Poll Shows Majority of Brits Want Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Resign

© AP Photo / Hollie AdamsBritain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks during a press conference in London, Saturday Nov. 27, 2021, after cases of the new COVID-19 variant were confirmed in the UK
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks during a press conference in London, Saturday Nov. 27, 2021, after cases of the new COVID-19 variant were confirmed in the UK - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.03.2022
The leader of the Conservative Party has seen his approval ratings fall during the coronavirus pandemic, with critics accusing the government of failing to respond quickly to the problem. Johnson's numbers have plunged even further due to several scandals involving Tory MPs as well as the politician himself.
A majority of Britons want Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign, a new poll conducted by the market research and insight agency Opinium has shown. Although the survey demonstrated that there has been a 10 percent decrease in individuals who want to see the politician go (compared to January polls), most of those surveyed (53 percent) said Johnson should resign.

The discontent with his performance covers several areas. One of them is the response to Russia's special operation in Ukraine, which Moscow said is meant to de-Nazify Kiev and protect the residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics from the genocide waged against them by Ukraine's leadership. Kiev and the West subsequently condemned the Kremlin's actions, describing them as an "invasion" and slapped the harshest sanctions on Moscow to date.

Fifty-two percent of those surveyed believe that British authorities have not gone far enough in accepting hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees into the UK. Overall, a majority of respondents surveyed are concerned about Britain's economy, with 71 percent expecting the financial situation in the country to worsen over the next year, while 57 percent expect their personal finances to take a hit.

Only 27 percent of respondents have a favourable opinion of Boris Johnson's performance and 35 percent of the Conservative Party, while 54 percent of those surveyed disapprove of the prime minister's performance.

Quite often a decrease in the popularity of a governing party means an increase in popularity of the opposition, but this was not the case here. The ratings of Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, remain unchanged. When asked who they prefer as prime minister the answer "none of these" was the top choice, although when forced to choose the respondents chose Labour over the Tories.

"As for Boris Johnson, a cynic would say that the crisis in Ukraine offers both a distraction from domestic controversies and also the opportunity to act the statesman. Indeed we have seen a small uptick in his approval ratings, although we can't say for certain that this is related to the war in the east. Whether this trend continues depends on many factors including the deepening cost of living crisis", said Joe Curran, a senior research executive at Opinium.

Johnson's approval rating has been decreasing slowly since he became PM in the summer of 2019. This was caused by the UK's intense negotiations on Brexit with the European Union. His first big challenge, however, came in 2020, when health experts accused the government of failing to show an adequate response to the coronavirus pandemic. In October 2021, an inquiry conducted by several MPs revealed that the government's slow response during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic cost thousands of lives.

The PM's popularity continued to tumble after the government was hit by several scandals, including allegations of nepotism after the Health Ministry awarded medical equipment contracts worth millions of pounds to companies owned by friends of officials. The Conservative Party was also accused of awarding peerages in exchange for massive donations and the mishandling of the Owen Paterson scandal.

Prime Minister Johnson himself has been accused of wasting taxpayer money on the lavish makeover of his residence on Downing Street. But his biggest challenge came when local media outlets reported that UK authorities, including Johnson himself, were in breach of the coronavirus safety rules, the very regulations they themselves had set.

Photos showed MPs, ministers, and the PM attending different gatherings and parties during lockdown or when such gatherings were banned. Johnson faced calls to resign, but has dismissed statements by his critics.
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