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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a widely recognised figure and the coronavirus outbreak had improved his popularity with the public. In March, a YouGov survey found 55 percent of respondents had favourable opinions of the PM. But how has his popularity been affected by the Dominic Cummings row?
What is the Dominic Cummings row?
Mr Johnson’s chief aide Dominic Cummings stands accused of flouting lockdown rules after he drove 260 miles in March.
This week he gave a full statement of his travels during lockdown and said he had acted “reasonably and legally” in going to stay on his parents’ farm.
But since the news surfaced, Mr Cummings has faced calls to resign from those who believe he broke the rules of lockdown.
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Mr Johnson’s approval rating has dropped 20 points as the Dominic Cummings story continues to dominate the media.
The Government has generally seen approval for its handling of the crisis, but now approval ratings have drastically fallen.
The government’s approval rating is now at -2 percent, dropping 16 points in just one day.
Mr Johnson’s own approval is now at 2 percent, having slightly risen since it dropped 20 points to -1 percent on Tuesday.
The decline came after Mr Johnson backed Mr Cummings, claiming he followed the “instincts of a father”.
The PM has refused to fire his chief aide despite calls from key figures, Tory MPs and members of the public to do so.
The Prime Minister said Mr Cummings had acted “responsibly, legally, and with integrity, and with the overall aim of stopping the spread of the virus and saving lives”.
But the Savanta poll has recorded Mr Johnson’s approval has dropped significantly amid the ongoing row.
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The Savanta poll also demonstrated how Mr Johnson’s approval had fallen below that of Health Secretary Matt Hancock at five percent.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak also saw a large fall from 35 percent last week to 20 percent on Tuesday.
Mr Sunak’s approval rating has increased to 30 percent as of May 27.
The least popular member of Government is the Chancellor of the Duchy Michael Gove whose approval rating is currently at -8 percent.
The PM’s opposition Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has seen his approval ratings rise recently, with a rating of 14 percent as of May 27.
The daily tracker has more than 1,000 UK respondents each day and covers five key areas: concern and impact, home and work, out of home and retail, news sources and approval ratings.
The Savanta poll showed the level of worry in the UK is at 35 percent, which is the lowest since tracking in this area began.
The impact of COVID-19 on disposable income has been stable since tracking began, with roughly equal proportions saying that their disposable income has not been affected, as those who say it has decreased.
The UK government’s daily coronavirus briefing has proved popular with around three in 10 saying that they watch it live.
The PM has ruled out launching an inquiry into the conduct of Mr Cummings at the heigh of the lockdown.
Furthermore, Mr Johnson has urged the country to “move on” from the row.
He rejected claims the saga had damaged his own authority and the Government’s coronavirus message by not sacking Mr Cummings, adding the public had had enough of the “political ding-dong” over it.
Around 40 Tory MPs have called for Mr Cummings to resign or be fired after his 260-mile journey came to light.
Junior Minister Douglas Ross resigned in protest this week over Mr Cummings’ defence saying his interpretation of the Government guidance was “not shared by the vast majority of people”.
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