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With the Cummings lockdown saga now in its seventh day some biting polling in Daily Mail

May 27th, 2020

If the Team Johnson plan for the Cummings lockdown saga was to hope it would go away then there’s no sign of that this morning. Several papers have it as their main story and the usually Tory-backing Daily Mail is giving big prominence to the JL Partners polling above.

As I’ve argued before the Mail is critical for a Tory PM and for the paper to oppose so vehemently the actions of Johnson/Cummings is not something we have seen since the days of the hapless John Major in the run up to GE1997.

Quite simply the Mail wants Cummings out and gives no sign of letting up. This is a paper with the resources and the readership that mean it has a big political impact particularly with a Tory government.

The polling above and the way it is presented is pretty devastating particularly the finding that 74% of CON voters believe Cummings broke the lockdown rules. The movement in its “best leader” question has Starmer now within three points of Johnson a huge 12% drop on five days ago.

If there’s no shift by Number 10 then likely we’ll see a new version of this polling later this week.

The hard calculation for Boris is that the longer he goes on defying the calls for Cummings to be sacked the weaker his position becomes.

At some stage, surely, Cummings himself is going to realise the damage his stand is doing to the party and the PM.

Mike Smithson