Tories want Boris Johnson back – poll
Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now emerged as the Conservative Party's most popular potential replacement for the current head of government, Liz Truss, a new YouGov poll has shown.
The survey, which was conducted on October 17-18, revealed that 32% of respondents would like Johnson to return as prime minister, despite a series of scandals and cabinet resignations that precipitated his eventual departure.
“Those who voted for Truss to take over are particularly keen on a Boris Johnson return if she left: 44% put him top of their list of potential successors,” the pollsters noted.
Rishi Sunak, who served in Johnson’s cabinet as chancellor, significantly lags his former boss in popularity: only 23% of 530 Tory respondents voiced support for him.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace came in third with 10%.
The survey comes as Truss fights for her political survival after unveiling a set of controversial economic policies. According to the poll, 55% of respondents believe that she should resign immediately. Even among those who voted for her during the summer Tory leadership election, 39% now want to see her go.
A separate YouGov poll carried out between October 14-16 and published on Tuesday shows Truss quickly losing popularity among Brits.
“Four out of five British adults (80%) now view Truss unfavourably with 62% who see her very unfavourably. The prime minister’s net favourability score now stands at -70, a 14 point drop since last week,” the poll of 1,724 respondents revealed.
On Monday, Truss said that she has no intention of stepping down. In an interview with the BBC, she even pledged to lead the Conservative Party into the next election (which is not due before January, 2025), adding that she “is not focused on internal debates” among the Tories.
The comments came after several Conservative MPs publicly urged Truss to resign, accusing her of undermining Britain’s economic credibility and of damaging the party. In just over a month in office, Truss has presided over a massive shift in public sentiment towards the Tories, which could lose up to 219 seats in Parliament. This is according to a MRP poll that was conducted before the prime minister walked back her unpopular ‘mini budget’ plan, replaced the chancellor and was forced to apologize for the “mistakes.”