The Conservative Party’s prospects at the next general election would be considerably more dire were Boris Johnson to return to the helm, new polling suggests.
Dealing a further blow to allies still plotting his comeback, Redfield & Wilton Strategies found that just 19 per cent of voters would be more willing to vote for the Tories if the ex-prime minister was to return – versus 44 per cent who would be less likely.
Even in spite of the turmoil which marked his successor Liz Truss’s shortlived premiership, those who believed Tory MPs were right to bring his government crashing down last July still outnumbered voters who viewed his exit from Downing Street as a mistake.
While this was the case even on the day after Ms Truss’s resignation, the percentage of those who feel the Conservatives were right to depose Mr Johnson has since risen 7 points to 54 per cent, the new polling for Politico found.
In a boost to his ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak’s authority in No 10, the polling revealed a dramatic reversal in voters’ belief as to how the state of Britain would compare were his predecessor still in charge.
Thirty-five per cent said the UK would be worse if Mr Johnson had remained in office – up from 21 per cent immediately after Ms Truss resigned. Conversely, just 22 per cent think the country would be better under Mr Johnson’s government, marking a huge fall from 39 per cent on 21 October.
Despite Labour’s vast lead in the polls, Mr Sunak will also be buoyed by Redfield’s findings that 60 per cent of the public feel they are familiar with the PM and what he stands for.
Posing questions for the Labour leader as he strives to portray himself as PM-in-waiting, just 40 per cent of respondents said they felt that way about Sir Keir Starmer.