BMG Research has undertaken exclusive polling for The i newspaper. The polling covers topics including vote intention, leader satisfaction and preferences of recent Prime Ministers.

  • Labour lead by 15 points with 44% saying that they would vote for Labour compared to 29% saying that they would vote Conservative
  • Just two thirds (63%) of those who voted Conservative at the 2019 General Election say that they would do so again.
  • Sunak’s net satisfaction remains low. 24% are satisfied with the job Rishi Sunak is doing as Prime Minister (cf. 31% in November / early December), and 50 % are dissatisfied (cf. 34% in November / early December), giving the PM a net satisfaction rating of -26. Meanwhile, Keir Starmer has a net-satisfaction score of -2.
  • Labour is trusted by a higher share of voters on almost every issue. Their lead is strongest for social care (21% lead), healthcare/NHS (21%) lead, welfare and benefits (19% lead) and housing (18%). They also lead on the three issues that voters say are most important: the cost of living (16% lead); the NHS (21% lead); and the economy (8% lead). 
  • The only issues where there is more parity relate broadly to foreign policy and security, with Labour and the Conservatives essentially neck and neck. For example, 28% trust the Conservatives more on the war in Ukraine, with 27% opting for Labour.
  • Asked about policy clarity should Sunak and Starmer win the next General election, where each Party is seen as the clearest, it tends to be on issues where they are slightly stronger. Many voters are also likely relying on the traditional notions of what Labour and Conservatives stand for, i.e. Labour on the NHS (9% point lead) and Conservatives on defence and security (7% point lead), rather than any detailed understanding of the detailed policies in each area.
  • Of the Conservative Prime Ministers since the Conservatives entered power in 2010, David Cameron is seen as the best performer, with a net score of -9%. This is because fewer actively say that his performance was bad (36%) than the others, with a higher number in the ‘neither good nor poor’ category.
  • Notably, more rate the performance of all Conservative prime ministers as bad than good.
  • Encouragingly for Starmer, he is the preferred choice as Labour leader of those who have led the party since 2010. 27% opt for Starmer, 10% points more than opt for Gordon Brown. 12% select his immediate predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.

“With the next election on the horizon, there are yet to be any meaningful signs of a Conservative recovery under Sunak. Labour remains on course for a significant landslide victory, something our polling has consistently shown for close to a year. 

The Conservative position has recovered somewhat since Liz Truss resigned – but their progress has stalled, and there is little sign they are about to take the next step forward.

Strikingly, the Conservatives trail Labour on who is trusted to handle almost all the major issues. This includes issues that voters see as the most important, such as the cost of living, the economy, and the NHS, but also issues where Conservatives have historically been seen as stronger, such as crime and immigration.

The Conservatives are also viewed as having performed poorly in government. In office for 13 years, voters are generally critical of the performance of every Conservative Prime Minister since David Cameron, Rishi Sunak included.

But the main factor that continues to harm Sunak’s prospects is the cost of living. More than half of people say their household finances have worsened in the last 12 months. And while the public is a little less pessimistic about the future than they were at this time last year, this likely reflects a sense that things couldn’t get much worse. 

This all puts Labour in a strong position. Yes, Keir Starmer has been criticised recently for rowing back on promises and not setting out a vision, but our polling suggests this is less of an issue than some might suggest, at least electorally. Indeed, many voters say Labour’s plans in several areas are clearer than the Conservatives, even if they don’t think the plans of either party are all that clear overall. Starmer probably doesn’t feel he has to give much more policy detail until closer to the election and there is certainly no evidence that a lack of policy detail and a sweeping vision is hurting him electorally, at least for now.”

An article by The i on voting intention can be found here.

An article by The i on the popularity of past Prime Ministers can be found here.

An article by The i on policy clarity can be found here.

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.

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