'Despite what you may think, Boris Johnson has never been that popular'

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen during his meeting with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, in 10 Downing Street, London, ahead of talks. Picture date: Monday June 6, 2022. See PA story POLITICS Johnson.
Boris Johnson has survived a vote of no confidence. (PA)

Boris Johnson has scraped through a vote of no confidence in his leadership after 211 – 59% – of Tory MPs backed him.

Despite being a victory for the PM, the result is a significant blow to Johnson's authority, revealing the widespread unrest within hiss own party.

The result is worse than the outcome of the vote of no confidence in Theresa May in 2018.

Boris Johnson's no confidence vote outcome, compared to Theresa May's (Yahoo News UK/Flourish)
Boris Johnson's no confidence vote outcome, compared to Theresa May's (Yahoo News UK/Flourish)

Johnson's popularity with his own MPs has been put to the test, but just how popular is he with the public?

Watch: Boris Johnson Vote of No Confidence - What Happens Now?

Chris Curtis, head of political polling at Opinium, said on Monday that Johnson's successes have been largely driven by the failures of others.

Curtis tweeted: "Despite what you may think, Boris Johnson has never been that popular.

"For example, he was less popular in the 2019 general election than May was in 2017. He only did well because, by that point, Corbyn was incredibly unpopular."

Read more: No confidence vote - What happens if Boris Johnson wins or loses tonight?

The latest data shows Johnson's popularity is close to a record low.

Boris Johnson's disapproval rating has been consistently higher than his approval rating. (Opinium)
Boris Johnson's disapproval rating has been consistently higher than his approval rating. (Opinium)

Polling by Opinium shows that his approval rating has dropped sharply since he took office, with 56% now disapproving of the job he is doing while just 27% approve.

Curtis called this "the kind of approval ratings that PMs don’t normally come back from".

A majority of the British public believe he should resign as PM (Opinium)
A majority of the British public believe he should resign as PM (Opinium)

In terms of whether Johnson should continue as prime minister, 56% of the public say he should not, compared to 32% who say he should remain and 12% who don't know.

Some 50% also said the PM should step down straight away if he loses a vote of no confidence.

Moreover, the polling on Johnson's personal characteristics shows a public less than enamoured with their current leader.

Only 16% of the public think Boris Johnson is trustworthy, the latest polling shows (Opinium)
Only 16% of the public think Boris Johnson is trustworthy, the latest polling shows (Opinium)

Just 16% say the PM is trustworthy, and less than a quarter (24%) say he is competent.

Some 62% disagree that Johnson is on touch with ordinary people, and 58% disagree that he represents what most people think.

When it comes to Partygate, the public mood is clear. Nearly nine in 10 (89%) of people think Boris Johnson broke the rules, and 67% think he did so intentionally.

As Curtis put it: "More people think the moon landings were faked than think he told the truth about what happened."

A poll conducted on the morning of the vote found that 59% of the public thought Tory MPs should vote to oust Johnson, compared to 28% who thought they should vote to keep him.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting