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Nearly half the UK population disapprove of the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, according to a new poll.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults between 4 and 5 June by Opinium Research also found that the Conservatives’ lead over Labour has narrowed during the pandemic.

Some 47 per cent disapproved of the way the government has handled the crisis, while 44 per cent disapproved of how Boris Johnson is handling his job as prime minister.

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Seven out of 10 people (71 per cent) thought Mr Johnson’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, should be sacked following his alleged lockdown breach.

And two thirds believe Mr Cummings’ actions make it more likely that the public will break the rules.

Adam Drummond, head of political polling at Opinium, said: “The public are starting to lose confidence in the Government’s ability to handle the crisis – approval of how they are handling things has dropped from 65 per cent at the beginning of lockdown to just 34 per cent today.

“Public appetite for lifting the lockdown measures remains minimal, with even Conservative voters more likely to say that things are being released too quickly than too slowly.

“Meanwhile Keir Starmer’s ‘constructive opposition’ positioning is continuing to pay off, with the Labour leader drawing almost level with Boris Johnson on the ‘best prime minister’ question as well as overtaking the PM on a series of leadership attributes such as competence and trustworthiness.”

It comes after research by Ipsos Mori found more people view the prime minister unfavourably than favourably, for the first time since the beginning of March.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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