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Johnson's party loses lead in UK opinion polls after sordid scandal

Johnson's party loses lead in UK opinion polls after sordid scandal


LONDON (Reuters) – Boris Johnson's Conservatives lost their lead in two opinion polls after a growing scandal over parliamentary standards prompted almost two-thirds of respondents in a survey to say the prime minister's party British did not have a good reputation.

A poll taken on Tuesday and Wednesday for the Times newspaper put the Conservatives tied with the opposition Labor Party, while a poll taken on Thursday and Friday for the Daily Mail put Labor ahead by six points.

Johnson was forced to declare earlier this week that “the UK is not a corrupt country at all” after leading efforts to change parliamentary conflict of interest rules to protect a colleague under threat of suspension.

Since then, parliamentarians have come under renewed scrutiny over their outside work, which in some cases may have broken the rules.

The YouGov survey for The Times found that 60% of respondents agreed with the statement that “the Tories today give the impression of being very shady and disreputable”, up from 51% in April . Only 33% agree with the same statement for the Labor Party.

The Savanta ComRes poll for the Daily Mail indicates that Labor now holds a six-point lead over the Conservatives, reversing the Conservatives' three-point lead last week. While Johnson has refused to apologize for recent events, the Mail poll found that 60% of Conservative voters want an apology.

Johnson's party, in power since 2010 and with a working-class majority of 77 seats, has remained well ahead in opinion polls since the 2019 election, despite criticism of its handling of the pandemic.

The furor is reminiscent of the 1990s, when Conservative Prime Minister John Major's government was dogged by sordid allegations. Major called Johnson's government “politically corrupt.”

(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Mike Harrison)




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