Two in five UK adults say that the developing news story concerning politicians, civil servants and lobbying has made them less favourable to politicians in general (42%). Almost a third say that it has made them less favourable towards Boris Johnson (34%), rising to two in five who say the same about the Conservative Party (39%) and Matt Hancock (40%).
Amongst 2019 Conservative voters, just one in seven say that this story has made them less favourable towards Boris Johnson (14%), with almost three in ten saying that its has made them more favourable towards the Prime Minister (28%).
All adults – favourability in light of developing news story concerning politicians, civil servants and lobbying
|Less favourable||More favourable|
|Politicians in general||42%||16%|
Surprise or lack of surprise at the story breaking
Two-thirds of UK adults say that they are ‘unsurprised’ about the story (66%), with one in five say they are ‘surprised’ by it (21%). Amongst 2019 Conservative voters, the proportion who say they were ‘unsurprised’ rises to almost three quarters (72%), higher than the proportion of 2019 Labour voters who say the same (68%).
Those aged 18-34 are much more likely to say they were ‘surprised’ by the story (35%), than those aged 55+ (12%).
Results of any inquiries that follow the story
Half of UK adults believe that any inquiries following the developing news story concerning politicians, civil servants and lobbying will not correctly identify any wrongdoers (49%), with a third believing that they will (36%).
Half also believe that any inquiries will not result in effective reform to prevent future occurrences (50%), with the same proportion (52%) saying they believe it will not lead to punishment of identified wrongdoers.
Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “Stories like this can sometimes mean more to the bubble and barely register with the public, but the longer this lingers the more it appears to have some cut-through, with politicians in general, famously not usually revered by the public, seemingly now more unpopular following the allegations of sleaze.
What’s striking here though is the scepticism that the public have that anything will be done to atone or reform, showing a highly ingrained distaste for politicians in public life and an almost acceptance from the public that things will never get better.”