Jeremy Corbyn’s favourability ratings receive a boost as polling day approaches

Ipsos MORI's final campaign tracker shows Jeremy Corbyn's favourability rating rise

The author(s)

  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
  • Dylan Spielman Public Affairs
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  • 26% of Britons are favourable towards Jeremy Corbyn (up 4 points in a week), 56% are unfavourable (down 4 points).
  • Corbyn’s net favourability rating stands at -30 compared to -38 last week. However, the Labour leader still significantly trails Johnson’s score of -14.

Favourability towards party leaders and parties

  • In a poll taken over the weekend of the 6th to the 9th of December, the proportion of Britons that hold a favourable opinion of Jeremy Corbyn has increased 4 points, from 22% to 26%. Similarly, the proportion of Britons that hold an unfavourable view of the Labour leader has fallen from 60% to 56%. Corbyn now holds a net favourability rating of -30, the highest rating he has achieved in this series since the election campaign began.
  • However, Corbyn’s ratings still trial those of Boris Johnson. Johnson continues to have better favourability scores than the other party leaders in our survey, despite having negative ratings overall. For the third straight week, 33% are favourable towards Johnson, 47% unfavourable. Net -14.
  • Jo Swinson’s favourability figures have not recovered after falling sharply two weeks ago. Her net score of -31 is unchanged with 49% unfavourable towards the Lib Dem leader and 18% favourable.
  • 21% are favourable towards Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, 55% unfavourable, net -34.

Favourability

  • Turning to the parties, 33% of Britons are favourable towards the Conservative Party, 44% unfavourable. Net -11. The party’s net score is unchanged from last week but 8-points lower than when the campaign started (-3).
  • Favourability towards the Labour Party has increased this week. 32% of Britons are favourable towards the Labour Party (+3 pts from last week), 48% unfavourable (-3 points). The party’s net score is now -16. This is up 6 points from last week and the highest recorded in the series since the campaign began.
  • Matching the leaders’ scores, favourability towards the Lib Dems is unchanged following a decline two weeks ago. 23% are favourable towards the Lib Dems and 47% unfavourable. The party’s net score is  -24, similar to -25 in week four and -26 in week three but below the -17 of week two and the -19 of the beginning of the campaign.
  • 20% of Britons are favourable towards the Brexit Party and 53% unfavourable. The party’s net score of -33 is the lowest recorded in this series during the campaign, down 6 points from the start of the campaign.
  • Leave voters are most favourable towards the Conservatives (52% favourable), compared to 41% for the Brexit Party, 16% for Labour and 9% for the Liberal Democrats.
  • Remain voters are most favourable towards the Labour party (49%) then the Liberal Democrats (37%). Remainers were more favourable towards the Lib Dems in week one but Labour moved into first place in week two and have stayed there for the following three weeks. Both have a significant lead over the Conservatives (20%) and Brexit Party (5%) among this group.

Who is having a good campaign?

  • After a bad week for the party last week, public perception of Labour having a good campaign has rebounded somewhat this week with an increase in the party’s ‘net good’ score of 7 points. 26% now think the party is having a good campaign (+3 points from last week) compared to 44% that think the party is having a bad campaign (-4 points). However, the party’s net rating of -18 is still worse than the score achieved in week 3, although it is ahead of where the party began in week one (-23).
  • Public perceptions of the Conservative campaign have barely moved during the election. 29% now think the Conservatives are having a good campaign (+2 points from week one) and 35% say the Conservatives are having a bad campaign (no change). The party’s ‘net good’ score is now -6 rather than -8 at the beginning of the campaign.
  • In contrast, 43% of Britons now think the Lib Dems are having a bad campaign compared to 32% in week one. Just 18% think the party is having a good campaign (down 5 points from week one). The party’s net good rating has fallen from -9 to -25 during the course of the campaign.
  • 16% of Britons think the Brexit Party is having a good campaign compared to 46% that think the party is having a bad campaign. The party’s net rating of -30 here is the worst it has achieved during this election in this series.

Good campaign

Issues deciding your vote

  • When prompted with a list of issues that might be important to them in deciding how to vote in the upcoming election, the top two issues for Britons are the NHS (58%) and Brexit (53%). These figures are closely aligned with those seen in previous weeks. The NHS replaced Brexit as the number one issue for voters in this tracking study after week one.
  • Crime / law and order and care for older and disabled people are tied in third place (31%).

Issues

  • For 2017 Conservative voters, the top four issues are Brexit (70%), the NHS (58%), immigration and crime (both 43%).
  • For 2017 Labour voters, the NHS is still the number one issue (67%), followed by Brexit (49%) followed by several other issues seen as important by between a third and two in five respondents.
  • For leave voters, the top three issues impacting their vote are Brexit (64%), the NHS (57%), immigration (46%) and crime (37%). For Remain voters the key issues are the NHS (65%), Brexit (54%) and climate change (36%). Several issues then follow where around 3 in 10 Remain voters consider the issue important.
  • When asked which party has the best policies on the issues that matter most to them, Labour and the Conservatives are tied for the first time on 26%.  One in ten (10%) said the Liberal Democrats, 5% said the Brexit Party, 3% said the Greens and 3% said the SNP. Meanwhile, 9% said different parties were better on different policies, 10% said ‘none of these’ and 9% said that they didn’t know.
  • Remain voters were most likely to say the Labour Party (40%) had the best policies on the issues they cared about, with fewer than one in five (18%) saying the Liberal Democrats. Leave voters were most likely to say the Conservatives (46%) had the best policies on the issues that mattered to them.

What will the election outcome be?

  • Over the course of the election, public perceptions of the eventual outcome have been largely consistent. 59% expected the Conservatives to emerge as the largest party (either in a hung parliament or as a majority government) in week one and that figure is the same in week five.
  • In contrast, 22% expect Labour to be the largest party – either in a hung parliament or as a majority government – compared to 20% in week one.
  • As we approach election day, 30% of Britons expect the Conservatives to form a majority government after the election (down 4 points from last week) and 28% expect the party to be the largest party in a hung parliament (-1 point). Note – 30% and 28% here adds to 59% expecting the Conservatives to be the largest party due to rounding.

Outcome

Commenting on the findings, Ipsos MORI Research Director Keiran Pedley said:

Labour will be encouraged that Jeremy Corbyn’s favourability ratings have improved this past weekend and that perceptions of the party having a good campaign have recovered somewhat after some disappointing numbers for the party last week. However, with most Britons still expecting the Conservatives to be the biggest party, it remains to be seen whether or not it is too little too late for Labour to prevent the Conservatives winning a majority later this week.

Technical note

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,134 British adults. Interviews were conducted online: 6th to the 9th December, 2019.  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
  • Dylan Spielman Public Affairs

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