Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak receive lockdown fines
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Director of Politics at pollster Ipsos, Keiran Pedley, told Express.co.uk the Chancellor, who was previously “the most popular politician in the country”, has seen his ratings “plummet very, very quickly”. The most recent polling from Ipsos showed that 37 percent of 2019 Conservative voters think Mr Sunak should resign, while 40 percent oppose his resignation. Of the general public, more than half (51 percent) think he should resign, while a quarter think he should not.
Throughout much of the pandemic, Mr Sunak was seen as one of the most popular members of the Cabinet, with Conservative Home’s “Cabinet League Table” putting him in the top 3 for much of 2020 and 2021.
But, in April 2022, the survey, which speaks to a sample of Tory party members, saw Mr Sunak ranked third from the bottom.
This came after it was revealed Mr Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murthy claims non-domicile status on her tax, allowing her to save millions of pounds in tax on dividends collected from her family’s IT business empire.
Her non-dom status means she does not have to pay tax on dividends from overseas companies.
Ms Murthy receives about £11.5million per year in dividends from her stake in Indian IT services company Infosys.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Mr Sunak received a fine for breaching lockdown restrictions in June 2020.
Mr Sunak has also faced heat as a result of mounting fury over the UK’s cost of living crisis.
But Mr Pedley told Express.co.uk the polling figures suggest that “conservative voters have more loyalty to Johnson than they do Sunak”.
Mr Johnson, who also received a fine for breaching lockdown restrictions in June 2020, saw fewer 2019 Conservative voters call for his resignation than Mr Sunak, with 35 percent believing he should step down.
A higher number of them opposed his resignation, with 48 percent believing he should stay in post.
Meanwhile, amongst the general public, his approval ratings were marginally worse than Mr Sunak’s, with 54 percent believing he should resign and 27 percent believing he shouldn’t.
Speaking to Express.co.uk about the figures, Mr Pedley said: “What’s interesting about Rishi Sunak is that – when you ask Conservative voters from 2019 whether Johnson should resign, they are more likely to say they oppose that than they support that. On Rishi Sunak it’s more divided.
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“His ratings have plummeted very, very quickly.”
But Mr Pedley warned that the Chancellor’s ratings could fall even further as the cost of living crisis escalates.
He said: “That last month in the aftermath of the spring statement and the other stories – he has gone from being someone who was at one point the most popular politician in the country, by quite a way, during the pandemic, to now someone that’s seeing his ratings fall.
“And we’re not sure how far they’re going to fall.
“Because 90 percent of the public are following stories about cost of living closely.
“That’s obviously going to be something that people will look to the Chancellor to resolve, and that doesn’t feel like an issue that’s going away.
“So, it’s a challenging time for him.
“And it feels like Conservative voters have more loyalty to Johnson than they do Sunak.”
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