Political

Four pollsters all show majority want Boris Johnson to resign

Having reported some of the initial polls following the news of fines for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak over breaking lockdown rules, let’s follow my own usual advice to others and round up all the polls on the topic.

Four pollsters have so far all asked about whether the PM should resign, using significantly different question wording but – on this occasion – getting a similar set of answers regardless of the wording.

Here’s are those answers:

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson: It has been reported this afternoon (12 April) that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have been issued with Fixed Penalty Notices by the Metropolitan Police for attending parties in Whitehall and Downing Street during lockdown. Do you think each of the following should, or should not, resign? Boris Johnson (Savanta ComRes)

Should resign – 61%
Should not resign – 31%
It has been reported that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have received fines for breaching lockdown restrictions. Do you think Boris Johnson should resign from his role as Prime Minister, or should he remain in his role? (YouGov)

Should resign – 57%
Should remain in his role – 30%

Should Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak resign as Prime Minister and Chancellor respectively over receiving fixed penalty notice fines for breaking lockdown rules? (Techne)

Yes – 55%
No – 34%

To what extent, if at all, would you support or oppose: Boris Johnson resigning as Prime Minister? (Ipsos MORI)

Strongly support – 35%
Tend to support – 19%
(Total support – 54%)
Tend to oppose – 13%
Strongly oppose – 14%
(Total oppose – 27%)

The similarity of the answers despite the wide variations in wording illustrate how question wording matters less the simpler and higher profile an issue is. It’s when there are very different ways of describing an action, and complicated consequences, that question wording can have the biggest impact.

NOW AVAILABLE: Polling Unpacked: the history, uses and abuses of political opinion polls which, according to the Sunday Times, is “Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand modern politics … comprehensive yet surprisingly fun”.

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