Two thirds (65%) say that the Prime Minister should resign given the findings from Sue Gray’s report into Partygate, according to a snap poll from Savanta ComRes.
Crucially, while this figure is higher than the proportion who thought the Prime Minister should resign when he was issued with a fixed penalty notice last month (61%), it is lower than when Sue Gray’s initial interim findings were published in January, at the height of the scandal (69%).
The findings of the poll tend to infer that things are unlikely to get much worse for the Prime Minister in the court of public opinion, unless new Partygate revelations are considerably more serious.
While half (49%) say that it is not yet time to allow Boris Johnson to move on from Partygate, a significant 38% say that it is time, including one in five (21%) who have an unfavourable opinion of him.
The public are also evenly split on whether the country is (44%) or is not (also 44%) ready to move on from the scandal.
And while half (52%) say that they think worse of the Prime Minister given the findings of the Gray report, that includes 73% of those who already have an unfavourable opinion of him.
Of those that voted Conservative at the last election, two in five (39%) say that their opinion of the Prime Minister has gotten worse as a result of the report, while half (51%) say it has made no difference.
These figures are despite a large majority (76%) believing that the Prime Minister did mislead the House of Commons and two thirds (66%) saying that he hasn’t learned his lesson from Partygate.
However, two in five say that both the Gray report is too lenient on the PM (43%) and are dissatisfied with the Met Police investigation (41%) into the series of parties to take place in Dowing Street during Covid restrictions.
Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “There is a theory that all of the damage from Partygate has already been done, and that it’s unlikely to get any worse for the Prime Minister, and this poll seems to confirm that.
“With the proportion saying he should resign remaining lower than at the height of the scandal, and an indication that the public wish to move on, only some seriously damning new revelations could make things worse for the Prime Minister in the court of public opinion.”
“Of course, it’s the court of Conservative MP’s opinion which really matters to the Prime Minister’s hopes of remaining in post and leading his party at the next election.
“Labour have enjoyed a comfortable poll lead for a while, and if the Conservatives remain unable to ease the cost of living burden on many struggling families, any economic credibility they have left may evaporate, and if it seems unlikely the Prime Minister can win his party the next election, they may choose to roll the dice with a new leader.”