Tory voters prefer Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to almost all their own Cabinet ministers, according to a new poll.
The Deputy Prime Minister rated below only William Hague when Conservatives were asked who they would like to take charge of the coalition if David Cameron departed abruptly.
Foreign Secretary Mr Hague was backed by 39% in the YouGov research for The Sun, followed by Mr Clegg on 17%.
No other Cabinet minister managed double figures, with Chancellor George Osborne attracting just 5%, and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Home Secretary Theresa May tied on 3%.
When the question was posed to voters from across parties, Mr Clegg fared even better, trailing Mr Hague by a margin of 21% to 18%.
The results are a glimmer of hope for Mr Clegg after a period of dismal polling for his party which has seen its backing collapse as low as 7%. The figures will fuel speculation that, while traditional Lib Dems may have been turned off by policy compromises, the party could be picking up supporters from elsewhere.
YouGov interviewed 1,977 adults between January 16-17. The results were weighted to reflect the population.