Two in three Britons say it is time for a change at the next election
Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives still face significant challenges in the opinion polls, according to the latest Ipsos Political Monitor.
- Rishi Sunak’s ratings also slip as he falls behind Keir Starmer on who would make the most capable Prime Minister
- Labour retains strong lead in voter preferences, though many still unsure what Starmer stands for
The latest Ipsos Political Monitor, taken, January 18th to 25th, shows a clear majority of Britons saying it is time for a change of government at the next General Election:
- 10% think the Conservatives have done a good job in government and there is no need for a change at the next General Election.
- 15% think the Conservatives have done a poor job but the next election is not the time for change.
- 11% think the Conservatives have done a good job but it is still time for a change.
- 55% think the Conservatives have done a poor job and it is time for a change of government at the next election.
This means 70% think the Conservatives have done a poor job in government and 66% think it is time for a change at the next election (regardless of whether they have done a good or bad job). 40% of 2019 Conservative voters think it is time for a change but 53% disagree (including 29% who think the government has done a poor job but the next election is not time for change).
- 52% disagree there would be chaos if Labour won the next election and 26% agree. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership in September 2019, 52% thought there would be chaos and 35% disagreed.
- Just 20% would describe the government as competent and 62% disagree. This is worse than August 2020, but in September 2019, Boris Johnson’s government registered similar figures (22% agree and 66% disagreed).
Most capable Prime Minister
Keir Starmer leads Rishi Sunak on who the public think would make the most capable Prime Minister by a margin of 39% to 33%. In November, Sunak led Starmer by 41% to 35%.
- 55% of Britons are dissatisfied with the job Rishi Sunak is doing as Prime Minister (+6 pts from December) and 26% are satisfied (-2). His net satisfaction rating therefore falls from -21 to -29.
- Satisfaction with the Government also remains low at 14% (nc), while 76% are dissatisfied (-3), giving a net satisfaction score of -62.
- Meanwhile, 37% are satisfied with the job Keir Starmer is doing as leader of the Labour Party (+1 from December) and 40% are dissatisfied (-2), giving him a net satisfaction rating of -3
- However, a significant number of Britons still say they do not know what the Labour leader stands for. 44% agree they do not know what Keir Starmer stands for (-5 points from last July). 40% say they do not know what Rishi Sunak stands for (no change).
- Nevertheless, 36% of Britons think Keir Starmer is ready to be Prime Minister and 37% disagree. This compares with last April when 34% agreed he was ready but 44% disagreed.
Has what it takes to be a good PM?
- 32% agree Rishi Sunak has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister (-10 points from November) with 43% disagreeing (+9 pts)
- 36% agree Keir Starmer has what it takes and 37% disagree. His numbers are virtually unchanged from November.
- Just one in four (24%) think Sunak’s predecessor Boris Johnson has what it takes to be a good PM and 63% disagree. Among 2019 Conservative voters, Sunak holds a slight lead over Johnson in terms of the proportion that agree he has what it takes (52% to 46%).
Latest voting intention trends are as follows:
Labour 51% (+2)
Conservative 26% (+3)
Lib Dem 9% (-4)
Greens 5% (+2)
Other 10% (-1)
Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos, said:
Both Rishi Sunak and his party still face significant challenges in the polls. The public remain sceptical about how effectively the Government can deliver on their main concerns on public services, the economy and cost of living, and now the Prime Minister’s own ratings are also slipping. Combined with much less apprehension about the prospect of a Labour government than in 2019, this is all helping to create a sense among Britons that it is time for a change. However, there are also areas for Labour to be wary of – Keir Starmer still has more to do to define what he stands for, and while 2019 Conservative voters are hardly happy with the way the Government is running the country, this group still need more convincing that things would be better under Labour.
Ipsos interviewed a representative sample of 1,001 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone between 18-25 January 2023 . 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.
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