Far from enjoying the honeymoon period in the polls typically enjoyed by British Prime Ministers, Ms Truss is currently more unpopular than her predecessor ever was. After a first month in office indelibly tainted by a mini-budget widely labelled “disastrous”, discontent among Tory MPs has the Prime Minister fighting for her political life.
After multiple U-turns on tax-slashing policies that were at the heart of her leadership campaign – as well as the sacking on Friday of her close ally and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng – many are wondering whether her time is already up. A new poll of Express.co.uk readers revealed her predecessor could be due for a comeback.
Ms Truss faced enormous challenges from her first day in office. After swiftly delivering on a cap for soaring household energy bills, the Prime Minister’s broader economic package was hotly anticipated.
On September 23, the Chancellor unveiled his mini-budget – the Growth Plan 2022 – to Parliament. Political and economic turmoil ensued, as the Bank of England was forced to make an unprecedented intervention to save a collapsing pound, and the Government found itself forced to U-turn on key policy proposals.
Three weeks later, as the Prime Minister sought to reassure the financial markets as much as her own discontented backbenchers, Mr Kwarteng was sacked and replaced by Jeremey Hunt.
Amid calls to resign herself, Ms Truss insisted she was “determined to see through” what she had promised.
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According to YouGov’s popularity survey, by October 5 Ms Truss’s net approval rating had hit -59 points – lower than her predecessors’ favourability trough of -53 points in the days leading up to his resignation.
According to the results of a YouPoll survey released on October 5, Ms Truss’s net favourability score had fallen by 28 points to -59 in less than two weeks. In comparison, Boris Johnson’s lowest ever net favourability was -53 in the days before his resignation in early July.
Despite the slew of scandals that saw him fall out of favour with MPs and the public alike, less than three years ago Mr Johnson led the Tories to their largest electoral victory since 1987.
Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg last week, former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said she could not rule out his return as Prime Minister.
READ MORE: Jeremy Hunt has two weeks to salvage mini-budget
In response, Express.co.uk ran a poll from 1pm to 5:30pm on Friday, October 14, asking readers: “Should Boris Johnson come back as Prime Minister?”
Overall, 4,751 votes were cast with the vast majority, 82 percent (3,904 people) answering “Yes”, Mr Johnson should return to the role he stepped down from just over a month ago.
Only 17 percent of respondents (828 people) said “No”, he should not be allowed back into Number 10, while less than one percent (19 people) selected that they did not know.
In the hundreds of comments left below the accompanying article, the overwhelming support for the recently departed Prime Minister shone through.
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Many claimed he ought to have remained Prime Minister, username MI7 saying: “Yes Boris should return, he should NEVER have been forced to leave in the first place.”
The urgency with which he should come back was also up for debate, username tottie57 calling to “Reinstate Boris by Monday,” while username MissKnowall said: “Yes he should come back immediately.”
Others took to highlighting his value to the Conservative Party. Username keyotek wrote: “Bringing Boris back is the only chance they have of coming anywhere in the next election.”
Username aew said: “He should never have gone, he was just bringing things on from the pandemic. They should have kept him if they wanted to stay in power at next election, yes he should come back.”
Username DABBOT preferred to flip the question, commenting: “Boris Johnson should never have been hounded out of being prime minister in the first place. The question is, would he come back if asked?”
However, some readers were more sceptical. Username BiRo said: “Boris might be best for the Tories, but he definitely is not the best for Britain”
Others seized the opportunity to express misgivings about the latest changes in Government, username Kimberley88 saying: “I miss him already,, big mistake getting rid of him. I can’t vote Tory with a Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor.”
A few had evidently been turned away from the Tories altogether, username llamudos commenting: “GE please, we want to vote for Reform UK.”
Username RY28 agreed, saying: “Only one person can save this country – Nigel Farage.”
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