Multiple surveys conducted in the United Kingdom indicated a drastic fall in the approval ratings of the country's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, amid several controversies surrounding him.
The 41-year-old minister, who until a few weeks ago was seen as Boris Johnson's likely successor as Britain's prime minister, has been severely criticised of late, including by some Conservative party members.
It has been alleged that Sunak did not do enough to help Britons cope with rising costs of living during his financial statement in March. This comes amid a hike in the prices of fuel and electricity, as well as rising inflation in the country, which is at a 30-year-high.
Moreover, a controversy erupted after Sunak's wife Akshata Murthy claimed a non-domicile status, which permits her to not pay taxes from her earnings outside the UK.
The embattled Cabinet minister was also slapped with a fine for being allegedly involved in parties held at 10 Downing Street amid COVID-19 restrictions in the country.
In a First, Sunak's Approval Rating Falls Below PM Johnson's
Sunak's approval ratings tanked by 26 points in a month to reach a net rating of minus 20, as per a monthly poll published by Savanta ComResby on Wednesday. The poll was conducted from 8-10 April and included 2,145 adult participants.
"Sunak drops below Johnson on net favourability for the first time," the polling company said, as Johnson's rating was at minus 19 compared to Sunak's minus 20.
Moreover, around 59 percent of Britons surveyed by Savanta ComRes said that Sunak should resign after revelations of the Partygate scandal.
"The fact we've seen such a drop in favourability during a tumultuous month for the chancellor ultimately points to the fact that all public goodwill he may have built up during the pandemic has all but evaporated," said Chris Hopkins, political research director at Savanta ComRes, as per a report by Bloomberg.
Hopkins added that a 26-point drop in one month was unprecedented, and could have gone even lower had the poll been conducted after Sunak was asked to pay a fine by UK's Metropolitan Police with regard to parties at Downing Street in June 2020.
58 Percent of Participants Say Sunak Should Resign
In a similar vein, a survey conducted by market research company Opinium Research (OR) indicated that a majority of Britons disapproved of Sunak staying on as the country's Finance Minister.
A thousand British adult citizens were asked whether Sunak should resign from the Cabinet after being fined by the Metropolitan Police. As per OR's poll published on 13 April, 58 percent of citizens surveyed said that he should resign, compared to 29 percent who said that he should stay in the job.
Sunak's approval rating at its peak was at 48 percent in March last year.
Sunak's Approval Lowest Since He Became Chancellor: Ipsos
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Ipsos from 1-3 April showed that Sunak's favourability stood at its lowest since he became the country's finance minister in 2020.
The latest Ipsos survey, called the "UK Political Pulse survey," indicated that the chancellor's net approval rate stood at minus 18, the worst since he took up chancellorship. In fact, the only other time he recorded a negative net rating before this was in January this year, at minus 6.
Also, only 26 percent of Britons were favourable to Sunak, while 44 percent did not approve of him for the job, the poll stated.