Conservatives lead on growing the economy, Labour on cost of living

The Conservatives have a 15-point lead over Labour on trust to grow the economy, whilst Labour lead the Conservatives 15-points on trust to reduce the cost of living.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research
  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
  • Ben Roff Public Affairs
Get in touch
  • No significant polling bounce for Liz Truss in her first Ipsos poll as Prime Minister as many still to make up their mind
  • Ms Truss performs better than Boris Johnson’s final scores on range of measures, but Keir Starmer slightly preferred as Prime Minister

The latest Ipsos Political Monitor, taken September 7th to 15th 2022, does not show a significant polling bounce for Liz Truss and the Conservatives in the new Prime Minister’s first Ipsos poll in office, although she improves on several of Boris Johnson’s final ratings as many are still to make up their mind about her. Meanwhile, the Conservatives are more trusted than Labour on economic growth and managing inflation, but Labour are more trusted on levelling-up, improving the NHS and reducing the cost of living.

Voting intention

Voting intention figures for September are Labour 40% (-4 from July), Conservative 30% (nc), Lib Dem 13% (+3), Green 8% (nc), Other 9% (+1).

Labour vs. Conservatives on the issues

The Conservatives are more trusted than Labour by 5 points or more to ‘grow Britain’s economy’ (+15 lead) and to ‘manage inflation’ (+6 lead). 42% now say they trust the Conservatives the most to grow the economy (+10 since June), whilst 26% choose Labour (+1). 34% trust the Conservatives the most to manage inflation (+6), compared to 28% saying the same about Labour (+1).

On the other hand, Labour are more trusted than the Conservatives by 5 points or more on a range of issues, with the biggest leads being for improving the NHS (+22 lead), reducing regional inequalities / levelling-up (+23 lead, Labour +8 since June, Conservative +1) and reducing the cost of living (+15 lead, Labour +10 since June, Conservative +4).

Trust

  • Note – for protecting the environment 29% trust the Green party the most.

Leader / Government satisfaction

  • 70% are dissatisfied with how the government is running the country (-4 from July), 20% are satisfied (no change).
  • When asked if they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the job the new Prime Minister is doing, 44% say don’t know. 27% are satisfied with the job Liz Truss is doing and 29% dissatisfied. In his last ratings in July, a similar proportion (24%) were satisfied with Boris Johnson, but 69% were dissatisfied.
  • Past Prime Ministers assuming office mid-parliament scored as follows on this first Ipsos poll:
    • Boris Johnson July 19. Satisfied 31% dissatisfied 38% don’t know 31%
    • Theresa May Aug 16. Satisfied 54% dissatisfied 19% don’t know 27%
    • Gordon Brown July 07. Satisfied 36% dissatisfied 20% don’t know 44%
    • John Major Dec 90. Satisfied 37% dissatisfied 22% don’t know 41%
  • Satisfaction with Keir Starmer as Labour leader improves slightly but does not change much. 31% satisfied (+2 from July), 45% dissatisfied (-4). His net of -14 is in line with the average for leaders of the opposition going back to 1980 (-12) but this includes many who were unsuccessful.

Has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister?

  • 34% agree Keir Starmer has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister (+1 from July) and 40% disagree (-1). For Liz Truss the equivalent numbers are 27% agree (+3) and 42% disagree (-1).

Who would make the most capable Prime Minister?

  • When asked ‘who would make the most capable Prime Minister’, Starmer leads Truss by 4 points (40% to 36%). In July, Starmer led Truss +6 (41% vs 35%). He led Boris Johnson 51% to 31% at the time.

Leadership attributes

When comparing Liz Truss to Keir Starmer on several leadership attributes we find that Starmer leads Truss by 5 points or more for:

  • ‘Understands the problems facing Britain’ (51% to 42%). Johnson was on 29% in May.
  • ‘Sound judgement’ (40% to 28%). Johnson was on 17% in May.
  • ‘More honest than most politicians’ (36% vs 21%). Johnson was on 9%.
  • ‘Good in a crisis’ (28% to 23%). Johnson was on 31%.
  • ‘Has a lot of personality’ (23% to 18%). Johnson was on 48%.

Leader

Meanwhile, Liz Truss leads Starmer by 5 points or more on being ‘out of touch with ordinary people’ (49% to 34%). However, Boris Johnson was on 64% for this measure in May 2022 so Truss’ numbers here are an improvement on that. Truss also improves on Johnson’s scores in May for being ‘a capable leader’ (Truss 32% vs Johnson 26%) and ‘a good representative for Britain on the world stage’ (29% vs 21%). She is also less likely to be seen as ‘more style than substance’ (26%) than Johnson was in May (37%).

Keiran Pedley, Director of Politics at Ipsos UK, says of the findings:

“With the Conservatives ahead on growing the economy and managing inflation and Labour ahead on the cost of living, NHS and levelling-up, we can see the contours of a potential future general election campaign in these numbers. Meanwhile, whilst there is no obvious sign of a significant polling bounce for Liz Truss in the numbers here, they are an improvement on her predecessor’s final numbers. The new Prime Minister will hope that recent events mean that her political honeymoon is delayed rather than denied; as we head into what is likely to be a challenging winter”

Technical note

Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone: 7th to 15th September 2022. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error. On the basis of the historical record of the polls at recent general elections, there is a 9 in 10 chance that the true value of a party’s support lies within 4 points of the estimates provided by this poll, and a 2 in 3 chance that they lie within 2 points. This is especially important to keep in mind when calculating party lead figures.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research
  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
  • Ben Roff Public Affairs

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