Hancock affair may be 'a Westminster bubble story' Tory pollster claims

27 June 2021, 12:25

By Seán Hickey

This Conservative peer suggests the Matt Hancock fiasco may not severely damage the Tories in the polls.

Lord Robert Hayward, Conservative peer and polling expert, spoke to Tom Swarbrick to understand the damage the Matt Hancock scandal could do to the Tories.

Lord Hayward revealed that polling data has been "surprisingly unmoved" since the news broke. He added however that it "normally takes a few days" before data reflects public opinion and assured Tom that the fiasco "will have an impact."

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He went on to note that the media "will be judging the by-election in Batley and Spen" along with the Tories' reaction to the scandal.

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He went on: "People's interest in other subjects [will] mean it will move on," and ultimately there will not be massive outcry in the long run.

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Tom wondered whether the pollster thought the scandal may be "a bit of a bubble story," noting that "people care more about their jobs and their lives and their kids and their homes – that's what really matters" and that day-to-day operations of the country will be what the public are concerned by.

"There's no question that Dominic Cummings last year had a dramatic impact on the polls," Lord Hayward countered, but reiterated that the Hancock affair hasn't had the same cut-through.

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He told Tom that it is "probably right" to assume "it is a Westminster bubble story."

"There are people who have been impacted dramatically by Covid and they will possibly bring a wound with them to the polls," he warned.