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Opinium survey finds plurality of people think PM needs to go, but only 20% say Keir Starmer should step down.

More people think Boris Johnson should resign as prime minister than think he should continue in office, according to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer.

The first poll of 2021 found that 43% thought he should resign, while 40% said that he should remain as leader. However, most Conservative voters (87%) think Johnson should stay on as leader, with just 7% thinking he should resign. Just 20% believed Keir Starmer should resign as Labour leader, with 52% saying he should remain as leader.

There were also signs of a slight drop in support for the government’s handling of coronavirus. Some 72% (+4 on the last poll) think the government has not acted fast enough, with 42% (+4) thinking they are definitely not acting fast enough.

The public appear to want to err on the side of caution in terms of Covid restrictions. More than three in five (64%) said they would prefer “a government who quickly puts lockdown measures in place, even if that means that sometimes measures are put in place that didn’t need to be”. Only 25% said they would prefer “a government who tries the hardest they can not to put lockdown measures in place, even if that means that sometimes decisions are made later than they would otherwise have been”.

Johnson’s overall approval numbers have seen a slight drop. The proportion approving is now 37% (down one point from the last poll), while 45% disapprove (up one point). The government’s handling of the virus more generally has also seen a small drop. The number who approve is now 31% (-3), while the number disapproving is 48% (+3). This is the highest disapproval number since early November.

Overall, Labour hold a one-point lead on 40% of the vote, with the Conservatives on 39%. The Lib Dems are on 6%, the SNP on 5%, and the Greens on 4%.


Article written by: Michael Savage

Photo credit: Frank Augstein/AP


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