Sir John Curtice admits 'there are mistakes in the polls'
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Patrick Christys, speaking to pollster Sir John Curtice, asked how “do we know the polls are true” if they appear to have consistently failed to foretell election results. Mr Christys cited the Brexit polls, which suggested Remain would prevail, as well as the American election in 2016, which failed to predict Donald Trump’s victory against Hilary Clinton.
Mr Christys said: “It’s all very well and good saying people have lost faith in Boris Johnson but I think people have lost faith in pollsters, haven’t they?”
“I mean they’re wrong more times than Michael Fish as far as I can tell. They were wrong about the American election. They were wrong about Brexit. I mean, how do we know this is true?”
Sir John replied: “Well the honest truth is they weren’t as wrong about Brexit as you might have imagined.
“There are mistakes at the polls but let me put it like this Patrick: If opinion polls after opinion polls repeatedly tell you that around three-quarters of people say the Prime Minister was not telling the truth about Partygate, then the vast majority of people do not believe the Prime Minister.”
Mr Johnson’s net favorability rate among the public has plummeted since January of this year as Partygate began to take hold.
It has been near an all-time low for Mr Johnson since becoming Prime Minister.
According to the latest polling done by YouGov, which measures the number of people who favour the PM versus those who do not, Mr Johnson is at minus 45 points.
His net rate has been negative for most of his time in Downing Street, save for a few weeks at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, but recently it has stayed below minus 40.
It comes as a senior Tory MP claimed today that Boris Johnson’s belief that “he and favoured friends can disregard rules” is a big contributor to his difficulties.
Julian Lewis MP suggested the actions of the Prime Minister have weakened “trust in the integrity” of Parliament, adding “impropriety” at the top of government is “impossible to defend, especially when it is habitual”.
The remarks from the MP for New Forest East further highlight the hurdles still facing Mr Johnson after he won Monday night’s confidence vote.
Conservative MPs voted 211 to 148 in support of Mr Johnson following a bruising few months involving the Partygate scandal, standards in political life, and cost-of-living concerns.
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Mr Lewis, the chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, said: “The Prime Minister’s record since 2019 has been a mixture of achievements and misadventures.
“His difficulties derive largely from a belief that he and favoured friends can disregard rules, which others must follow. This weakens trust in the integrity of Parliament.
“He has an aversion to scrutiny bordering on contempt for the Commons. Impropriety at the top of government is impossible to defend, especially when it is habitual.
“Boris’s Brexit campaign secures his place in history and this should rightly comfort him.”
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