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Pollwatch: Should BoJo GoGo?

Chris Hopkins Political Research Director 10 December 2021

A majority of the public say the Prime Minister should resign over No.10’s Christmas Party

Over half (54%) of UK adults say that the Prime Minister should resign after allegations of No.10 Downing Street staff having a Christmas party last year, despite London being in Tier 3 restrictions and therefore banning such gatherings, according to a new snap opinion poll from Savanta ComRes.

It’s clear from this poll that the public are taking a dim view of the scandal

A third (33%) of 2019 Conservative voters also say that the Prime Minister, who continued to double down on his assertion that no rules were broken at Prime Minister’s Questions (8 December), should resign.

The figures are marginally higher than those who said the Prime Minister should resign in April after reports that he said he’d rather see “bodies pile up” than order another Covid lockdown.

The snap poll also finds that three quarters (76%), including two thirds (67%) of 2019 Conservatives, say the PM should apologise, while slightly more (79%) said that the Prime Minister’s former Press Secretary, Allegra Stratton, who has since resigned, should apologise for her role in the saga, including answering questions on the alleged party at a mock Downing Street press conference, the video of which was leaked yesterday to ITV News.

The proportion saying the PM should apologise has risen by 13pts since it was last asked by Savanta ComRes at the weekend.

Elsewhere in the poll, the vast majority (72%) say that the Metropolitan Police should investigate any wrongdoing or illegal activity in reference to the alleged party, while similarly high figures say that the public (83%), people who have lost loved ones to Covid (83%) and the NHS (79%) have been let down by the scandal.

And on the day where the government is likely to escalate its Covid response to ‘Plan B’ a significant three in ten (29%) say they are less likely to follow the government’s Covid rules as a result of the story.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes says,

“As the Prime Minister continues to refuse to acknowledge the party or admit that there was a breach of Covid guidelines, it’s clear from this poll that the public are taking a dim view of the scandal, with an overwhelming majority saying that the government have let the public, the NHS and, crucially, those who have lost loved ones to Covid, down.”

“However, while many believe the PM, and his former Press Secretary, should apologise for their role in the story, far fewer feel he should resign and, interestingly, a sizable proportion of around two in five said that a fictional person, put into the poll as a control, should resign for their, ultimately non-existent, role in the story. While the PM may have to add forgiveness to his Christmas wish list, he may still have time to do enough to avoid being on Santa’s naughty list this year – but it does seem to feel as though the PM’s rope is shortening after each governmental mishap.”