Hogwash!: Only a quarter of the public think David Cameron’s student debauchery matters


YouGov poll finds majority are uninterested about partying and drugs stories

STORIES linking Prime Minister David Cameron to parties, drugs and elite dining societies only matter to a minority of the public, according to a new YouGov poll .

The Daily Mail serialisation of ‘Call Me Dave’, a book written by Lord Ashcroft, reviving stories of Cameron’s youth as a member of the Bullingdon Club at Oxford University led to worldwide innuendo relating to the prime minister under the hashtag ‘#PigGate’ this week.

The accusation that Cameron engaged in a sexual act with a dead pig have been ignored by Downing Street, and dismissed by sources close to Cameron.

But when asked in YouGove poll if “debauched behaviour” at Oxford University mattered as a political issue, only 25 per cent of respondents viewed it as “a sign of the man and a legitimate public interest story”.

A majority, 62 per cent, dismissed the reports under the answer “it was years ago and couldn’t matter less”.

Given the wording of the question it is unclear how many respondents were aware of the specific allegations made in The Mail.

David Cameron was a member of the Bullingdon Club at Oxford University, alongside fellow senior Tory MPs Boris Johnson and George Osborne. The club, dominated by rich gentry, was infamous for wrecking restuarants and partying in coat-tail suits worth thousands of pounds.

Labour supporters (45 per cent) were far more likely than Conservative supporters (just four per cent) to view the story as a legitimate criticism of the prime minister.

People in Scotland were most likely to view the story as legitimate criticism (32 per cent) although a majority of Scots still doubted the public interest in student behaviour.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon argued that the public should look beyond the “lurid” stories about Cameron to instead reflect on the accusation that he lied in relation to Lord Ashcroft’s avoidance of tax.

Downing Street has also refused to comment on that allegation.

Picture courtesy of Nick Saltmarsh