Three in five Britons say Boris Johnson should resign, poll finds

A total of 2,748 people were surveyed on Wednesday.

25 May 2022

Three in five people have said Prime Minister Boris Johnson should resign from his position, a snap opinion poll has suggested.

YouGov’s poll said 59% of Britons believe he should step down.

The proportion who say that Mr Johnson should resign includes around a quarter (27%) of 2019 Conservative voters, while three in 10 (30%) Britons say that the PM should remain in his role, rising to almost two-thirds (63%) of 2019 Conservative voters.

A total of 2,748 people were surveyed on Wednesday, shortly after Sue Gray’s report into the Downing Street gatherings was published.

The senior civil servant wrote in the report that “senior leadership” in No 10 must “bear responsibility” for the culture which led to lockdown rules being broken at a series of events in 2020 and 2021.

“The events that I investigated were attended by leaders in government.

“Many of these events should not have been allowed to happen,” Ms Gray said.

The Prime Minister has faced fresh demands to resign from SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, while Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: “Any other PM would be forced to resign by a report as damaging as this, yet still Conservative MPs defend Johnson and allow him to cling on.”

Despite this, YouGov’s poll states that only 7% Britons think that the Prime Minister will resign, with more than eight in 10 (83%) believing that he will remain in his role.

“The proportion who think that he will resign includes just 6% of 2019 Conservative voters and 6% of 2019 Labour voters.

Downing Street partygate
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen delivering a statement to the House of Commons, London, following the publication of Sue Gray’s report (House of Commons/PA)

When Britons were asked if they think that the Prime Minister knowingly lied about whether or not he broke lockdown rules, three-quarters (74%) say that he did, with around one in eight (13%) saying that he did not.

Among 2019 Conservative voters, half (51%) think that Johnson knowingly lied.

Addressing the Commons on Wednesday after the report was published, Mr Johnson repeated his apology over the birthday party and added: “I take full responsibility for everything that took place on my watch.

“Sue Gray’s report has emphasised that it is up to the political leadership in Number 10 to take ultimate responsibility and, of course, I do.”

Mr Johnson said he was “humbled” by the experience and had learned his lesson.

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