UK
22/09/2015 07:31 BST | Updated 22/09/2015 07:59 BST

Lord Ashcroft's Claims Of Cameron's 'Debauched' University Behaviour Doesn't Bother British Public, Poll Says

David Cameron's alleged "debauched" university behaviour may have stirred the press and social media into a frenzy, but did little to change anyone's personal opinion of the prime minister, a poll has shown.

Just a quarter of people told a YouGov survey conducted in the wake of Lord Ashcroft's first instalment on his unauthorised biography they felt the allegations were "a sign of the man" and a "legitimate public interest story" while 62% felt it was "years ago and it couldn't matter less".

The rest of the 2,694 people polled said they did not know.

The poll was carried out on Monday it was claimed David Cameron was part of a "dope smoking group" at Oxford University and in a debauched society that specialised in "bizarre rituals and sexual excess".

'Call Me Dave', by journalist Isabel Oakeshott and Lord Ashcroft, a Tory peer who was angry at Cameron for not promoting after the Conservatives returned to government, also reported a single, unsubstantiated source, who it says went on to become an MP, as saying that during Cameron's initiation ceremony at a Piers Gaveston event he "put a private part of his anatomy" into a dead pig’s mouth.

david cameron lord ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft (right) has denied his book is about 'settling scores' with Cameron over not being promoted

Women were more likely to be forgiving, according to the poll, with only 20% saying it was a legitimate story and 63% saying it was not, compared with 31% and 60% of men, respectively.

Politics also matter, with only 4% of Conservative voters saying the story was legitimate compared with 45% of Labour voters.

Scots and Northerners were more likely to care, with 32% and 29% respectively saying it was a story compared with 20% of Londoners.

Another divider, unsurprisingly given it relates to university experience, was age. Among those aged 16 to 24, only 44% felt it was a non-story with 29% not knowing and 27% saying it was legitimate.

The over-60s were far less convinced, 70% of them said it was not news and only 22% thought it legitimate.

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