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New Prime Minister Will Need to Restore Britons' Trust

New Prime Minister Will Need to Restore Britons' Trust

Story Highlights

  • 38% of Britons said they approve of the job Boris Johnson is doing
  • 33% of Britons expressed confidence in their national government

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be out of a job on Monday when the Conservative Party names his successor. But if most Britons had their way, he would have been out of office even before Parliament forced Johnson to quit in July.

In Gallup's last reading of Johnson's job performance, taken shortly before he resigned, fewer than four in 10 Britons (38%) approved of the job he was doing, while the majority (59%) disapproved.


These data were collected May 30-June 27, 2022, in the run-up to and fallout from the June 6 no-confidence vote in Parliament in which Johnson prevailed. These data were also collected as Britons faced record-level inflation that drove up food prices and poisoned the economic outlook for many in the country.

Throughout Johnson's tenure, majorities of Britons disapproved of the job he was doing, with no less than 51% of Britons giving the prime minister poor marks. Johnson's 59% disapproval rating as he exits office is on par with predecessor Theresa May's. The only prime minister in Gallup's trend to have higher disapproval ratings was Gordon Brown.

Nearly Two-Thirds of Britons Lack Confidence in Their National Government

As sour as Britons were on Johnson, they are even more negative about their national government -- which means Johnson's successor and the Conservative Party have work to do. Nearly two-thirds of Britons, 64%, said they do not have confidence in their national government, while 33% said they do.


Majorities of Britons have lacked confidence in their national government throughout most of Gallup's trend. However, this lack of trust has been elevated since 2019, just before May was forced out of office.

The percentage of those who lacked confidence grew to 64% in early 2019, up from 55% the previous year. In 2019, May sought to extend negotiations with the European Union for the U.K.'s exit from the EU after having failed to meet the deadlines for an agreement on Brexit.

Bottom Line

The contest for the prime minister's office has boiled down to two candidates from the Conservative Party, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. Regardless of which candidate wins, they will face stark, difficult challenges. The U.K. is facing the highest levels of inflation in decades, with household energy bills expected to jump 80% in the coming months.

At the same time, there is a crisis of confidence in the U.K. national government. High levels of disapproval for Johnson likely have helped to contribute to the broader lack of confidence, but it is unclear if his departure will have any positive effect.

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For complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.

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