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Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules, say three-quarters of voters

Polling for the New Statesman reveals a high degree of public consensus over coverage of Boris Johnson's chief adviser.

By Patrick Maguire

Nearly 75 per cent of voters believe that Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules in deciding to isolate his family in Durham, polling for the New Statesman has found. 

In a reflection of deep public discontent over the case, some 73 per cent of voters surveyed by Redfield & Wilton Strategies said Cummings had violated his own government’s measures in travelling to his parents’ farm in March. A near-identical number – 74 per cent – say they have followed the story closely and are aware of most or all of its details.

Fewer than one in five voters – 18 per cent – believe Cummings did not break the rules. The findings illustrate the public anger channelled by the nearly 50 Conservative MPs who have called for him to go.

Redfield & Wilton’s survey also found that the former Vote Leave chief’s behaviour has influenced the attitudes of a significant minority of voters in their continued adherence to the lockdown. Twenty one per cent say they are more likely to follow the rules as a result, while 19 per cent say they are less likely to do so.

The media’s coverage of the affair also enjoys broad support. While 52 per cent of voters say the Cummings story was not important to them – compared to 39 per cent who took the opposite view – 57 per cent said the press were right to focus on the story. Despite government denials of some elements of the media coverage, 43 per cent say the press reported accurately.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, Brexit has also influenced public perceptions of the story. Some 41 per cent of voters believe that those calling for Cummings to be sacked are doing so because of his role overseeing Vote Leave in 2016.

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Redfield & Wilton Strategies surveyed a representative sample of 1,500 adults in Great Britain online on 27 May.