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Swing voters wish Boris Johnson wasn't ditched as Prime Minister

2 mn read

Conservative voters have ‘seller’s remorse’ over the ousting of and would pick him as the next Prime Minister over both leadership rivals, research has revealed.

Interviews in marginal constituencies revealed floating voters believe MPs have badly damaged the reputation of the party by ousting Mr Johnson and firing the starting gun on a bitter battle to replace him.

This was backed up by separate national polling by YouGov that found 49 per cent of Tory supporters thought Mr Johnson should remain Prime Minister – more than the combined support for and .

The responses backed up claims that the removal of Mr Johnson could have a significant impact on the party’s electoral chances in 2024. 

Richard, a plumber in the marginal seat of Southampton Itchen, said: ‘The others have not had to deal with everything he’s had to. 

National polling by YouGov that found 49 per cent of Tory supporters thought Mr Johnson (pictured) should remain Prime Minister

National polling by YouGov that found 49 per cent of Tory supporters thought Mr Johnson (pictured) should remain Prime Minister

‘He stepped straight in and it was Brexit and then it was Covid and now it’s the war in Ukraine. 

‘Everybody waffles on about, he should have done this, he should have done that.But I’d like to see them in his shoes.’

Another voter, in the red wall seat of Oldham East and Saddleworth in Greater Manchester, said: ‘If he would have failed or succeeded, we’ll never know now, but he should have been given the opportunity.’ 

A third voter in Esher and Walton, a marginal seat with the Liberal Democrats in Surrey, said: ‘I really liked Boris and I was really, really disappointed in the way he was treated.They’re picking on minor things.’

The research, carried out by political consultancy Public First, was conducted in three areas of England at the heart of Mr Johnson’s 80-seat majority in 2019.

It revealed how the cost of living crisis was leading to growing mistrust in the two candidates to enter No10.

Stacey, a buyer who works for a house building firm said: ‘Quite honestly, they all talk rubbish, because it’s like going for a job interview.’ 

Conservative voter Claire, a 55-year-old receptionist, said: ‘One of them is going to get in so all we can do is hope.’

Less than a quarter of respondents in the YouGov poll were convinced by the candidates’ plans to tackle the cost of living.

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