On 24th July 2019, Theresa May stood down as Prime Minister and was replaced with Boris Johnson, fresh from his victory in the Conservative Party leadership election. Since then, BMG’s leader satisfaction poll for the Independent has started tracking the net satisfaction levels of the new Prime Minister.
Prior to Boris Johnson stepping into 10 Downing Street, Theresa May recorded a final net satisfaction score of -38%, with Jeremy Corbyn on -48%. This marked the end of a tough time in office, where Theresa May had not recorded a positive net satisfaction score since she achieved 3% in May 2017.
Boris Johnson’s net satisfaction score sees an improvement on Theresa May, having recorded an initial net satisfaction score of -6% for August and September. However, his net satisfaction score has dropped by 13 percentage points, leaving him with -19% for October.
The introduction of a new Prime Minister seems to have had relatively little impact on the satisfaction of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the opposition. Back in August, Corbyn saw a net satisfaction score of -43%, a slight improvement from July’s score of -48%. Since then, his satisfaction levels have remained stable, receiving scores of -43% in September and -42% in October.
Respondents were also asked who they would prefer, Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn, to be Prime Minister. The introduction of Boris Johnson has seen an increase in those choosing the Conservative party leader, with far fewer opting for neither leader.
In August, 34% of respondents said they would prefer Boris Johnson to be their Prime Minister. This proportion has stayed fairly stable with 36% opting for Boris Johnson in September and 35% in October. To put this into context, Theresa May’s highest score was 34% in October 2018, whilst Jeremy Corbyn’s was 34% back in July 2017.
However, the proportion choosing Jeremy Corbyn has remained largely stable with the introduction of Boris Johnson as PM, even increasing very slightly. After a record low 17% of respondents preferred Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister in July, the proportion increased to 19% during August and September, and is up to 21% in October.
The introduction of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister has instead seen the proportions of people choosing neither leader decrease. In July 2019, over half (54%) of Brits preferred neither leader to be Prime Minister; this has decreased by 19 percentage points to just 35%. The proportions choosing neither for September and October were 36% and 37% respectively. The proportions who don’t know who their preferred leader is for August, September and October was 12%, 8% and 7% respectively.
An article based on these polling results, released by the Independent, 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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Andrew Price – Research Executive