Confidence in Theresa May to get a good Brexit deal reaches new low

The Ipsos MORI July 2018 Political Monitor reveals just a quarter of the public are confident that Theresa May will get a good deal for Britain in the EU negotiations - a new low for her.

Confidence in Theresa May to get a good Brexit deal reaches new low

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Glenn Gottfried Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Cameron Garrett Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
Get in touch
  • Confidence in Theresa May to get a good deal for Britain in Brexit negotiations reaches new low
  • Nearly half think the Chequers plan will be bad for Britain
  • But more trust the Prime Minister to make right decisions on Brexit and think she has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister than other leading Conservatives or Jeremy Corbyn

As parliament’s summer recess begins with uncertainty around Brexit, Ipsos MORI’s new Political Monitor reveals just a quarter (25%) of the public are confident that Theresa May will get a good deal for Britain in the EU negotiations, while 72% lack confidence – a new low for her. More specifically the Prime Minister’s plan for Britain’s future relationship with the EU after Brexit revealed at Chequers does not appear to be popular with the public. Three in ten (29%) say it would be a good thing for the UK as a whole, based on what they know or have heard, while nearly half (47%) say a bad thing – one in five (19%) don’t know. 

Confidence in May to get a good deal for Brexit

Despite this, more trust Mrs May to make the right decisions for Britain about its exit from the EU than other politicians. Two in five (41%) trust Theresa May, compared with 31% who trust Jeremy Corbyn, a third who trust Boris Johnson (35%) and Phillip Hammond (33%), and 29% for Jacob Rees-Mogg.  

Overall the Conservatives are still seen as the party seen with the best policies on handling Britain’s future relationship with the EU.  A third (33%) say the Conservatives are the best party – although down 4 points from March. One in five (20%) say Labour (down 5 points) while 10% say the Liberal Democrats and 4% say UKIP. Nine per cent say “no party” and 16% don’t know.

Just under half (46%) agree that the Conservative party should change its leader before the next election (31% disagree).  A third (35%) of Conservative supporters agree (52% disagree). Most (55%) agree that Labour should change its leader before the next election , a rise from 43% last September (37% of Labour supporters agree).  

When asked if Theresa May has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister a third (34%) agree, a fall from 44% in April (55% disagree).  Three in ten (31%) think Jeremy Corbyn has what it takes – little change from April (61% disagree). When looking at potential challengers to Theresa May from within the Conservative party, 25% say Boris Johnson has what it takes compared with 19% for Sajid Javid, 15% for Jeremy Hunt and 10% for Michael Gove. Amongst Conservative supporters nearly two-thirds (63%) believe Mrs May has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister compared with 31% for Boris Johnson, 18% for Sajid Javid, 22% for Jeremy Hunt and 14% for Michael Gove. 

Potential candidates as a good Prime Minister

Theresa May’s overall leadership satisfaction ratings have also worsened since last month with 30% saying they are satisfied with the way she is doing her job as Prime Minister (down 5 points) and 62% dissatisfied (up 4 points) – leaving her with her lowest net satisfaction score of her Premiership of -32. Nearly three in ten (28%) are satisfied in Jeremy Corbyn (down 3 points) while 58% are dissatisfied (up 1 point) leaving him a net satisfaction score of -30. Vince Cable is yet to make any progress with the public where 24% are satisfied in him as the Liberal Democrat leader (down 3) and 40% are dissatisfied (up 6) leaving him a net satisfaction score of -16.  Almost a third (35%) still have no opinion of him.

Theresa May’s leadership satisfaction ratings have taken a hard hit amongst Conservatives as well. Just over half (55%) are satisfied in her (down 13 points) with 37% dissatisfied (up 10 points) giving her a net score of +18. Jeremy Corbyn’s scores are higher amongst Labour supporters. Fifty-nine percent say they are satisfied in the Labour leader (up 2 points) while one in ten (30%) are dissatisfied (down 2 points) – leaving him a net score of +29. 

Little has changed with the public’s perceptions on the state of Britain’s economy since last month according to the Ipsos MORI Economic Optimism Index. More than half (54%) think the economy will get worse in the next 12 months (no change) while 17% say it will improve (down 2 points) giving an EOI score of -37 (down 2 points). 
Our ongoing voting intention figures still show both main parties running neck and neck with both the Conservatives and Labour on 38%, the Liberal Democrats on 10% and UKIP on 6%.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:

Theresa May has faced a lot of criticism since she launched her Chequers deal, and our poll for the Standard shows this is mirrored among the public, with her ratings continuing their recent decline to another new low (and the fall has been even sharper among her own supporters).  But despite all that, our trends show her ratings are not unusual for a Prime Minister two years in, and are still better than many of her potential alternatives.

Technical Note

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,023 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 20th – 24th July 2018.  Data are weighted to the profile of the population.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Glenn Gottfried Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Cameron Garrett Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

More insights about Public Sector