Written By Philip van Scheltinga

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Good Thursday Afternoon,

It’s time to take a look at the polls! In this week’s issue of Magnified, we respond to Boris Johnson’s resignation.

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Westminster Insights

Westminster Voting Intention
(7 July):

Labour 43% (+2)
Conservative 31% (-4)
Liberal Democrat 12% (+1)
Green 7% (+2)
Scottish National Party 3% (–)
Reform UK 2% (-4)
Other 3% (+2)

Changes +/- 3 July

All Net Approval Ratings
(7 July):

Keir Starmer: -6% (+1)
Rishi Sunak: -15% (-7)
Boris Johnson: -31% (-9)

Changes +/- 3 July

In his speech announcing his resignation today, Boris Johnson identified the “herd instinct” of Westminster as the cause of his downfall. Outside of the Westminster bubble, Johnson asserted that his government was “delivering so much,” having been given a “vast mandate.”

Readers of Magnified will know that Johnson’s analysis is egregiously wrong. With an approval rating measured at -31% at the time of his resignation, Johnson’s standing with the British public has never been lower. Though there are many factors that have led to this disastrously low public approval, it is, above all, the lack of a concrete agenda by Johnson’s government that has been the most significant cause of his plight.

Last week, we demonstrated how voters are largely unable to identify just what the Conservatives under Boris Johnson stand for. A bevy of respondents to our polling said they were unsure, including some who would still vote Conservative today.

Levelling Up, the slogan oft repeated by Johnson (even in today’s resignation speech), has been shown to be an empty promise. Few voters in the seats that the Conservatives won in the so-called ‘Red Wall’ have seen meaningful changes in their communities that can be identified as part of a levelling up agenda. Red Wall voters are further unaware of any changes they should be expecting.

Record spending on the NHS has hardly dented the Labour Party’s stronghold as the party for the NHS. A voter who wants to vote for a party that will spend more money on the NHS will continue to vote Labour. In fact, the Government’s approval on the NHS is as low as its performance on the economy.

Meanwhile, Johnson’s Chancellor of Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, his final approval rating standing at -15%, has squandered the Conservative Party’s reputation for low taxes. Voters across the political spectrum, including those who voted Conservative in 2019, now associate the Conservatives with higher taxes rather than lower taxes. A plurality of the public even associates Labour with low taxes.

And finally, on inflation, Boris Johnson’s Government has continued to act as if the rising cost of living is entirely caused by external factors and therefore cannot be addressed by fiscal (or even monetary) policy measures. This erroneous belief that inflation will pass on its own and that recession will be averted absent any pro-growth policies has resulted in a do-nothing, “helpless” Government.

In short, it is these various policy failures, not the Westminster herd, that brought an end to Boris Johnson’s Premiership.

Data Tables

R&WS in the Media

Each week we bring you the top stories from the media that have featured our research.

The polls are clear: Tory voters want Boris Johnson to go too
iNews | 6 July 2022

Tory MPs abandon Boris Johnson’s sinking ship
Financial Times | 5 July 2022

Child care costs to be cut to help parents through cost of living crisis
The Telegraph | 2 July 2022

Are you a journalist needing a stat for your latest piece? We can be your resource—our polling covers hundreds of issues in multiple countries each week. If you are working on an article on a topical issue, chances are we have already asked the public about it. Get in touch and we’ll share our polling data with you!

Our Research on Social Media

Top 5 Tweets This Week

  1. Tied lowest % net approval for Javid that we’ve recorded. Health Secretary Sajid Javid Approval Rating (3 July): (see full tweet)
  2. If the UK were to apply to re-join the EU, do Britons think it is likely or unlikely that the EU would accept the UK’s application? (19-20 June): (see full tweet)
  3. Joining/Staying Out of the EU Hypothetical GB Voting Intention (19-20 June): (see full tweet)
  4. Highest % to say Starmer would be the better PM since the local elections. At this moment, which of the following individuals do you think would be the better PM for the UK? (3 July): (see full tweet)
  5. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss Approval Rating (3 July): (see full tweet)

Have a question or want to know more about our research? Get in touch! Redfield & Wilton Strategies is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Follow us on Twitter

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