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

  • The Labour party lead has kept steady at 16 points, however both main parties have seen a decline in support. 41% 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 13%, an increase of 5 points since our last polling in January. The highest share of the vote for Reform UK corresponds with a higher proportion who consider immigration the most important issue facing the UK today (12%).
  • Sunak’s net satisfaction is at the lowest we have recorded. 19% are satisfied with the job Rishi Sunak is doing as Prime Minister (cf. a high of 31% in November / early December 2022), and 60% are dissatisfied (cf. 34% in November / early December). This is the second lowest net satisfaction (-41%) our polling has recorded, second only to the net satisfaction Boris Johnson held in our first wave of polling back in June 2022 (-44%).
  • Yet Keir Starmer’s net satisfaction has also declined slightly to -9% (28% satisfied and 37% dissatisfied), with those dissatisfied with Starmer at the highest level we have recorded.
  • The Conservatives have not achieved the polling bounce they were looking for in the Spring Budget. Of those who have seen something about the Autumn Budget, only 11% say it would make them more likely to vote for the Conservatives. In comparison, 53% say the Autumn Budget would make no difference on how they vote and 32% say it would make them less likely to vote Conservative.
  • Over half (54%) of the British Public now believe that Labour will win a majority at the next election, an increase from 44% when this was last asked in October 2023. Unfortunately for the Conservatives, those who heard more about the budget are more likely to expect a Labour majority than those who heard less (67% c.f. 49% who heard a little and 38% who have heard nothing).

On the Budget and Voting Intention:

As the speculation builds around when Rishi Sunak will call the election, our polling results continue to show a bleak outlook for Conservative electoral prospects.

Even with Labour’s vote share showing their first month-on-month decline in over a year, they maintain their commanding lead over the Tories with a sixteen-point gap. If replicated at a General Election this would give Labour a huge majority.

Towards the end of last week there had been chatter in Westminster that a positive reaction to Jeremy Hunt’s budget announcement could lead to a May General Election. However, our results suggest that its delivery has had no immediate impact on the political momentum, with voters viewing the announced package with either indifference or negativity. Indeed, regardless of how they would vote personally, over half of the public now think that Labour is currently on course for victory. Perhaps Sunak and Hunt will still take their chances, but it seems more likely that they will now wait in the hope of a more opportune moment into 2024.

For Labour, despite maintaining their strong lead, they look to have hit their most significant turbulence in a long time. Their first polling decline for over a year comes off the back of a challenging February, in which divisions over Gaza, and a by-election loss in Rochdale have raised questions in some voter’s minds about Labour, but also Keir Starmer himself. The view of his performance has also declined since January, with voters more likely to view him negatively than positively for the first time since he became Leader of the Opposition. Interestingly this change is being driven by those who voted Conservative or who did not vote in 2019, i.e. the exact groups that Labour is targeting.

An article by The i on the budget 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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