BMG Research has undertaken exclusive polling for The i newspaper. The polling covers topics including vote intention, leader satisfaction and policy plans. Key findings are:

  • The Labour party lead is ahead in the polls by 18 points, the highest it has been during Rishi Sunak’s premiership. 43% say they would vote for Labour yet only 25% saying they would vote Conservative, both at -3% since January this year.
  • Reform UK are recording their highest share of the vote at 14%, rising 1% since March. This increase is driving the fall in vote intention for the Tories.
  • 18% are satisfied with the job Rishi Sunak is doing as Prime Minister (cf. a high of 31% in November / early December 2022), and 62% are dissatisfied (cf. 34% in November / early December). The net satisfaction of -44% has now matched that which was recorded for Boris Johnson in our first wave of polling in June 2022.
  • Keir Starmer’s net satisfaction has increased slightly to -6% from -9% in March (28% satisfied and 34% dissatisfied). This level of satisfaction with Keir Starmer was last recorded in November 2023.
  • Labour is trusted by a higher share of voters on all issues. They are particularly trusted on social care, with a lead of 23%, healthcare / the NHS (22%), welfare and benefits (21%), and Housing (20%).
  • Despite the higher share of trust, clarity on Labour’s policy plans remain at similar levels to when last asked in August 2023. The only marked difference is a -5% fall in clarity on their policy plan for the war in Ukraine.
  • Clarity on the Conservative’s policy plans have fallen much more since August of last year. The greatest decline in clarity is on the war in Ukraine (-12%) and in security / defence (-10%).
  • Keir Starmer also leads Rishi Sunak on all leadership characteristics, with the highest lead being understanding the needs of ordinary people (+7% change, 28%).
  • Keir Starmer has also seen notable increases in having strong principles (13% cf. 2% lead in October 2023), being a good speaker (11% cf. -1%) and being decisive (5% cf. -4%). However, these leads are the consequence of Sunak reflecting these characteristics less, rather than Starmer reflecting them more.
  • The extent to which Labour is considered ready for government has remained consistent. Half (50%) of the British public consider the Labour Party ready for government, similar to the proportion in October last year (49%).
  • Yet those who consider the Labour Party’ not ready’ for government has increased from 33% in October 2023 to 39% this April. This proportion increased notably among the Labour Party’s 2019 voters (9% to 16%), suggesting greater dissatisfaction with their previous supporters.

On Voting Intention:

Rishi Sunak is set to guide his party into local elections at a time which, from a national polling perspective, could hardly look tougher for the Conservatives.

His party’s national support has dipped to the lowest level recorded during Rishi Sunak’s leadership, comparable, if not worse, than the slump experienced under Liz Truss. If repeated at an election, Labour would win a huge majority, potentially surpassing even that recorded in 1997. 

The decline in Conservative support since the 2019 general election is pronounced, with less than half of those voters saying they would still vote the same way.

This isn’t just a matter of losing ground to traditional adversaries like Labour and the Lib Dems; the defection rate to the Reform Party has helped sink the Conservative vote share even further, with as many as 1 in 5 2019 Conservatives saying they would now back Richard Tice’s party. 

Sunak’s popularity has waned, with his satisfaction ratings falling below those of Boris Johnson post-Partygate and comparable to those of Liz Truss post-mini budget. This shift underscores a critical turn from electoral asset to electoral liability, making the Prime Minister’s position look particularly difficult.Moreover, the perceived division within the Conservative Party compounds their challenges. Two-thirds of the public view the party as divided, a stark contrast to how the Labour Party is perceived. As the saying goes, divided parties don’t win elections.

An article by The i on voting intention and clarity on policy 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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