Majority of UK voters do not want Johnson as prime minister: Polls

A study of recent polls carried out in the United Kingdom shows the majority of voters in the country have not a good opinion of Boris Johnson as their next prime minister.

Polling expert Robert Hayward told the Guardian on Wednesday that voters in Britain have a “distinct antipathy” towards Johnson, the former foreign minister who seeks to become the leader of the ruling Conservative Party and replace outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.

Hayward said Johnson was clearly very popular among voters supporting a clean British break from the European Union, especially when compared to other 11 candidates seeking to win Tory leadership race in late July.

He said, however, that the voters mostly dislike Johnson when it comes to viewing him as a prime minister given the results of recent polls.

One of those polls by YouGov showed that 54 percent of the public, including 23 percent of respondents who had voted Conservative in 2017 snap parliamentary elections, though Johnson would make a bad prime minister against only 28 percent who thought he would be a good PM.

The antipathy against other senior candidates like foreign minister Jeremy Hunt and environment minister Michael Gove in the same poll was 42 and 45 percent respectively.

“Gove and Hunt have similar problems; but the voters don’t appear to be so antipathetic, particularly to Hunt, and to some extent to Gove,” said Hayward, adding, “There is a distinct antipathy towards Boris.”

Johnson, a former mayor of London until 2016 when he became a foreign minister under May, has gained much of his support through campaigning for a disorderly Brexit at the end of October.

He has been the main critic of May’s Brexit strategy since he resigned from the cabinet last summer.

The next leader of the Tory party will be chosen by a vote among tens of thousands of party members after the candidates are whittled down to two by Conservative lawmakers in the next two weeks.

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