Is Boris Johnson the right man to handle Britain’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
February 25, 2022, 4:47 PM GMT+0

Of our allies, Britons are most likely to trust the EU and Germany, and least likely to trust France

A new YouGov poll, conducted after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, finds Britons divided on who would be best placed to handle our nation’s response to the crisis. A quarter (25%) think we have the best option currently: a Conservative government led by Boris Johnson. Another 20% think we would be better off if Labour and Keir Starmer were at the helm. Another quarter (26%) say neither, while the remaining 29% are unsure.

Boris Johnson receives more support from 2019 Conservative voters on this question (57%) than Keir Starmer does from his own party’s backers (44%).

Asked how much faith they have in Boris Johnson to make the right decisions when it comes to the Britain’s response to the invasion, only a third (33%) express “a lot” or “a fair amount” of confidence in the PM. Half (52%) say they have little to none.

Keir Starmer performs similarly, with 29% having a lot/fair amount of confidence in him, versus 49% who lack faith.

Again, Conservative voters are far more likely to have confidence in their party leader (62%) than Labour voters are of Starmer (46%).

The West’s response to the crisis requires the cooperation of many countries. So how confident are Britons in our neighbours and allies to do the right thing?

The picture is mixed. Britons are more likely to trust the EU to make the right moves, by 44% to 38%. Germany too tends to be trusted, by 42% to 37%.

When it comes to the USA, who have the greatest capability to oppose Russia, 38% have “a lot” or “a fair amount” of confidence, compared to 44% who do not.

France comes last, with only 33% expressing confidence following Emmanuel Macron’s roundtable discussion with Vladimir Putin prior to the invasion. Two in five (45%) have little to no confidence in our French allies.