Pressure mounts on PM to resign in two polls after fresh party allegation

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to a vaccination centre in Northamptonshire. (Peter Cziborra/Reuters/Pool) (PA Wire)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to a vaccination centre in Northamptonshire. (Peter Cziborra/Reuters/Pool) (PA Wire)

The proportion of voters who think Boris Johnson should resign has risen by 12 points since details of the Downing Street “bring your own booze” party emerged, according to polling.

A snap poll from Savanta ComRes found 66% of UK adults thought the Prime Minister should step down.

In Conservative voters, this figure was 42%.

While 62% of those polled felt the party in the No 10 garden in May 2020 was a worse breach of trust than the initial Christmas party revelations.

The survey of 1,040 UK adults on January 11 found the proportion of those who felt Mr Johnson should resign had risen by 12 points since December. Among Tory voters this was a nine-point rise.

And 65% thought Martin Reynolds, the PM’s principal private secretary who organised the garden party, should leave his role.

Chris Hopkins, political research director at Savanta ComRes, said: “That rope for Boris Johnson just got shorter as the latest allegations of further lockdown breaches in No.10 emerge and, crucially, this time Boris Johnson may lack plausible deniability due to the rumours circling that he and his wife attended the drinks event on 20 May while the rest of the country were restricted to meeting just one other person socially outdoors.

“A 12-point increase in those saying he should resign compared to Christmas Partygate is significant, but ultimately it’s not the court of public opinion that Johnson will be tried in; it’s his own party.”

A second poll from YouGov Sky News found 56% of people thought the PM should resign, while 27% said he should stay in his role and 17% did not know.

Martin Reynolds, Principal Private Secretary Prime Minister Boris Johnson, walking back to Downing Street after a cabinet meeting (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)
Martin Reynolds, Principal Private Secretary Prime Minister Boris Johnson, walking back to Downing Street after a cabinet meeting (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire)

When a similar question about whether Mr Johnson should remain as leader of the Conservative Party was posed by YouGov on November 22, 48% said he should stand down, 31% that he should stay, while 22% answered that they did not know.

Mr Hopkins said: “If, as in December, this scandal leads to the Conservative vote share collapsing in the opinion polls, the doubts among those who used to see Johnson’s electoral successes as his saving grace will no doubt increase, and the major difference between now and early December is that the Tories do not have a poll lead to act as a cushion to break the PM’s fall.

“Increased Labour leads that point to Keir Starmer in No.10 really could see Tory backbenchers get tetchy, and they may start the wheels in motion to replace Johnson as Prime Minister.”

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