In a rather dismal assessment of the performance of Britain’s political leaders, BMG’s latest polling reveals a slump in how satisfied people are with Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn.
BMG’s most recent leader satisfaction polls, for July and August 2018, sees the satisfaction levels of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s drop significantly. Exclusive polls on behalf of the Independent, conducted between the 3rd and 5th July and 6th and 10th August, also find that an increasing number of people would not choose Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn to be the next Prime Minister, people selecting ‘Neither’ candidate taking a clear and substantial lead.
Have May & Corbyn blown their chances with the Public?
Theresa May’s net satisfaction score has reached a record low this month. In April of this year the Prime Minister’s score was a not wholly unacceptable acceptable -8%, but this fell to just -23% by June. In July, May’s score recovered slightly by +3 points (-20%). However, in August her net satisfaction collapsed once again by 12 points to -32%. This is the lowest recorded net satisfaction score BMG Research has recorded for Theresa May since she became Prime Minister.
Jeremy Corbyn’s net satisfaction has also declined over the past few months. After achieving a score of -16% in April, he has seen a gradual drop to -17% in May, -18% in June, -20% in July and -28% in August. This time last year (August 2017), Jeremy Corbyn was achieving his highest-ever net satisfaction scores, a reasonably acceptable score of +1%. Over the last 12 months this has reduced by around 29 points.
Time for a double substitution?
Respondents were also asked who they would prefer to see as the next Prime Minister. They were presented with the choice of Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn or Neither. For most of this year, ‘Neither’ has been the preferred choice of the public.
Although Theresa May saw a small 2% increase in July, this has been wiped out by a sharp 5% drop in August, leaving her as preferred choice for just 26% of Briton’s. This is May’s lowest score since becoming Prime Minister.
In July, Jeremy Corbyn equalled his lowest-ever result for preferred Prime Minister, with a negligible 1% rise to 26% in August – now level with May.
However, August has seen a sharp increase in the proportion of those selecting ‘Neither’, an increase of 5% on July to 37%, the highest score BMG has recorded for the May & Corbyn combination.
Core conservatives are abandoning May
Examining the data in more detail shows that Mrs May’s Chequers deal appears to have flopped with many Leave voters, particularly Ukippers, but interestingly, also with some Remainers. In July May was preferred PM with 46% of Leave voters, and 28% of Remainers. Post-Chequers support for May has fallen around 8 points among Leavers (to 38%) and 5 points among Remainers (to 23%).
Interestingly, among those aged 65 and over, what could be considered core Conservative support in our increasingly polarised age, the share choosing May as preferred PM has dropped by more than 11 points post-Chequers. Is Theresa May’s time finally up?
Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.
For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.
0121 333 6006
Andrew Price – Research Executive
Dr Michael Turner – Head of Polling