Half of the public think Boris Johnson’s much-publicised row with his girlfriend is irrelevant to his suitability to be prime minister, according to a Sky Data poll.

The incident involving Mr Johnson and Carrie Symonds at the south London flat they share – which saw police called after a neighbour raised concerns – has dominated the Conservative leadership race in recent days.

Officers attended and found no offence had occurred and everyone was safe, while newspapers reported a heated row between the couple.

Sky Data

Asked for their view on whether the row affected the former foreign secretary’s suitability to be PM, half of Britons (51%) said they thought it was irrelevant, four in ten (39%) thought it was relevant and 10% were not sure.

Meanwhile, public support for Mr Johnson has been dented after a weekend dominated by reports about the row and his continued reluctance to take part in televised debates, the poll reveals.

Sky Data

Slightly more still favour Mr Johnson over Mr Hunt as the better option to be the next PM, but his lead has significantly narrowed over the weekend.

Last Thursday, Mr Johnson held a 19 percentage point lead as the public’s preferred PM over Jeremy Hunt – it is now down to just five points, with 37% backing Mr Johnson and 32% backing Mr Hunt, 31% answering “don’t know”.

Sky Data

Mr Johnson’s reluctance to take part in televised debates has not helped his cause – 48% say they think less of him as a result, with 11% admiring him more as a result of his stance and 34% saying it made no difference.

Sky News has postponed a leadership debate between Mr Hunt and Mr Johnson due to take place on Tuesday evening, with Mr Hunt having agreed to take part, but Mr Johnson so far declining the invitation.

:: Sky Data interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,072 Sky customers by SMS on 24 June 2019. Data are weighted to the profile of the population. For full Sky Data tables, please click here.

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