate breakthrough” at the meeting, where she will try to convince the 27 other leaders to make concessions.
Ms May promised her mutinous MPs that she will try and get legally binding assurances on the controversial Northern Ireland backstop, but the EU has said the withdrawal agreement is not up for renegotiation.
The PM at Thursday lunchtime also declined to name a date for her departure, having pledged to her MPs last night that she would step down before the next election in 2022.
‘The best thing for her to do would be to call a referendum that requires a 60% plurality to pass’
The best thing for May to do would be to call a referendum that requires a 60% plurality to pass. If neither side can convince a good majority to support it then it would leave things as they are. This kind of huge wrenching change shouldn’t be based on 51%+. The original referendum that took the UK into the EU required 60% to succeed.
‘She is still the second worst prime minister ever’
Around 160 Tory MPs are on the government pay roll which indicates that just 40 backbench Tories voted for the second worst prime minister (Cameron still holds the record as worst for me) ever. Hardly a ringing endorsement. However, the fact that hardcore Brexit supporters can only attract less than 20% of MP support in parliament should allow cross-party cooperation especially with a PM who doesn’t require to worry about election again. The problem with that is the fact that both May and Corbyn remain utterly inept but it’s possible that this moves the likelihood of another referendum closer.
‘She’s afraid of putting things in front of citizens’
Sixty-three per cent of the ruling party is actually only 30% of parliament. She’s meant to be commanding a majority if she’s PM. Unlike a Labour leadership contest, where it goes out to the membership to decide, the Tories keep it within closed circles in a Tweedist way of maintaining class power. She’s afraid of putting things in front of citizens because she must know deep down that what she claims as the will of the people is only the will of certain tabloids at best.
‘As it is, I can’t see a way out’
Her bizarre decision to call an election last year looks more understandable now, although it obviously went badly wrong. She presumably knew there were about 25 unappeasable backbenchers that would be nothing but trouble with a small majority. If she had any talent as a leader, they should have been decimated and this would have all gone through without a fuss with a 100+ majority. As it is, I can’t see a way out. Even a general election and Labour majority with the current leadership would end in a stalemate with no option acceptable to a majority in the house. A second referendum is the only option I can see with remain, May’s deal, and a managed WTO agreement as the options, voted in order of preference.
‘Tory hard Brexiteers are not really interested in democracy at all’
Absolutely disgracefulthat Jacob Rees-Mogg and other hard Brexiteers who insist that 52% of 72% of the electorate (so less than the electorate in total) must be obeyed at all costs yet are demanding their own way after only 37% of Tory MPs voted against Theresa May in this no confidence vote. They’ve confirmed themselves to be what most of us knew they were all along: a bunch of lying, self-serving charlatans who aren’t really interested in democracy at all.
‘If May’s vote fails she should withdraw article 50’
Unless the second vote comes back at something like 70-30 either way, we’re in the same position as we’re in now. The only way, is for May to bring her, much improved, ‘deal’ to the Commons, and have the vote. If it fails, withdraw article 50, make a statement to the country, along the lines of: ‘We tried in good faith, blah, blah, blah, but have been unable to deliver on our mandate, etc.’ Then call a general election. If a party wishes to campaign to leave, and they secure enough votes, then let them try. I would suggest the main parties would produce a remain manifesto. Many of the 52% would probably accept the fact that it wasn’t going to happen. The remainder will carry on dribbling into their beer, in Wetherspoons, for all eternity. Job done.
‘I have no sympathy for her’
I honestly want someone to slap the personality back into her. The MayBot annoyed me so much yesterday. Two speeches, virtually identical. No changes: blame Labour; mention listening to colleagues; take no ownership; ignore errors; look strong and stable; power walk back into the temporary home, and try not to show stab wounds in the back. I have no sympathy for her, despite the levels of self sabotage by her fellow Tories. Cameron and her drew these red lines and guess what they STILL won’t pass, two plus years on. Anyway they still don’t care about us, it’s about winning the next election, which means they want her head on a stick as they worry they’ll be blamed for this and guess what? The Tories did it all. I’m no fan of Corbyn but this really is a Tory power grab and they can’t even agree on how to fuck us all over.
Steve Baker, the deputy chair of the pro-hard Brexit European Research Group (ERG) and one of the Conservative MPs who submitted a letter of no confidence in Theresa May, said that while the Prime Minister may have triumphed in the poll, he predicted she could end up in a similar situation to Margaret Thatcher and could see her own Cabinet calling on her to resign within a week.
In Wednesday’s poll, Mrs May’s Cabinet appeared to overwhelmingly back her.
Of the 317 Tory MPs, 200 or 63%, voted in favour of the Prime Minister, while 117 or 37%, voted against her, giving her a majority of 83.
Mrs May’s success means her leadership cannot be contested again for a year.
Appearing on ITV’s Peston, Mr Baker said that while the Prime Minister may have won the support of her party, the overwhelming majority of MPs are still unhappy with her European Union Withdrawal Agreement, resulting in it likely being defeated in the House of Commons.
Speaking to ITV News’ Political Editor, Mr Baker continued that he hoped the Brexit deal would soon be put to Parliament so that “it could be voted down”, and then negotiations re-started with the EU.