As he resigns, Boris Johnson’s favourability drops to lowest ever score of -53

Adam McDonnellResearch Director of Political and Social Research
July 07, 2022, 1:45 PM GMT+0

Rishi Sunak’s net ratings improve following his resignation as chancellor this week

On the day he has announced plans to step down as prime minister, new YouGov data reveals that Boris Johnson’s net favourability has fallen to its lowest level to date, at -53. Just 19% of the public have a favourable view of the outgoing PM, with 72% having an unfavourable view.

Half of those who voted for his party in 2019 also have an unfavourable view of Johnson (52%) with 43% holding a favourable view of him. This puts his net score amongst Conservative voters at -9.

These latest figures mean Boris Johnson is less popular than Theresa May was at her lowest ebb a week before announcing she’d resign (-49 in May 2019), and is almost level with Jeremy Corbyn’s lowest score of -55.

In contrast, Rishi Sunak has seen his net favourability rise significantly since stepping down as chancellor. One in three (34%) hold a favourable view of Sunak compared to 51% who hold an unfavourable view, giving him a net score of -17. While still in negative figures, this is a vast improvement on his net score of -33 at the end of June. Sunak’s newly-appointed replacement, Nadhim Zahawi, also has a net score of -17 (19% favourable, 36% unfavourable), though is far less known amongst the public than Sunak.

Ben Wallace, who has emerged as an early frontrunner to replace Boris Johnson amongst Conservative party members according to YouGov data, has a net score of -4 (16% favourable, 20% unfavourable). However, two-thirds of the public still don’t know enough about the defence secretary to give an opinion (65% answered “don’t know”).

See full results here