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Tue 25 January 2022

A clear majority of voters surveyed also believe that Boris Johnson should resign as Prime Minister, an exclusive Omnisis poll indicates

A majority of Conservative voters believe that the Metropolitan Police should investigate the multiple parties that were reportedly held in Downing Street over the Christmas period last year, exclusive polling by Omnisis for Byline Times can reveal.

A clear majority of people surveyed also said that Boris Johnson should resign as Prime Minister, while a majority of respondents said that his apology for the events has been insufficient. Most of those surveyed consequently have less confidence in the Government than six months ago. The poll suggested a consensus that Johnson will not be Prime Minister by the time of the next general election.

Omnisis polled a representative sample of the population on 8 December, in the wake of numerous stories suggesting that Downing Street held parties last November and December – while the rest of the country faced stringent Coronavirus lockdown restrictions, including being banned from meeting in groups inside.

On Tuesday, footage surfaced of Boris Johnson’s then spokesperson Allegra Stratton hosting a mock press conference on 22 December 2020 and seemingly joking about a party held the previous week. “This fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced,” Stratton said, laughing.

Following these stories, 68% of respondents told Omnisis that Johnson should resign from his position. Some 46% of people who voted Conservative at the 2019 General Election agreed that Johnson should resign, matched by 52% of people who voted to leave the EU in 2016.

An overwhelming 80% of people believe that the Christmas parties are a worse breach of restrictions than Dominic Cummings’ infamous trip to County Durham during the first Coronavirus lockdown. Cummings and his wife were suffering from COVID-19 symptoms and travelled to the north-east, from London, for childcare reasons – with the former Downing Street aide visiting Barnard Castle to allegedly test his eyesight, before their drive home to the capital.

Some 68% of 2019 Conservative voters told Omnisis that the Christmas parties were a worse breach of restrictions than the Cummings affair – while 88% of all other voters concurred with this judgement.

Consequently, an overwhelming 76% of people said that the Metropolitan Police should investigate the Downing Street parties – including 61% of 2019 Conservative voters. This is contrary to the opinion of the Met, which yesterday announced that it would not be initiating an investigation due to “an absence of evidence”.

The Prime Minister yesterday offered an apology for the actions of Stratton, saying that he was “furious” about the video footage and that he apologised “unreservedly for the offence that it gave up and down the country”. However, Johnson continued to insist that no party took place and that no rules were broken.

Omnisis provided a transcript of Johnson’s remarks to the individuals who participated in the poll and asked if this apology was sufficient. 62% of people said that it was not – with more than 60% of people in every age bracket – aside from the over-65s – saying that his apology was insufficient. The over-65s were notably more lenient towards the Downing Street Christmas parties than younger age groups, despite their greater susceptibility to COVID-19.

According to the poll, 83% of people saw fewer of their family members last Christmas, due to the Government’s implementation of stricter COVID-19 restrictions.

After a series of scandals, 59% of people said that they now have less confidence in the Government than six months ago, with 38% of people saying they have “much less confidence”. 46% of 2019 Conservative voters said they have less confidence in the Government, alongside 54% of 2016 ‘Leave’ voters.

Perhaps as a result, 63% of people think that Boris Johnson will not be Prime Minister at the time of the next general election. This includes 52% of 2019 Conservatives.

These scandals, however, have usurped coverage of new reforms to policing, asylum and social care – all currently being pushed through Parliament by the Government. Only 20% of those surveyed by Omnisis said that they had heard “a lot” about these new policies, with 24% of people saying that they have heard “nothing at all” about them.

The full tables and methodology can be found here

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