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Does Boris Johnson have a ‘woman problem’? | Boris Johnson


“Why should we believe anything you say when it’s been proved you’re a habitual liar?” That was the primary query for Boris Johnson in a grilling from Mumsnet customers this week. The discussion board’s founder, Justine Roberts, who had the job of posing customers’ inquiries to the prime minister, mused afterwards that he may need a “woman problem”.

Polling definitely seems to bear that out: in YouGov’s newest snapshot of voting intentions, Johnson trailed Keir Starmer by six share factors as greatest prime minister selection amongst males, and by 12 factors (21% to 33%) amongst girls. When it got here to voting intentions, Labour led the Tories by only one level amongst males and by 16 factors (45% to 29%) amongst girls.

Opposition campaigners say this gender hole is mirrored in different analysis, and in encounters with feminine voters on the doorstep. At latest focus teams carried out by Labour, social gathering insiders say girls – together with many who beforehand voted Conservative – have repeatedly emerged as probably the most infuriated by Johnson’s conduct.

One former Conservative voter in Ashfield complained that “he’s the laughing stock of the world”, whereas one other mentioned: “It’s his track record – it’s repetitive, it’s just how he behaves.” A former Tory voter in Stevenage lamented: “I’ve got to say, I did like him when he came in – but he disrespected us, and treated us like fools.”

Their exasperation was paying homage to Amber Rudd’s description of Johnson in 2016, through the Brexit debate, as “the life and soul of the party” however “not the man you want driving you home at the end of the evening”.

Boris Johnson denies being ‘ordinary liar’ in Mumsnet interview – video

The Labour MP Jess Phillips is just not stunned {that a} rising variety of feminine voters seem like coming round to an identical view. She says the distinction between the social gathering tradition in Downing Street and unusual voters’ actual lives could have hit house notably laborious for ladies.

“Women are deeply affected by the pandemic: they were more likely to be doing their job while raising their children at home; the vast majority of key workers are women. In care and the NHS and supermarkets and things, it was a women’s labour force,” she mentioned. “Also, women are much more likely to be doing the hands-on care of their elderly relatives, so the pull of not being able to go and see their elderly mums and dads, aunts and uncles would have been much more prevalent in women. They felt the burden of the lockdown in a bigger way in lots of cases.”

That could have made a number of the defences Johnson and his allies have given for the behaviour that happened – that he and his crew have been working very laborious, or, worse nonetheless, that nurses and lecturers may have shared a number of drinks throughout lockdown – not simply insufficient however downright offensive.

Phillips provides that ladies have additionally in lots of circumstances discovered themselves on the sharp finish of the price of dwelling disaster, struggling on low incomes and managing the household price range. Certainly, she is sceptical about Johnson’s hopes, reported this week, of profitable again a section of feminine voters characterised by the time period “Waitrose woman”.

“As a woman who shops at Waitrose, I’d like to see him try,” she mentioned. “In my local Waitrose they’re literally laughing at him as I walk round, so I shall look forward to that.”

Lib Dem strategists additionally say they’ve detected “significant anger among women in the blue wall seats” – the Conservative-held areas throughout the south and west which might be prime of their goal checklist.

No 10 is planning to press house the significance of Rishi Sunak’s £15bn value of dwelling bundle within the coming weeks, within the hope of exhibiting that the federal government is doing what it might to assist – with one plan into account being common coronavirus-style press conferences.

There are extra bulletins to return, too, on what Downing Street hopes could also be family-friendly insurance policies that would please the Mumsnet crowd, akin to reforms aimed toward chopping the price of childcare.

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But if Johnson’s “woman problem” is that ladies throughout the UK have come spherical to the view he’s a “habitual liar”, any variety of lavish guarantees is unlikely to alter that. And as soon as such a story takes maintain – that Johnson can’t be trusted – different aspects of his character, together with the disregard for guidelines that will as soon as have appeared endearing, are more likely to reinforce it.

The pollster James Johnson, of JL Partners, has mentioned insurance policies with the prime minister’s identify connected have gotten more and more poisonous, no matter whether or not they may in any other case be fashionable with the general public. And, if Johnson’s grilling on Mumsnet is something to go by, he has a protracted bout of detoxing forward of him.



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