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UK's Labour opens 6 point poll lead over Johnson's Conservatives

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By Reuters
UK's Labour opens 6 point poll lead over Johnson's Conservatives
UK's Labour opens 6 point poll lead over Johnson's Conservatives   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021

LONDON – Britain’s opposition Labour Party has taken a six point lead over Boris Johnson’s Conservatives in a new poll showing the impact of alleged lockdown parties at the prime minister’s residence and tougher COVID measures.

Johnson faces charges of hypocrisy after he tightened restrictions in England days after a leaked video showed his staff laughing about a Downing Street party last year during a 2020 Christmas COVID-19 lockdown.

The survey by Survation for the Daily Mirror showed that 80% of respondents said they had followed the story to some degree, with a majority taking a dim view of events.

The poll of 1,178 people carried out on Wednesday and Thursday put Labour on 40% of the vote, up 1 percentage point, and Johnson’s Conservatives down 2 to 34%.

Johnson’s government has come under increasing pressure in recent months, over its handling of a sleaze scandal, the awarding of COVID contracts, the costly refurbishment of Johnson’s Downing Street apartment and the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan.

Despite this the Conservatives have largely retained a lead in opinion polls. Johnson also faces growing anger in his party, with a number of his lawmakers saying publicly on Thursday that they would not vote for Johnson’s new restrictions.

With cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant increasing, Johnson said on Wednesday that people in England should work from home, wear masks in public places and use vaccine passes for venues.

A vote in parliament on the measures is expected to be held next Tuesday, but it will likely pass with backing from Labour and other smaller parties.