Exclusive poll: Most Britons still want Boris Johnson to quit
A consensus is forming among Conservative and Labor politicians that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has strengthened Boris Johnson’s political standing in the UK.
While it is, of course, wishy-washy to contemplate anyone profiting from this war, it is nonetheless a topic of conversation in Westminster, even in private.
After weeks of damaging stories about parties at No 10 during Covid restrictions, a Cabinet Office investigation, an ongoing Metropolitan Police investigation and Johnson’s Jimmy Savile smear against Keir Starmer, he has watched many points as if the Prime Minister could be overthrown by his furious MPs. Then the escalating situation in Ukraine overshadowed the news that Johnson appeared to be the first British prime minister to be questioned on bail. The day before the full-scale invasion, leaked details of a police questionnaire sent to Johnson and other alleged revelers showed he was asking recipients to provide “a written bail statement”.
However, an exclusive survey for the new statesman by polling firm Redfield & Wilton Strategies reveals that even a week into the war, the British public has largely not changed its mind about Johnson, with most still wanting him to quit. The survey of a weighted sample of 1,500 voters in Britain was carried out on March 2, 2022.
A majority, 54%, said they thought Boris Johnson should step down as prime minister, while 35% thought he should stay. Two-thirds (66%) said his reaction to the war had not changed their views. Just 22% of those polled said they had a more positive view of Johnson following his response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while 12% had a more negative view.
It’s true that Tory voters are more supportive, with 64% saying he should stay in office and only 30% saying he should quit, and 30% saying they’ve had a more positive view of him from the start. of the war against the 8 percent with a more negative opinion. Yet even among Conservative voters, 62% said Johnson’s response to the Ukraine invasion had not changed their opinion of him.
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These results suggest that a sense of mistrust has persisted among the British public since the partygate scandal. Indeed, the poll shows the vast majority – 84 per cent – did not attend a social gathering when restrictions prohibited it. Of those classified as employed or self-employed, 88% said they had not attended a social gathering with colleagues at their workplace when restrictions did not allow it.
If public sentiment has not softened, Johnson’s position remains precarious, with potential stumbling blocks in the near future including a police fine, a poor showing in the May local election for the Tories and publication of the Cabinet Office report in its entirety. .
As a Tory MP who has not asked Johnson to resign and who has been less critical of him since the start of the war told me, it is a matter of trust. “If he is found to have misled Parliament [on partygate]do we really want him talking to the Commons about the war?