The public thinks a confidence vote in Johnson’s leadership is the right thing to do
Whispers began to circulate last week that Boris Johnson could be close to facing a confidence vote among his fellow Conservative MPs. Now, the moment of reckoning has arrived, following the announcement that enough Tory MPs have submitted letters of no confidence to trigger a vote among all Conservative MPs as to whether Johnson should remain in his post or be removed as party leader.
A new YouGov snap poll finds, by 60% to 27%, the British public think Conservative MPs should vote to remove Johnson from Downing Street.
Most of those who backed the Conservatives at the 2019 general election (59%) want their MPs to support Johnson. However, one in three (32%) say they should vote to remove him.
Ahead of the vote, Conservative MPs have been sent “fact sheets” by Johnson's supporters, with reasons urging them to back Johnson. According to the memo’s authors, more pressing issues, such as the war in Ukraine, mean that stable leadership matters most. It further suggests a leadership contest would be "destructive for the UK".
The public disagrees, however, as 66% say a vote of confidence in Johnson is the right thing to do, versus just 19% who say it is wrong.
Conservative voters also generally agree. Half (50%) say it is right for a confidence vote to go ahead, while 40% think it is the wrong thing to do.
Is the current government equipped to deal with the cost of living crisis?
The memo sent to Tory MPs also highlights how the public is “anxious and struggling” with the cost of living – and that backing Johnson will allow him to “get on with the job” of fixing it.
However, regardless of the vote, the public has serious concerns about the government's ability to tackle the issue. Six in ten Britons (61%) say the government lacks the right policies and ideas to deal with the crisis. This includes over a third (37%) who think they “definitely” do not.
Only 26% say they think the government has the right ideas and policies to deal with the cost of living – including just 7% who say they “definitely” do.
The government retains the confidence of its own supporters, as 58% of Conservative voters say they think the government has the right plans to bring the issue to heel. However, a sizeable proportion (35%) doubt that the current government has what it takes.
See full results here.