LONDON — A majority of the British public still believes Boris Johnson’s top aide should resign, despite his explanation of alleged breaches of the U.K.’s coronavirus lockdown, new polling shows.
According to YouGov, which conducted its survey after Dominic Cummings gave a press conference in Downing Street on Monday, 71 percent of Brits think the adviser broke lockdown rules and 59 percent think he should resign. Both figures have increased slightly since the same questions were asked on Saturday.
Even Conservative voters are split, with 46 percent saying he should resign and the same proportion taking the opposite view. Among those who voted for Brexit in the 2016 referendum (in which Cummings masterminded Vote Leave’s campaign), 52 percent think Cummings should now resign.
Cummings has said he acted legally and reasonably and does not regret his decision to drive his family more than 400 kilometers from London to Durham despite suspecting that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has backed his adviser, despite calls from opposition parties and at least 20 Conservative MPs for his resignation.
The data is likely to be closely studied by Johnson’s team, who have polled every aspect of public opinion during the pandemic, with aides receiving near-daily updates on the public mood. While Cummings insisted Monday he had not considered resigning, that could change if polling continues to suggest the story is impacting the public’s view of the government more broadly.
The poll of 1,160 adults was conducted over the course of Monday and Tuesday, with all data gathered after the press conference was held.