Conservative support may have fallen—but not when the Guardian says it did

27 April 2021
What was claimed

A poll showed a fall in Conservative support following several recent news reports about lobbying and leaks.

Our verdict

Some of the stories could have affected opinions in this poll, but the disagreement between Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings only became public after the poll was conducted.

An article in the Guardian this week claimed that public support for the Conservative party has fallen after recent news reports about the alleged conduct of senior people in government.

The article says: “An Ipsos Mori poll found that the party’s approval ratings had been slashed by five percentage points since last month, following weeks of revelations about lobbying, the refurbishment of the prime minister’s flat, and the latest row with his former key adviser, Dominic Cummings.”

In fact, these poll results are based on interviews that took place between 16 April and 22 April this year.

This means that people’s opinion of the Conservatives could have been influenced by the David Cameron lobbying stories or the Downing Street flat refurbishment stories, which were already being reported in March, but not by the Dominic Cummings disagreement, which only became public on 23 April.

Mr Cummings left his job in Downing Street last year after reported disagreements with other people working there. On 21 April this year, the BBC reported what it said were a series of leaked text messages between the Prime Minister and the entrepreneur, Sir James Dyson. On 23 April, newspapers reported that the Prime Minister believed Mr Cummings had leaked the messages—but Mr Cummings denied this, and made other accusations about the Prime Minister, in a blog later that day.

The Guardian amended its article the day after this fact check was published.

Update 28 April 2021

This fact check was updated to say that the Guardian had amended its original article.

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