Most Brits want PM to go – poll
Most voters polled by YouGov, an internet-based market research and data analytics company, have expressed the view that British PM Boris Johnson should resign from his role A sample of Brits were quizzed, in a snap survey, on April 12, the same day Johnson received a fine for having flouted the strict social-distancing mandate his own government had imposed on the public at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
YouGov reports that 57 percent of respondents say Johnson should resign as prime minister, while 30 percent say he should stay in the position, and 13 percent say they don’t know whether or not Johnson should step down.
The results of a separate YouGov poll, held on March 8, showed 47% of respondents saying Johnson should resign, with 16% answering that he should stay in the role, despite being the only sitting head of government in the history of the UK Parliament to incur a penalty for breaking the law. When it comes to voters who favor the Conservative party, which is led by Johnson, 25% say he should resign, up from 17% in March.
Tuesday’s poll also asked respondents whether Johnson “knowingly” lied when, facing reports implicating him in the Partygate scandal, he claimed that he was unaware that the gathering he attended was illegal under the lockdown. A wide margin – 75% – say that they think Johnson “did knowingly lie,” with a majority of fellow Conservatives – 55% – holding this view.
Meanwhile, just 12% of respondents say they believe Johnson’s assertion that he wasn't aware he was breaking the law, whereas fewer than one in four Conservatives say they believe him.
Johnson admitted this past January to going to a garden party in May of 2020. At the time, lockdown regulations made it illegal for people to meet more than one person outside their households, cutting millions off from in-person contact with friends and family and forbidding visits to sick and dying patients in hospitals. The Metropolitan Police have leveled more than 50 fines in the course of their ongoing investigation into 12 such gatherings.
Some fellow Conservatives who called for Johnson’s resignation when the Partygate scandal reached a fever pitch back in January now take the opposite view, citing the Ukrainian conflict as sufficient reason for Johnson to remain in power. Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, for instance, now believes Johnson's departure “would destabilize the UK Government when we need to be united in the face of Russian aggression and the murdering of innocent Ukrainians.”
News of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to Kiev this past weekend for a one-on-one meeting and photo-op with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came just one day before news of his fine for flouting his own government's lockdown rules, along with his wife Carrie Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.