Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak outscore Boris Johnson on a host of leadership traits but little to choose between Starmer and Sunak

The February 2022 UK Political Pulse survey from Ipsos shows Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak leading Boris Johnson across a host of leadership attributes.

The author(s)

  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
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The latest Ipsos UK Political Pulse survey, taken February 1st and 2nd, shows both Labour leader Keir Starmer and Conservative Chancellor Rishi Sunak leading Boris Johnson across a host of leadership attributes. However, there is little difference in how Starmer and Sunak score when compared to each other.

We asked the public whether a host of personality traits applied or did not apply to Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak.

When comparing Boris Johnson to Keir Starmer:

  • Starmer leads Johnson on paying attention to detail (+27), being honest (+26), being in touch with ordinary people (+16), putting the country first (+15), understanding the problems facing Britain (+14), being a PM people are / would be proud of (+11) and being a capable leader (+10).
  • Johnson leads Starmer by 24 points on having a lot of personality .

Image of party leaders: Boris Johnson versus Keir Starmer - Ipsos
When comparing Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak:

  • Sunak leads Johnson by 5 points or more on paying attention to detail (+32), being honest (+21), putting the country first (+12), understanding the problems facing Britain (+8), good in a crisis (+8), being a PM people are / would be proud of (+8) and being a capable leader (+5).
  • Johnson leads Sunak by 21 points  on having a lot of personality.

Image of party leaders: Boris Johnson versus Rishi Sunak - Ipsos

When comparing Rishi Sunak to Keir Starmer the picture is much closer:

  • Starmer leads Sunak by 5 points or more on being in touch with ordinary people (+12), understanding the problems facing Britain (+6), being a capable leader (+5) and being honest (+5).
  • Sunak leads Starmer on being good in a crisis (+12) and paying attention to detail (+5).

Image of party leaders: Keir Starmer versus Rishi Sunak - Ipsos UK

Elsewhere in the poll:

  • 33% of Britons think a Labour government led by Keir Starmer would do a better job at running the country than Boris Johnson’s Conservatives (+7 points from last June), 28% say it would do worse (- 8 points). 27% say it would make no difference (no change) and 12% say don’t know (+1).
  • 28% say a Conservative Government led by Rishi Sunak would do a better job running the country than a government led by Johnson. 11% say worse. 46% say it would make no difference. 15% don’t know.
    • 44% of 2019 Conservative voters say it would make no difference but 34% say a Sunak government would do a better job and 9% say worse. 13% don’t know.
  • Overall, little change is observed in favourability scores towards the party’s and their leaders since January aside from Labour. 37% are now favourable towards the Labour Party (the highest score Labour have achieved in our Political Pulse series which began just before the 2019 General Election).  39% are unfavourable towards the party.
  • By way of contrast, just 25% are favourable towards the Conservatives (-1 point from January) and 50% are unfavourable (-2 points).

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

There are not many crumbs of comfort for Boris Johnson in this poll. Both Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak lead the Prime Minister on a host of personality traits with honesty, attention to detail and putting the country first standing out in both match-ups. Interestingly, when we compare Sunak to Starmer we see a closer Conservative vs Labour picture, with Starmer more in touch than Sunak but Sunak seen as better in a crisis.

Technical note
Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,143 Britons aged 18+. Interviews were conducted online from 1-2 February 2022. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.

 

The author(s)

  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs

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