Boris Johnson's approval rating discussed by polling expert
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The latest Opinium poll, carried out after the MP for North Shropshire’s lobbying scandal this week, showed the Conservatives’ lead fall to just one point ahead of Labour. It puts the Tories at a mere 36 percent compared to Labour’s 35 percent. But speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Chris Curtis, senior research manager at the polling firm warned that the latest scandal has set the Conservatives and Boris Johnson on a collision course with voters.
Mr Curtis said: “We have seen the Conservatives develop this reputation over time for not being as clean and honest as governments have come before, and that is definitely still showing now.”
He said the Owen Paterson scandal is the latest saga that has pushed down the Conservatives’ support in the polls “quite considerably” when compared to its heights following the vaccine rollout.
But despite the grim figures, the pollster suggested that Boris Johnson has never been a “particular popular” Prime Minister anyway as he suggested he has been “divisive”.
The pollster added: “There have always been more people who say he is doing a bad job than a good job.”
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Mr Curtis went so far to claim that one of the only reasons, aside from the Tory Brexit position, Mr Johnson managed to win the 2019 general election so successfully was “not off the back of his own popularity”.
He instead slammed that it was former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn being “significantly more unpopular” than Mr Johnson.
Mr Curtis added how the “all-time low” numbers are “really not looking good” for the Prime Minister.
And in a brutal conclusion, he went on to suggest how, increasingly, those poor polling figures are going to be “a problem” for Mr Johnson’s future popularity with the British public.
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The comments come in the wake of a frantic week in Westminster which saw the government U-turn on a vote to re-examine MP’s standards following a ferocious backlash which saw accusations of corruption thrown at the government.
It came as MPs voted 250-232 in favour of tearing up the MP’s standards rules and an attempt to install a Tory-majority committee who would adivse on MP standards.
The move was seen by observers as an attempt to save Mr Paterson’s skin following an investigation by the Committee on Standards which found his lobbying work for Lynn Country Foods, a food distributor and Randox Laboratories, a clinical diagnostics company, broke the rules.
Mr Paterson, who was paid over £500,000 for the consultancy work over a five-year period, has now resigned as MP for North Shropshire and given up all of his consultancy work as he vowed to leave the “cruel world of politics” behind.
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Speaking to Andrew Marr on Sunday Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was insistent that the “fundamental difference” between himself and Prime Minister Boris Johnson was that when a Conservative MP does wrong, as in the case of Mr Paterson, Mr Johnson “protects his own” and “undermines the system” instead of routing the rot.
Sir Keir however claimed that he was different, suggesting: “[I] say the standards matter, and if there is a finding against one of my MP’s we stand by it and we take strong action.”
Environment Secretary George Eustice told Sky News that he doesn’t agree with the “sleaze” accusations against the Conservatives. He instead branded the debacle a “Westminster storm in a teacup” as he set about a defiant defence of his party’s reputation.
While former Prime Minister Sir John Major described the Government’s actions as “shameful” as he accused the Government of trashing Parliament’s reputation at home and abroad. He added that Boris Johnson’s actions were “un-Conservative”.
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