So roughly half ConservativeHome’s panel of Tory activists believes that Boris Johnson broke lockdown rules. But almost two in five of its members don’t – presumably regarding the fine imposed on him, which he paid, as a consequence of being “ambushed with cake”.
Our second question sees the panel divide between roughly three in five of its members, who believe that Johnson didn’t deliberately mislead the Commons over lockdown rule-breaking in Downing Street, and three in ten, who think that he did.
A pattern is becoming clear. About three in ten of our panel seem to be Johnson critics – the same proportion that believe he deliberately misled the Commons also believe the Privileges Committee inquiry to be fair…
…But approximately three in five appear to be Johnson backers. The same percentage that think he didn’t deliberately mislead the Commons also believe the Privileges inquiry to be unfair. Then again..
…Ask whether Johnson should be a Conservative parliamentary candidate at the next general election, and about a third of those critics peel off. Over three quarters of the panel say that he should indeed be one. But…
…Ask whether he should return to lead the Party and become Prime Minister before the next election, and the panel swings back the other way. About a quarter of its members thinks that he should and roughly two thirds believe that he shouldn’t. So what does all that tell us?
In sum, a majority of the panel believes he broke lockdown rules, but didn’t deliberately mislead the Commons over breaches in Number Ten; think the Privileges Committee inquiry into his conduct is unfair, and believe that he should be a Tory parliamentary candidate at the next election…but that he shouldn’t return as Conservative leader and Prime Minister (at least before then).
The way I read it, about a quarter of the panel are determined Johnson backers and under a fifth are dedicated Johnson critics – see the last two questions and answers.
As for your average respondent, my sense is that he or she regrets Johnson leaving Downing Street, and feels the accusations against him over Covid and parties are unfair, but doesn’t want him back in Number Ten – for the moment, anyway. This survey looks for answers, but I end with a question: to what degree do Party members believe that the caravan has moved on?
The post Our special survey. A majority of Party activists support Johnson in all respects save perhaps the most important. appeared first on Conservative Home.
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Author: Paul Goodman
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