BMG’s November and December polls for The Independent show both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn continuing to achieve similar net-negative scores.
Whilst both leaders saw moderate increases in net satisfaction in October, we see no evidence of further improvements since then. Theresa May’s net Satisfaction Score (NSS) has remained stable, around the -24% mark, whilst Jeremy Corbyn’s has slipped back ever so slightly to -26%.
The gulf in satisfaction levels between young and old continues. Jeremy Corbyn enjoys high levels of support from the 18-24 age bracket with just under half (48%) saying they are satisfied with him as leader of the opposition in December’s poll. This compares to just 16% of 18-24s who are satisfied with Theresa May.
47% of respondents aged 65+ say they are dissatisfied with the job Theresa May is doing as Prime Minister, which compares to 71% of respondents in this age bracket that are dissatisfied with the way Jeremy Corbyn is doing his job as the leader of the opposition.
No sign of Corbyn opening up a gap
The last three months of our polling series show the party leadership landscape to be stabilising and the gap in NSS between the two leaders getting narrower. However, since the General Election in 2017, both leaders’ NSS show negative values with no signs of immediate improvement.
For Jeremy Corbyn, the results add to a wider trend of declining popularity since the 2017 General Election, although the Labour leader is still not recording levels as low as they were in early 2017 prior to his General Election surge. Similarly, Theresa May’s numbers are roughly consistent with where they were shortly after her collapse in popularity both during and in the aftermath of the 2017 General Election.
That said, the Prime Minister may be relieved to see that Jeremy Corbyn appears to have failed to open up a gap over the last couple of months, despite the high levels of Brexit volatility and questions being raised about her leadership. However, it should be noted that fieldwork for December’s poll was conducted prior to the confidence vote being held in the Theresa May’s leadership, so there is scope for the picture to have changed over the course of the last couple of weeks.
Preferred Prime Minister
BMG also asks respondents which of the two leaders they would prefer to see as Prime Minister.
Back in October, 34% respondents opted for Theresa May when asked who they would prefer to be the next Prime Minister, with only 28% stating they would prefer Jeremy Corbyn. However, since then Theresa May has dropped back to 27% in December, virtually the same number share that selected Corbyn (26%).
There is, however, one candidate that appears to be on the march in recent months – that of ‘neither of them’. The proportion of respondents now choosing neither candidate has risen to 38% in December. This, coupled with the low net-negative satisfaction scores for both Corbyn and May, suggests that a significant proportion of the public are not wholly enamoured with either leader.
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
Marcos Contopoulos – Research Manager
Robert Struthers – Senior Research Executive