Boris Johnson's decline in 'favourability' discussed by host
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Boris Johnson has seen a decline in popularity among British voters according to new polling released on ITV’s Robert Peston. Host Anushka Asthana discussed the latest data alongside quotes from a Red Wall Conservative MP who is concerned the Prime Minister has become a “drag” on votes.
Ms Asthana told ITV’s Robert Peston: “Now for MPs, as Robert was saying a big worry is electability one Red Wall MP said to me, ‘Boris Johnson was one of the key reasons I won saying their voters love the PM, even if he didn’t always follow the rules, but they said that had changed arguing soon he will be a drag on my vote.’
“I do have some polling that suggests electability is becoming more of an issue.”
Turning a graphic laying out polling data from Opinium, the host added: “So this is Boris Johnson’s favourability in blue, the party in green and you can see that back in May 2020 when the drinks were had Boris Johnson was way ahead of his party.
“But for the first time in December, he fell behind them.”
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The ITV Peston host continued: “If I add Labour onto this there is a different pattern.
“It has risen above the Tories and Starmer is above his party.
“If Boris Johnson isn’t seen as a winner anymore what does that mean?”
Labour opened up a ten-point polling lead on the Conservative amid a popular backlash against Downing Street’s string of lockdown breaching partying.
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Mr Johnson apologised on Wednesday for attending a “bring your own booze” party in the Downing Street garden in May 2020, when the rest of the country was in lockdown.
The PM insisted he thought the party was work-related but said he recognised “with hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside”.
He said an inquiry headed by senior official Sue Gray was examining the situation but accepted “there were things we simply did not get right and I must take responsibility”.
The scandal prompted furious Tory MPs to call for the Prime Minister to resign.
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In the Commons, Mr Johnson said: “I know the rage they (the public) feel with me and with the Government I lead when they think in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.”
Mr Johnson’s future will depend on how many letters of no confidence are submitted to the chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs, Sir Graham Brady.
Sir Graham will not reveal how many letters have been received until the figure of 15% is reached, which would trigger a confidence vote.
With the current parliamentary make up this would mean 54 letters.
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