Boris scrambles to get Tories back on track after self-isolation

Boris scrambles to get Tories back on track as he emerges from self-isolation – after polls showed Labour gaining ground during ‘pingdemic’ shambles

  • Polls have suggested the Tory lead is being shrunk amid ‘pingdemic’ shambles
  • One showed the advantage over Labour falling from nine points to four in a week
  • Boris Johnson emerging from self-isolation and launching crime-fighting plan 

Boris Johnson is scrambling to get the Tories back on track as he emerges from self-isolation today with polls showing Labour gaining ground during the ‘pingdemic shambles’.

Surveys have provided evidence of the PM’s advantage over Keir Starmer narrowing, after Covid cases surged and legions of people were forced to self-isolate.

Research by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found the gap has tightened from nine points to just four points in a week.

There have also been worrying signs in other polls – with Opinium suggesting approval of the government’s handling of the crisis has slumped by 10 points in a fortnight.

Mr Johnson is attempting to turn the focus on to his crime-fighting agenda today, pledging to tag more offenders and make them clean up the streets. 

A poll by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found the gap between the Tories and Labour has tightened from nine points to just four points in a week

MPs fear the ‘pingdemic’ has been hammering the government’s popularity, as contacts of positive cases are ordered into house arrest even if they have been fully vaccinated.

Mr Johnson himself was forced to quarantine at his Chequers residence for 10 days after Health Secretary Sajid Javid contracted the disease.

The situation was not helped when the PM and Chancellor Rishi Sunak initially tried to wriggle out of the self-isolation edict by claiming they were part of a pilot scheme. 

Key workers are now being exempted from the rules amid warnings of food shortages, and the system is due to be replaced with daily testing from the middle of next month.  

Sir Keir has been looking increasingly confident since seeing off a Tory challenge in a nailbitingly-close by-election in the Red Wall seat of Batley & Spen.

The Labour leader said last week that he believes the ‘road will run out’ for Mr Johnson as the public believe in ‘integrity, honesty and accountability’.

He claimed Mr Johnson had been ‘lucky’ due to the pandemic, with the Government able to address fears over the virus and job security through the vaccine programme and the furlough scheme.

But with most people now jabbed and the furlough scheme winding down, Sir Keir suggested the public’s attention will turn to other aspects of the PM’s record.

He pointed to disquiet over ‘government by soundbite’ and ‘mounting promises that are just broken’ on issues including the Northern Ireland Protocol, the size of the army, overseas aid, tax and social care.

Sir Keir (pictured in Blackpool earlier this month) has been looking increasingly confident since seeing off a Tory challenge in a nailbitingly-close by-election in the Red Wall seat of Batley & Spen

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