Fight on, Boris! Readers back PM insisting local elections are ‘not a Tory referendum’

Keir Starmer says beergate is Tory mud-slinging ahead of election

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Local elections take place across the UK on May 5, with voters selecting thousands of local representatives while Northern Ireland will elect a new assembly. In a set of bumper polls that ran from 11am on Friday, April 29, to 3pm on Wednesday, May 4, asked readers’ opinions on whether they back Mr Johnson ahead of the local elections and if they saw the elections as a referendum on the Prime Minister.

It also asked whether readers thought Mr Johnson should resign if the Conservative Party suffered and if Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer should resign if fined over ‘Beergate’.

Mr Johnson has been told public fury over Partygate will result in the Conservatives suffering substantial losses at the polls.

First asked: “Do you back Boris Johnson ahead of local elections?”

A total of 13,440 people answered this question with the vast majority backing Mr Johnson with 74 percent (9,914 people) opting for “yes”. 

A further 25 percent (3,385 people) said “no” while just one percent (141 people) said they did not know.

The Conservatives are braced for a difficult election, where they could lose hundreds of seats owing to ​​anger over Partygate.

A poor performance in the local elections might provoke a leadership challenge against Mr Johnson.

Next, asked: “Do you view local elections as a referendum on Boris Johnson?”

Of the 13,328 people who responded to this question, most people – 61 percent (8,150 people) – said “no” they do not see the local elections as a referendum on Mr Johnson.

Meanwhile, 35 percent (4,689 people) said “yes” and four percent (489 people) said they did not know.

Then, asked: “If Tories suffer in local elections, should Boris Johnson resign?”

The dominant response to this question from the 13,399 votes cast was “no” with 73 percent (9,844 people) choosing this answer.

A further 25 percent (3,297 people) said “yes”, Mr Johnson should resign if the Tories suffer in the local elections and two percent of respondents (258 people) said they did not know.

Sir Keir also faces challenges ahead of polling with the Leader of the Opposition being accused of breaking coronavirus regulations on April 30 last year by drinking a beer with colleagues.

In February, Durham Constabulary said it did not consider Sir Starmer’s actions a breach of the rules but the force has come under pressure following the recent fines by the Metropolitan Police for parties held at Downing Street.

Finally, asked: “If Keir Starmer gets fined, should he resign?”

This question gathered 13,360 votes with a slight majority of 54 percent (7,164 people) opting for “yes”, Sir Starmer should resign if fined.

In addition, 39 percent (5,257 people) answered “no” and a further seven percent (939 people) said they did not know either way.

Thousands of comments were left below the accompanying article with readers sharing their views ahead of the local elections.

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Many expressed their concerns about the election being on local issues.

Username VisionforWales said: “This is not a referendum on the Conservative government, it’s about local issues.

“Boris Johnson is being pursued by the media, civil service, opposition parties, Remainers in and out of Government and everyone with a grudge. 

“He has got the big decisions right, he backed the right vaccines and got the right people in place to secure them for UK.

“He’s being made a scapegoat but it’s thanks to his actions that we are now able to resume normal life.”

Username Remainer and Proud said: “These are local Elections. May I suggest that you vote on local issues.”

And username themanfromtharl said: “Boris should NOT resign. If the Tories do badly in the local elections. These are council elections about local matters. Not national matters.”

While username Basaria commented that mid-term local elections often result in lost seats due to “protest voting”.

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