We’ve been asking this question for the last seven months in the monthly survey. And this is the seventh time in a row that it has fallen.
For the record, the percentage believing that he has dealt with Covid-19 well have been as follows since March: 92 per cent, 84 per cent, 72 per cent, 64 per cent, 59 per cent, 48 per cent – and now 28 per cent.
So only between a third and a quarter of Party activist members of our panel believe that the Prime Minister is handling the crisis well, and the best part of two in three think he’s handling it badly.
The percentage thinking that the Government has handled the virus well is slightly higher at 32 per cent, but the difference is so small as to be minimal.
Three quick points.
First, this dire rating will be the product of a mix of factors: weariness with restrictions, exasperation with what seem to be bewildering and unpredictable rules, and a sense that the Government has no agreed plan.
Second, the Prime Minister’s survey scores were always likely to yo-yo. We sometimes write when a politician scores well in the surveys that what goes up must sooner or later come down. But the reverse often applies too.
Third, this is almost exactly the same panel that gave Johnson a 93 per cent approval rating in the wake of last year’s general election – and a 92 per cent positive rating on this question last March, as we have seen.
Talking of what’s going up – or rather staying up – 83 per cent of respondents back Rishi Sunak’s plans. His scores for the last three months have been 82 per cent and 81 per cent, and have never dropped below 71 per cent.
These are bleak ratings for Johnson as the virtual Conservative Party Conference prepares to open tomorrow.