British voters overwhelmingly disapprove of Prime Minister Theresa May’s handling of Brexit, a fresh poll suggests. Instead, they would pin their hopes on a man who was only recently seen as a “liability” – Boris Johnson.
May seems to be facing an unprecedented confidence crisis, as just 11 percent of the voters said they would support her Brexit plan, which is also known as the Chequers deal, if a referendum on it is held, a recent YouGov poll conducted for the Sunday Times has revealed.
Just 12 percent of respondents generally believe that the plan, which envisages the UK abiding by EU rules in return for free trade, is “good” for the UK while 43 percent believe otherwise, according to the survey conducted on Thursday and Friday.
Furthermore, only 16 percent of Brits approve of May’s handling of Brexit in general. An earlier YouGov poll conducted last week, meanwhile, showed that three-quarters of the population think that the government is doing “badly” at negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU. The same poll also demonstrated that more voters (43 percent) would like to see May stand down as a Conservative leader rather than stay (36 percent).
The only gleam of light between the clouds over May’s head is the fact that those who call themselves Tory voters still mostly believe she should stay and fight by a margin of 58% to 32%. However, when it comes to Brexit, people unexpectedly give preference to Boris Johnson, who just recently resigned from the position of the British foreign minister following a spat with May over the Chequers deal. Now, more than one-third of Brits (34 percent) believe he would fare better than the current prime minister in the Brexit talks.
Johnson, who was considered a “liability” to the government by almost half of respondents just a week ago, is now named as one of the most popular candidates for the post of the Tory leader. At least he is considered to fare best against the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn among all potential Tory candidates at the next elections, according to YouGov.
Meanwhile, the general support for the major British establishment parties is apparently waning. The poll showed that almost four in 10 Brits would vote for a “new party on the right committed to Brexit,” while a further 24 percent of respondents would support a far-right anti-immigrant and anti-Islam force.
One in three voters are also prepared to back a new centrist party, which would advocate the UK staying in the EU. Notably, the poll showed that more than a half of UK citizens would now vote to ‘remain’ if another Brexit referendum is held.
The prolonged Brexit talks have left the Tory government in dire straits. First, it saw a string of ministerial resignations, which involved not only Johnson but also the now former Brexit Secretary David Davis. Then, Conservative MP Philip Davies called for a no confidence vote in Prime Minister Theresa May and submitted a relevant letter to the backbench 1922 Committee. Forty-eight letters must be sent to the chairman of the committee, Graham Brady, before a no confidence vote is triggered.
Meanwhile, the former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader, Nigel Farage, as well as some of his allies and Tory donors, are allegedly planning to establish a new party advocating hard Brexit, the Sunday Times reports. Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, is also reportedly holding talks on the creation of a new centrist party.