Half of Tory members believe Rishi Sunak would be a better prime minister than Boris Johnson, with a third calling on the current leader to stand down, poll reveals
- The YouGov poll of 1,005 Tory members found Johnson’s popularity is dwindling
- 38 per cent of those surveyed said the prime minister is doing ‘badly’
- Liz Truss is the second most popular candidate to replace him among members
Nearly half of all Conservative members believe Rishi Sunak would make a better prime minister than Boris Johnson, a poll has revealed.
The survey of 1,005 Tories found that 46 per cent think the chancellor would win more seats at the next election than the current party leader.
A third of the membership said they think Johnson should even stand down as leader, with four in ten saying he is doing a bad job.
Nearly half of all Conservative members believe RIshi Sunak would make a better prime minister than Boris Johnson, a poll has revealed
The YouGov poll carried out by Sky News took place between December 30 and January 6.
The findings show a marked slump in support for Johnson since a similar poll was carried out in July 2020.
Only a quarter of Tory voters believe he would be more successful than Liz Truss at the next election, with just 16 per cent say he is a better choice than Sunak.
In July 2020, 85 per cent of Conservatives thought Johnson was doing ‘well’, but that number has now dropped to 61 per cent.
Meanwhile, those surveyed who think he is doing ‘badly’ have increased from five per cent to 38 per cent.
After the series of Christmas party scandals, voters also do not trust the prime minister, with 39 per cent saying he doesn’t always tell the truth.
The survey of 1,005 Tories found they think the chancellor would win more seats at the next election than the current party leader
Despite the growing concerns, he still enjoys a majority of support with 59 per cent saying he should remain as leader, compared to the 34 per cent who want him to stand down.
But a very large minority believe he will not survive to the next election, with 47 per cent saying he won’t still be leading the party.
Asked who voters want to replace Johnson, Sunak is the most popular with 33 per cent support, then Truss on 25 per cent, Jeremy Hunt on eight per cent and Michael Gove on six per cent.
A total of 46 per cent believe Sunak would be a better leader than Johnson, with only 16 per cent thinking he would be worse.
Johnson’s problems are continuing to mount, and he has now been warned by a Conservative rebel ringleader he faces a massive revolt from his own MPs if he does not end all coronavirus restrictions this month.
Mark Harper, chair of the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group, also said the prime minister could even face a leadership challenge if the Tories do badly in May’s local elections.
Only a quarter of Tory voters believe Johnson would be more successful than Liz Truss at the next election
Johnson suffered the biggest revolt of his premiership last month when 100 backbenchers defied him over Plan B restrictions in a Commons vote.
But Harper warned the rebellion will be even more devastating if the Prime Minister tries to extend the measures – including Covid passes, mandatory mask-wearing, and work from home guidance – beyond January 26.
‘I think there will be even more people against it,’ he said in an interview with the Financial Times. ‘I think the intellectual argument now is even weaker.’
Johnson’s authority in his party has been dented by the defeat in the North Shropshire by-election last month when the Liberal Democrats achieved an overwhelming victory in what had been an ultra-safe Tory seat.
That loss compounded the concern triggered by the Conservatives’ loss of the former stronghold of Chesham and Amersham to the Lib Dems in June.
Asked by the Financial Times if he thought Mr Johnson would be in trouble if he failed to change and the Tories performed poorly at the local elections, Mr Harper replied: ‘I do.’
But he added: ‘It’s in his hands.’
Mr Harper said colleagues would question if they will be able to hold their own constituencies, adding: ‘They will look at polling and consider who is the person best able to help them keep their seats.
‘Conservative MPs have asked themselves that question in the past and decided they need to do something about it. Prime ministers are on a performance-related contract.’
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