Three in five (60%) say Boris Johnson is no longer an asset to the Conservative Party, according to a snap poll from Savanta ComRes.
While this figure is slightly lower than the proportion who said this at the height of the Partygate revelations in January (64%), it suggests that Boris Johnson has done little in the intervening months to regain the public’s trust.
As such, three in five (61%) say Conservative MPs should vote to remove Boris Johnson in the vote of no confidence this evening, including two in five (38%) who backed the Conservatives in 2019. However, only a third (33%) expect Boris to lose the vote.
If the majority (53%) are correct and Conservative MPs back Boris this evening, the Prime Minister will hope this signals the end of the debate around his leadership. However, half (51%) say Conservative MPs should keep trying to remove him even if he wins (compared to 38% who say they should stop trying).
As the pro and anti-Boris factions within the Conservative Party debate the Prime Minister’s electability, 2019 Conservative voters are split. 23% say they would be more likely to vote Conservative at the next election if the Prime Minister were to stand down, compared to 21% who would be less likely (50% say it would make no difference).
The big question many Conservative MPs will be asking themselves today is ‘if not Boris, who else?’ and this poll shows there is no clear favourite among the public. Rishi Sunak tops the list of preferred replacements with just 12%, followed by Jeremy Hunt (8%) and Liz Truss (6%) with the public most likely to say they don’t know (35%).
Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “This poll is clear in that the public have a relatively dim view of Boris Johnson, and that ultimately is the main reason behind Conservative MPs voting on whether or not to oust him as leader in a few hours time.
However, with no clear alternative guaranteed to turn the Conservative’s current electoral malaise around, MPs may decide tonight that it’s better the devil you know and the Prime Minister may survive – for now.”