Following the heavily anticipated release of the Sue Gray report this week, Opinium’s latest poll reveals that Boris Johnson’s net approval rating has dropped again to -30% (-2%).
Over half (56%) think that Johnson should resign as leader of the Conservative Party – with 32% (+5%) of 2019 Conservative voters agreeing. Similarly, 56% of the public think Conservative MPs should remove Boris Johnson from office through a vote of no confidence.
Labour can’t capitalise
Interestingly, the release of Sue Gray’s report has not led to an increase in Labour’s lead over the Conservatives. In fact, both parties have seen a 1% drop in their support compared to Opinium’s poll on 11th May with Labour now down to 36% of the vote share and the Conservatives on 33%.
However, the report has clearly consolidated the public’s perception of the prime minister. Nearly two fifths (37%) (+4%) say the accusations of breaking lockdown rules, and the way he has responded, has given them a less favourable view of him. With only 4% (no change) saying it has given them a more favourable view of him.
Starmer sees small rise in popularity
Keir Starmer has benefitted from a week of ‘Partygate’ focus, as he records an uptick in his approval to -6% (+3%). After previously drawing neck and neck with Johnson on who would make the best prime minister, he has now developed a small 2-point lead over the incumbent: 28% Starmer vs 26% Johnson. If forced to choose between the two, over two fifths (42%) (no change) said they would prefer a Labour government led by Keir Starmer, whilst 39% (+3%) said a Conservative government led by Boris Johnson.
Cost of living support
On a more positive note for the Conservatives, the Rishi Sunak’s £15bn package to support people with soaring energy bills appear to be paying dividends for him, as his approval rating increases to -14%, up 6% from two weeks ago.
Adam Drummond, head of political and social research at Opinium, said, “Compared to the impact it would have had when it was originally meant to be released, Sue Gray’s report has largely landed with a thud. This is despite the substance of the allegations remaining just as bad and the addition of photo evidence that, when we put it in front of people, the vast majority say qualifies as ‘a party’.
The two key numbers in our poll that explain Johnson’s survival as PM are the fact that only a third of 2019 Conservative voters want Johnson to resign, down from January when nearly half thought he should go, and Rishi Sunak’s approval rating crashing back to earth since the spring statement and his tax revelations, robbing Conservative MPs of a plausible successor to replace their leader.”
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