Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Our poll – Boris survives but mud sticks


HAS Boris Johnson been irretrievably damaged by the revelations about in his private life over the last weeks on top of criticisms about his lack of candour and judgment? (It should be noted that these criticisms are often from those who have also displayed significant lack of judgment.)

That was the question we put to our readers four days ago, by which time it seemed that the worst there was to know about Boris was in the public domain and rumours were abounding about the lengths to which a ‘stop Boris at all costs’ campaign might go.

The response we got – 40 per cent of you believing he had been damaged and 60 per cent saying No – reflected readers’ ambivalence about Boris evident in our previous poll on who would be the best Tory leader.

However mud sticks, and Johnson’s lead has shown signs of fragility in the past week, though the most recent national polls on the likelihood of his winning show it has stabilised. Everything from polling among the general public and Tory members to the bookmakers’ odds suggests that Jeremy Hunt faces a tough task in turning it round from here. 

Let’s face it, it is not a great choice. We know we are choosing a prime minister, not a husband, but Boris on the prime ministerial front leaves much to be desired. Does he have the backbone for a No Deal Brexit? Churchill he ain’t, and it’s a Churchill we need.

For Paul Horgan’s assessment of the candidates in the light of their historical antecedents, see here. It may help any waverer still with Conservative Party membership to make up his or her mind. However there’s still nearly three weeks to go . . .

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Edited by Kathy Gyngell

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