Partygate Shouldn't Be No.10's Only Concern Right Now, New Poll Shows

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Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have all hit the headlines in recent weeks (Photo: Getty)
Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have all hit the headlines in recent weeks (Photo: Getty)

Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have all hit the headlines in recent weeks (Photo: Getty)

A new poll has revealed what the general public really thinks about the Conservatives’ time in government – and it’s pretty damning.

YouGov’s findings, published on Tuesday, suggest that even away from the Metropolitan Police’s probe into the partygate scandal, participants overwhelmingly believe the Tories are running the country pretty poorly.

Inflation is No.10′s worst-performing issue at the moment, according to the poll conducted between April 16 and 18. This is unsurprising, as inflation soared to a 30-year high last week at 7%, while the cost of living crisis continues to bite.

Immigration is second on the list, a topic which has hit the headlines again in recent days because refugees are still arriving into the UK in their hundreds via the English Channel.

The government’s proposed solution – to ship some asylum seekers who arrive by supposedly “illegal” means off to Rwanda – has been poorly received, and declared “inhumane”.

Taxation follows, with 70% of participants claiming the government has handled this poorly. National Insurance contributions climbed this month, along with council tax, under chancellor Rishi Sunak’s policies.

However, his wife was then found to have been using her non-domicile status to avoid paying UK tax on her overseas income, news which triggered national outrage.

More than two-thirds of participants also claimed the economy is being handled badly. It comes as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the UK will have the slowest growth out of all G7 countries in 2023.

A further 68% said the government’s management of the NHS is also disappointing.

Health bosses have repeatedly warned that they are struggling to cope with the Covid backlog, staffing shortages and record pressure on almost every sector. Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Portsmouth, even declared a critical incident at the start of April due to the high number of staff members who were off sick.

The only two areas where the government received more positive feedback were in defence and terrorism.

Around 47% said Downing Street was tackling terrorism well (compared to just 29% who said it was going badly), while 39% backed its defence strategy.

It’s likely this stems from the amount of military aid No.10 has sent to Ukraine following the Russian invasion along with the UK’s strong position in Nato.

The MI5 chief Ken McCallum also revealed in September last year that seven terror plots in the UK had been foiled throughout the pandemic.

Still, as the Daily Mirror’s Pippa Crerar tweeted: “While Boris Johnson tries to navigate his way through the partygate scandal, it’s how his government is faring on pretty much every other issue that should worry him.”

One of the main defences ministers have used to deflect from partygate is the claim that Johnson has got “all the big calls right” on Covid, Brexit and the Ukraine war.

However, as shown in other polls, YouGov’s findings are not anomalies. The poll aggregator British Elects found that if a general election had been held on Tuesday, Labour would have won and the Tories would have lost 109 seats.

Data from Savanta Com Res shows Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has (just) retained his lead over Johnson in the opinion polls, despite the prime minister’s success in helping Ukraine in recent weeks.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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