BMG Research has undertaken exclusive polling for The i newspaper. The polling covers topics including vote intention, leader satisfaction and coverage of the Labour Party Conference. Key findings are:

  • Labour leads by 13 points. 43% say they would vote for Labour compared to 30% saying they would vote Conservative. The party conference season has no impact on Labour voting intention lead.
  • Keir Starmer is considered to lead a more united party after Labour Party Conference. Just under half (48%) consider the Labour Party united, increasing from 43% when asked last week. Meanwhile, just 30% consider the Conservatives united behind Rishi Sunak.
  • The same proportion (49%) feel the Labour party is ready for government. While readiness for government tends to reflect political divides, a quarter (27%) of 2019 Conservative voters also think Labour is ready.
  • The public is likelier to think that a Labour government will perform well than badly in most policy areas during its first term of office. The greatest differences in performing well over badly are social care (22% net rating) and healthcare / the NHS (22%). These are also the policy areas where Labour have the greatest lead over the Conservatives on being trusted to handle them (20% & 17% point leads respectively).
  • All of the policies announced at the Labour Party Conference that we asked the public about have more support than opposition. The policy with the most support is providing Ofwat with the power to ban water boss bonuses when they had not effectively regulated water pollution (72% support). The policy that the public was most divided on is building an additional 1.5 million homes in the first five years of government, even if this meant building on the green belt (43% support c.f. 26% oppose)
  • Sunak’s net satisfaction remains low. 23% are satisfied with the job Rishi Sunak is doing as Prime Minister (cf. a high of 31% in November / early December 2022), and 50% are dissatisfied (cf. 34% in November / early December), giving the PM a net satisfaction rating of -25.
  • Meanwhile, Keir Starmer’s satisfaction remains steady (29% satisfied and 31% dissatisfied). The Labour leader has now opened up a lead on which of the two would make a better PM between himself and Sunak (37% c.f. 29%). On the same question asked just after Sunak replaced Liz Truss, the two were tied (35% for both).
  • Nearly half (48%) want a general election in the next six months, while 28% say it should be more than six months away. The public most likely say they think the next election will result in a Labour majority (44%).

On Labour Party Conference and Voting Intention:

"Keir Starmer described his plan for leadership in three phases. After this party conference, it appears that his plan is now coming together.

On phase one - changing the Labour Party and routing out antisemitism - the public is generally positive about his efforts to deal with antisemitism, considerably more so than Jeremy Corbyn.

Moreover, in contrast with much of the Corbyn era, more also say Labour is a united party than the Conservatives, a lead the 2023 Labour Conference has cemented.

Moving to phase two - making the case that the Conservatives are unfit to govern – the public also generally agrees, even if this has more to do with missteps like party-gate and Liz's Truss's mini-budget than anything Labour necessarily has done themselves.

But there is no denying that the Conservatives are viewed as having performed badly in almost all policy areas, including key issues for voters such as the NHS, the cost of living, the economy and immigration.

Starmer's final objective is establishing a positive case for a Labour Government, and the signs are also encouraging. Labour's conference policy announcements are all popular, and more believe Labour is ready for government than think the opposite. Starmer's ratings are still behind the levels of many previous election-winning leaders, and you might reasonably argue that some vision is still lacking. Still, with Sunak's own ratings continuing to slide and no sign of any post-conference polling bounce for the Conservatives, Labour is a lot closer to power than at any time since Gordon Brown left office."

An article by The i on Labour Party Conference and voting intention can be found here.

Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.

As a sample of the population was interviewed, the results are subject to a margin of error around various estimates. This means that, given the random nature of the sampling process, we can be confident that the actual result lies somewhere within the margin of error. For example, with a sample of 1,000 we can be 95% certain that the actual value will fall 3% either side of the result. 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.

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