- Views are split towards Labour’s policies, while 35% think they can run the country competently, 45% not.
- 63% think the country is heading in the wrong direction
- 57% think that Brexit has had a negative impact on Britain
The latest Ipsos Political Pulse, conducted online between 30th June and 3rd July asked the British public what they thought of the main parties, their policies, and how competently they can run the country. It also explored their views on the direction of the country and their latest views on the impact of Brexit.
Policies vs competence: public opinion is broadly negative towards the Conservatives on both. Views are split towards Labour’s policies, while they are ahead of the Conservatives on competence but doubts still exist.
- 21% said they like the Conservative Party’s individual policies, whilst 43% disliked them. This compares to Labour, where 27% like Labour’s individual policies compared to 28% who do not, and another 25% who don’t know much about them (vs 16% for the Conservatives).
- At the same time, more than half (57%) do not think that the Conservative Party can run the country competently, compared to just under a quarter (23%) who think they can. For Labour, over a third (35%) think they can run the country competently, 45% that they cannot.
- For the Conservatives, the largest proportion (38%) say they neither like their policies nor believe they can run the country competently (only 11% are positive about both). Another 19% have doubts about their competence despite either liking (10%) or not knowing much (9%) about their individual policies, while 12% think they will be competent even while not liking (5%) or not knowing much about (7%) their policies. One in five (19%) of the Conservatives’ 2019 voters say they like their policies but don’t think they can run the county competently.
Views on Labour are more split – 24% are negative about both their policies and competence, 18% are positive about both. Almost one in five (17%) think they can run the country competently despite not liking (4%) or not knowing much about (13%) their policies, while another one in five (21%) have doubts about their competence despite liking (9%) or not knowing much (12%) about their polices.
Favourability towards parties and leaders
In terms of the latest monthly Ipsos Political Pulse tracking questions on party favourability ratings, there is little change:
- 22% of Britons are favourable towards the Conservatives (-2 from May), 54% unfavourable (+1pt).
- 36% are favourable towards the Labour Party (no change), 36% unfavourable (-2pt).
- This means the Conservative’s net favourability score is -32 vs 0 for Labour.
In terms of the other parties:
- 23% have a favourable opinion towards the Liberal Democrats (-1 from May), 34% unfavourable (-2 from May). Net favourability: -11
- 28% have a favourable opinion towards the Green Party (+1 from May), 27% unfavourable (-3). Net favourability score: +1
- 41% have a favourable opinion towards Reform UK (n/c from May), 41% unfavourable (-1 from May). Net favourability: -27
Direction of the country/ impact of Brexit
- 63% of Britons think things are heading in the wrong direction overall (+3 from May) and 13% think things are heading in the right direction (-5). This gives a net right direction of -50, the lowest since October 2022.
- 57% think Brexit has had a negative impact on the country (+4 from May) and 20% say positive (-2). This now marks 8 consecutive months where the proportion saying Brexit has had a negative impact has been at or above 50%.
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos UK, said:
As the general mood around the direction of the country dips further this month, most people continue to have unfavourable views towards the Conservatives as they struggle with negative public perceptions towards both their individual policies and how competently they are running the country. If we focus on their 2019 voters, it seems as if rebuilding their reputation for competence should be key – this group is much less likely to dislike their policies than to dislike the way they are running the country.
Meanwhile, views on Labour’s individual policies are fairly evenly split between those who like them, dislike them, and just don’t know much about them. In total, one in four say they don’t know much about the party’s policies – and this group is also evenly divided on how well Labour would run the country. Even so, while there are still doubts about Labour’s potential competence in government they are clearly ahead of the Conservatives on this measure.
Ipsos UK interviewed a representative sample of 1,087 GB adults aged 18+. Interviews were conducted online from 30 June – 3 July 2023. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.