UNSPECIFIED, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 12: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak toasts marshmallows during a visit to the Sea scouts community group in Muirtown near Inverness, during a two day visit to Scotland to highlight the benefits of remaining in the United Kingdom as he seeks to counter Nicola Sturgeon’s push for independence on January 12, 2023 in Inverness, Scotland. The Prime Minister is expected to hold face-to-face talks with the Scottish First Minister during his two-day trip, which begins on Thursday. (Photo by Andrew Milligan – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prime Minster Rishi Sunak is seen as more trustworthy, more economically competent and more likely to win votes than his former boss, Boris Johnson, in a new survey of voting intentions that was released on Saturday.
The Savanta ComRes survey for The Independent newspaper found that Johnson’s perceived popularity as the Conservative Party leader who won a big mandate in the 2019 general election does not necessarily translate among British voters ahead of the next polls expected in 2024.
The survey finds that 63 per cent are opposed to Johnson, 58, trying to lead the country again with only 24 per cent in favour of the idea.
At the same time, around 41 per cent of voters believe Sunak, 42, can “improve” the reputation of the Tory party, with only 19 per cent saying the same of Johnson.
“The former Prime Minister’s backers believe he has ‘electoral magic’ – but the results show that Mr Sunak is deemed more trustworthy, more economically competent and more likely to win their vote,” the survey findings in the newspaper reveal.
“Mr Johnson’s allies are keen for the former PM to return from the wilderness, replace Rishi Sunak and lead the Tory party into the general election expected in 2024. But 63 per cent are opposed to Mr Johnson trying to lead the country again with only 24 per cent in favour of the idea,” it notes.
A clear majority of voters (58 per cent) believe Johnson should have to resign his Uxbridge and Ruislip seat as a Tory MP in London if he is found to have lied over Partygate at the parliamentary inquiry, set to begin by next month.
Although both Johnson and Sunak were fined in the scandal for attending a birthday party at No.10 Downing Street in violation of COVID curbs, around 39 per cent of the British public blame the former prime minister for Partygate, while only 9 per cent blame Sunak.
Only 14 per cent of voters think Johnson can be trusted to tell the truth, while 39 per cent believe the same of Indian-origin Sunak.
On the economy, only 19 per cent trust Johnson to manage the nation’s finances versus 44 per cent for the current Tory leader.
Chris Hopkins, director of Savanta, said the survey numbers showed that discussions by some Tories about bringing back Johnson “should come with serious health warnings”.
“Boris Johnson, and to some extent Liz Truss, are responsible for the Conservatives dire polling numbers,” he warned.
The Savanta ComRes survey comprised of 2,064 adults was carried out between January 13 and January 15 in the UK.