Boris Johnson polls: PM on the edge after humiliating by-election loss in North Shropshire

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On Thursday, Boris Johnson’s Conservative party lost the North Shropshire by-election – a seat they had previously held for nearly 200 years – to cap off what has been a difficult week for the Prime Minister. The most recent polls indicate the public opinion of Mr Johnson is at its lowest ebb since he assumed office – so could he leave No 10 before 2022 is out?

According to YouGov’s latest independent survey’s Boris Johnson’s approval rating ranks at 29 percent – as of November 22.

Participants were asked: “Do you think that Boris Johnson is doing well or badly as Prime Minister?”.

The score is Mr Johnson’s lowest since he assumed office more than two years ago, and could sink lower given the events that have taken place in recent weeks.

Voting intention figures from the same organisation also show that the Labour Party currently has a five percentage point lead over the Tories.

Of the 1,714 adults who took part in the research – between December 14 and 15 – 37 percent said if a general election were to take place tomorrow that they would vote for Sir Keir Starmer’s party.

In comparison, 32 percent answered they would give their vote to the Conservatives.

Moreover, a separate poll published by Ipsos MORI at the start of this week has revealed the UK public now views Sir Keir as a more suitable candidate to be PM than Mr Johnson.

Their figures took in the opinions of more than 1,000 adults aged above 18, from across the British Isles, and showed Mr Starmer holds a 13 percentage point lead over Mr Johnson.

The Labour leader scored 44 percent of the vote, while Mr Johnson was awarded 31 percentage points.

Participants were asked: “Who do you think would make the most capable Prime Minister, the Conservative’s Boris Johnson, or Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer?”.

In fact, this is the first time a Labour leader has been ahead on this measure with Ipsos MORI since Gordon Brown led David Cameron in January 2008.

The result also represents the lowest proportion of Britons to opt for Mr Johnson since he became Prime Minister in 2019.

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On Thursday evening, the Liberal Democrats won the North Shropshire by-election, which marks the first time the seat has not been held by the Conservatives in nearly 200 years.

The by-election was called after the area’s previous MP, Owen Paterson, had resigned for breaching parliamentary rules on lobbying.

Following last night’s result, Mr Johnson is now odds on with some bookmakers to leave his position as PM by the end of next year.

The betting agent Ladbrokes says that there is now a 4/5 chance the PM will be replaced during 2022.

Rishi Sunak is fancied at 2/1 to be the next PM, with Liz Truss rated at 5/1 to be the next female at the helm of No 10 Downing Street.

Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes said: “Both the PM and the Tories are in meltdown with crisis after crisis happening, and the odds now firmly suggest Johnson is in last chance saloon territory.”

Mr Johnson still has more than two years left to run on his first term as PM before the next UK general election in May 2024.

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