Snap poll: 59% of Britons want Johnson to resign in wake of Gray report

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
Isabelle KirkData Journalist
May 25, 2022, 1:50 PM GMT+0

Despite repeated apologies and explanations, most still think Johnson lied about events in Downing Street

The much-awaited Sue Gray report has been published, revealing the details of many gatherings taking place in Downing Street in contravention to the lockdown rules in place at the time. Boris Johnson took to the despatch box to accept responsibility for the report’s findings, including excessive drinking and disrespect of custodial staff. However, Johnson continues to be stalwart in the face of ‘partygate' accusations, stating he will "get on with the job".

Few Britons want him to, however, as most Britons continue to think Johnson should resign (59%). This has changed little from the 57% it was on 4 April, when it was announced Johnson had received a fixed penalty notice. Three in ten (30%) currently think Johnson should remain in office, the same as the proportion who thought so in early April.

Despite the report, Johnson continues to hold the support of Conservative voters, with 63% wanting him to remain in office. However, some still 27% think their party leader should resign, compared to 25% in early April.

Unsurprisingly, Labour voters continue to be highly in favour of Johnson’s resignation (88%, versus 87% previously).

In a statement to the House of Commons, Johnson defended his previous comments about the gatherings, stating he believed them to be work events, and insisted he did not mislead the House.

Few believe his claims and justifications, however. Three quarters of the public (74%) say they think Johnson knowingly lied about whether or not he broke lockdown rules. Only 13% think the prime minister was not knowingly lying.

Even Conservative voters do not believe their party leader was being truthful. Half (51%) currently think Johnson knowingly lied, representing little change from early April (50%). Despite their support for his continuation in office, only 29% of Conservative voters think Johnson did not knowingly lie about his breaches of the COVID-19 lockdown rules.

Finally, only a tiny minority think the Gray report is enough to end Johnson’s premiership, with just 7% thinking it is likely Johnson will resign in the wake of the report. The vast majority of the public (83%) instead think he will not – including 35% who think he “definitely will not resign” as a result.

See full results here

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