This is much the same panel that gave Boris Johnson a 93 per cent approval rating after the last general election…
…And that gave him a minus ten point negative rating last October, when there seemed to be no way out of a cycle of lockdowns and loosenings.
He is down from sixth, with a score of 61, to nineteenth, with one of 34 – and into the bottom third of the table. There is little movement elsewhere in terms of scores. Liz Truss is top for a fifth month running.
Which suggests that the Prime Minister has done something in particular to disturb activists, and the most straigtforward explanation is his conduct over the Downing Street flat.
Our best guess is that Party members think he’s done nothing wrong, but aren’t convinced that an expensive makeover of the flat was necessary, and think that neither Johnson nor Carrie Symonds should be offering hostages to fortune.
Activists’ disapproval of party funds being used to support the Party leader’s private costs, as also expressed in the survey, seemed to us to be a straightforward expression of opinion – not a rap over the knuckles for the couple over the flat imbroglio.
This response by contrast does appear to be a shot across the Prime Minister’s bows from members who, though at ease with the general direction of the Government, aren’t averse to criticism if they think it necessary.
Life with Johnson is always going to be a roller-coaster ride – what goes up will come down, and vice versa. Who knows where the carriage will be dangling when the music stops? As you all know very well already: life with Johnson is never dull.