Jeremy Corbyn trails Theresa May on many Prime Ministerial attributes, although he is seen as more honest
The honeymoon continues for Theresa May as most remain satisfied in her performance as Prime Minister
As party conference season begins new Ipsos MORI polling reveals the public remain more positive about the new Prime Minister than they do Jeremy Corbyn on many key leader image attributes.
Theresa May continues to enjoy her honeymoon period with more than half (54%) of Britons satisfied with her performance as Prime Minister and 27% saying they are dissatisfied – leaving her a net satisfaction score of +27 (although down by 8 points from last month). Jeremy Corbyn however continues to struggle with public approval with 27% satisfied in him doing his job as leader of the Labour party and three in five (58%) dissatisfied - leaving him a net score of -31 (up 2 points). While Theresa May has overwhelming support from her own party (81% satisfied and 6% dissatisfied) Labour voters are split on their assessment of their leader (47% satisfied vs. 46% dissatisfied, although this has improved since August).
When weighing the qualities of the parties’ leaders Theresa May also leads Jeremy Corbyn on a number of key Prime Ministerial attributes. Two in three (68%) say Mrs. May is a ‘capable leader’ (compared with 24% saying the same for Jeremy Corbyn), three in five (61%) say she ‘understands the problems facing Britain’ (44% for Jeremy Corbyn), more than half (56%) say she ‘has sound judgement’ (30% for Jeremy Corbyn), 55% say she ‘has a clear vision for Britain’ (38% for Jeremy Corbyn), half (52%) think she would be ‘good in a crisis’ (18% for Jeremy Corbyn), and three quarters (75%) say Theresa May is ‘patriotic’ (49% say the same of Jeremy Corbyn). Both leaders run neck-and-neck when it comes to being ‘out of touch with ordinary people’ (43% say this for Theresa May vs. 44% for Jeremy Corbyn) and having ‘more style than substance’ (25% for Theresa May and 24% for Jeremy Corbyn). Slightly more say Theresa May ‘has got a lot of personality’ (37% for Theresa May and 32% for Jeremy Corbyn). Honesty however appears to be a quality Mr. Corbyn does lead Mrs. May on. More than half (52%) say the Labour leader is ‘more honest than most politicians’ compared with 44% saying this of Theresa May.
When asked to compare the party leaders with their parties, 37% of Britons say they like Mr Corbyn (no change from September 2015) while 46% say they like the Labour party (up 6 points from September 2015). Theresa May fares better than Jeremy Corbyn with three in five (60%) Britons saying they like her. This is higher than the 44% David Cameron received in September last year, and higher than any we recorded for him going back to 2007. There has been little change in the likability of Mrs. May’s party however with 38% saying they like the Conservative party compared with 41% last year.
The Ipsos MORI poll also reveals that the public have more trust in Theresa May to make the right decisions for Britain on immigration than they would in Jeremy Corbyn if he were Prime Minister. Fifty-seven percent say they either trust Theresa May a ‘great deal’ or a ‘fair amount’ versus 38% who say they trust her either ‘not very much’ or ‘not at all’. This compares with 31% who say they would trust Mr. Corbyn a ‘great deal’ or a ‘fair amount’ to make the right decisions for Britain on immigration against two in three (64%) who trust him either ‘not very much’ or ‘not at all’.
Our ongoing vote intention figures show the Conservatives still holding a lead over Labour. The Conservatives currently stand at 40% compared to Labour with 34%, the Liberal Democrats at 6% and UKIP at 9%.
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:
“Theresa May’s honeymoon continues for now – she is more liked than David Cameron ever scored, and is an asset to her party in public opinion terms. But for Labour it’s the opposite, and will raise worries about the softness of their vote – although the party is more liked, one in four say they like the party but not the leader, including three in ten Labour supporters.”
Technical note:Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 10th- 14th September 2016. Data are weighted to the profile of the population.