Boris Johnson's popularity with the public has plummeted over past four days, poll shows

Prime minister Boris Johnson's popularity has fallen because of his defence of Dominic Cummings. (PA)

Boris Johnson’s popularity has plummeted in the past four days because of the Dominic Cummings revelations, a poll has found.

The prime minister is under fire for his stubborn defence of his senior aide, despite his 260-mile trip from London to Durham during the coronavirus lockdown.

On Monday, in an extraordinary press conference, Cummings repeatedly refused to apologise for his actions, as he faces sustained calls to resign from his post.

Johnson has said Cummings “acted responsibly and with integrity”, but his defence of his aide has been widely criticised by politicians and Church of England bishops, while scientists warned it will lead to more COVID-19 deaths.

On Tuesday, a Scottish Tory MP became the first government minister to resign over Cummings’s actions and refusal to apologise.

Dominic Cummings, senior aide to Boris Johnson, refused to apologise over allegations he broke lockdown restrictions. (PA)

And now it would appear that the public are also turning against the prime minister, as a poll shows his approval rating has nosedived since the end of last week when Cummings’s actions were reported by The Daily Mirror and The Guardian newspapers.

According to pollsters Savanta, a daily opinion tracker with more than 1,000 respondents each day reacting to the COVID-19 crisis, Johnson’s approval rating has dipped considerably over the weekend.

The prime minister’s popularity nosedived by 20 percentage points to below zero since the end of last week, the survey showed.

It fell from 19% four days ago on Friday to -1% on Tuesday.

The government’s approval rating also took a sharp fall, dropping 16 points in just one day, from 14% to -2%.

Savanta said: “Following a difficult weekend for the prime minister, his chief adviser and the government in general, approval regarding the government’s handling of the crisis, once exceedingly high, has taken a dramatic fall.”

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According to Savanta, two in five people say they are following the government’s lockdown advice entirely. A similar proportion said they are “just mostly following the advice”.

The poll also found that public concern over coronavirus was easing, with 35% saying they’re worried or the most worried they’ve ever been, the lowest level since tracking began.

About two in five people say they consistently leave the house to exercise, including walking.

Savanta said when it started tracking figures, 90% of Britons said they reported empty shelves in their local supermarket, but it said this had fallen to 35%.

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