Partygate: Daily Express gets the public's view on PM
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Conservative Party MPs earlier this month voted – by roughly 60-40 percent – to keep Boris Johnson as their leader. Many have since argued this was not the result of there being widespread support in his premiership and instead boiled down to a lack of choice. In Nottingham, Express.co.uk heard a wide range of views about Mr Johnson himself.
Darren, who works for a local authority, said the question of his leadership boils down to trust, noting that “there’s a lot of things going on with the cost of living crisis and you need to know that you can trust the people that are representing you”.
He added: “If you can’t trust them then that’s a huge issue.”
Sandra, on the other hand, insisted “he’s doing a really good job” and that what has been dubbed ‘Partygate’ “needs to be over and done with”.
There was, however, a broad consensus among voters across different age groups and working in a range of professions: regardless of whether Mr Johnson is fit or unfit to be Prime Minister, nobody else is right for the job.
Pamela, a pensioner from the city, conceded that “Boris has a lot of faults”, but she added: “No one else springs to mind as a Prime Minister or a leader.”
Asked whether Mr Johnson was simply the best of a bad bunch, she said, through a wry grin: “You could say that.”
Naomi, a liberal arts student, thought the Prime Minister’s “actions were definitely wrong”, that his staying in Number 10 “makes a mockery of everyone who was really careful [about following the rules]”, but added that “I don’t know who would be best to step in”.
Stewart Crisp put it more bluntly, branding the Tories the “party of the talentless”, insisting there was a “completely lack of inspiration” within it.
Barbara Finch made it clear she was no fan of the Prime Minister, insisting “he should be out”.
So far as she could make out, Tory MPs kept him in because “there’s no-one else to replace him”.
But voters made it clear it was not just the Conservative Party which was lacking on the talent front.
‘Partygate’ aside, Sandra stressed that Labour would be bad for Brexit, and that if the party was already in office, “I think we’d still be in”.
Sandra added: “I don’t think there’s anyone in Labour who you could put in charge. I don’t think [Sir Keir] Starmer’s doing a very good job.”
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Ms Finch had always voted Labour, until “they went down the pan”.
She said that while Jeremy Corbyn was “too left-wing”, Sir Keir appears to be too much on the “Tory side” – that is to say, he’s too “posh”.
John agreed that, while he reckons he could go for a pint with Mr Johnson, the Labour leader appears to be more interested in “champagne and caviar”.
He said that while Sir Keir may be popular in London, if you move just 20 or 30 miles out of the capital, “he doesn’t go down well at all”.
John added that, because of this, “there’s no alternative”.
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Local transport worker Scott confessed that he was turned off with politics, noting: “Im fed up with it all. I don’t think I’ve heard good news in ages.”
A younger voter, also called John, said he long ago “lost interest” in politics after coming to the conclusion most of those involved appear to be working for their own advantage.
He joked: “I’d rather have my eyeballs tattooed than talk to anybody at great length about politics.”
We obliged and moved on, but struggled to find a voter who could talk positively about the current state of affairs for more than a few sentences.
Britons in Stoke were much of the same opinion when talking to Express.co.uk during a walkabout in May.
Politicians, one insisted, seem to be “living in a parallel world”. The Tories and Labour, added another, are “as bad as each other”.
Ms Finch perhaps summed up the views of many by noting that politics today is “all about charisma and not about politics [itself]”. She questioned what, other than “soundbites”, this is successful in producing.
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