Three-quarters of people think Boris Johnson knowingly lied when recounting the events
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have been issued with fixed penalty notices, as part of the ongoing police investigation into parties in Downing Street that breached COVID-19 lockdown laws. This is the first time that a prime minister and chancellor have been found to have broken the law while in office.
News of the fines comes amidst a wave of negative press for the Conservative party, but some Conservative politicians have called for the prime minister to stay for the sake of political stability given the situation in Ukraine.
A new YouGov snap poll shows 57% of the public now thinks Johnson should resign as prime minister and another 57% that Rishi Sunak should also leave his position as chancellor. Only 30% and 29% respectively say they should remain in their roles.
For Johnson, this represents a 10-point increase in those thinking he should resign versus 8 March, when 47% said he should resign and 36% said he should stay on.
Despite public anger, Conservative voters still want the prime minister to carry on in office. Only 25% of 2019 Tory voters think Boris Johnson should resign, versus 64% who think he should stay. However, the number of those thinking he should resign is up from the 8 March survey, when 17% thought Johnson should step down and 70% wanted him to remain in his role.
Three in ten (30%) Conservative voters say that the already embattled Sunak should resign his post, compared to 57% who want him to remain in Number 11.
Unsurprisingly, an overwhelming majority of Labour voters also think Johnson (87%) and Sunak (84%) should now step down.
The big question hanging over Number 10 is whether Johnson knowingly lied when talking about whether he broke the rules or not. While there is no precedent for what a prime minister should do when fined by the police, a known lie to the House of Commons would constitute a breach of the ministerial code. If found to be the case, under the code Johnson would be expected to resign.
By 75% to 12%, the public believe that Johnson did knowingly lie about whether or not he broke lockdown rules.
This includes over half of his own party’s voters (55%), while 24% of Conservatives do not think he lied when talking about the events.
See full results here