Poll finds majority of people in Wales want Boris Johnson to quit as prime minister

Despite a majority of respondents wanting the PM to quit, he had strong backing among Conservative supporters. Credit: PA

The prime minister has faced a difficult few months following a police investigation into alleged lockdown breaches in Downing street.

And according to a new YouGov poll, commissioned by ITV Wales and Cardiff University, people in Wales have made their minds up about Boris Johnson’s future - with 58% wanting him to quit, 28% wanting him to remain and the rest not sure.

When asked whether Boris Johnson should resign as prime minister, or remain in his role:

The Ukraine crisis has dominated discussions since Vladimir Putin’s invasion, although Boris Johnson’s announcements of support for Ukraine doesn’t seem to have changed a majority of people’s views that he should go.

But only 10% of Conservative supporters within the poll wanted Mr Johnson to quit - with those supporting opposition parties, unsurprisingly wanting him out. 

Should resign, by party support:

  • Conservatives 10%

  • Labour 88%

  • Plaid Cymru 79%

There was also a marked difference in support for the Welsh and UK Governments, with the former gaining far more support than the latter.

Approval for the UK Government as a whole in Wales has dipped to 27%, with 67% saying they have little confidence in Boris Johnson’s administration.

This compares with 54% saying they trust the Welsh Government, with the rest disagreeing or taking no view.

This marked difference in support for both governments has been widening for some time - with the Welsh Government seen as more trustworthy.

54% of those polled said they trusted Welsh Government. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

Turning to voting intentions, and there’s little change from December’s poll.

Labour have a 15 point lead over the Conservatives, and if that were to be replicated at a Westminster election it would see the Conservatives lose the bulk of the seats they won during the 2019 UK general election.

However, it’s worth remembering the next election is due to be fought on new boundaries - with Welsh seats being reduced from 40 to 32. 

Westminster voting intentions:

  • Labour 41% (No change)

  • Conservatives 26% (No change)

  • Plaid Cymru 13% (No change)

  • Other 13%

Dr Jac Larner, from Cardiff University's Welsh Governance Centre, said the poll findings suggests the so-called 'Boris bounce' has ended.

Dr Larner said: "Despite little to no substantive change in vote intention figures, there are two points of note from this latest poll.

"First, the ‘Boris bounce’ that the Conservatives have enjoyed in Wales under Johnson has ended. Conservative polling numbers for the last two polls now closely resemble their position at the tail end of Theresa May’s premiership.

"The Downing Street party scandals, combined with the perception that the Conservatives have not done a good job at responding to the pandemic, has lost the party the support it had gained in Wales since the 2016 EU Referendum. 

The poll findings will be 'incredibly concerning' for Boris Johnson, said Cardiff University's Dr Jac Larner. Credit: PA

"Second, Labour’s poll numbers are the highest they have had in two consecutive polls since the latter half of 2018 in Wales. While the regularity and normalcy of Labour leading Welsh polls means that this will likely be met with a shrug, a party in its 23rd year of incumbency maintaining such a substantial lead is remarkable." 

'These will be incredibly concerning numbers for the Prime Minister'

On the subject of a majority wanting Boris Johnson to quit, Dr Larner added: "These will be incredibly concerning numbers for the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party in Wales.

"With most of the Welsh public now in favour of Johnson resigning, combined with their poor polling performance, the Conservatives face a tough choice over whether Johnson should remain in office. 

"While he remains popular among current Conservative supporters they should be more concerned about previous Conservative supporters they have lost in the last 24 months.

"A quarter of 2019 Conservative voters think that the Prime Minister should resign. Current evidence suggests the Prime Minister is no longer the electoral asset he once was."

YouGov polled a representative sample of 1,086 Welsh voters, aged 16+, between 25th of February and 1st March for ITV Cymru Wales and Cardiff University. 

Barn Cymru is a collaborative partnership between ITV Cymru Wales, Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre and the leading polling agency YouGov. The recently refreshed partnership aims to provide an insight into people's beliefs, attitudes and opinions and to gain real-time feedback on public views in Wales.