- Jeremy Corbyn’s likeability ratings decline
- Meanwhile, highest level of government dissatisfaction since 2009
In the week before the Labour conference, Jeremy Corbyn has seen a fall in his image ratings among the British public and among Labour supporters, even while the Labour party remains as liked as ever, according to the latest Ipsos MORI Political Monitor. One in three (32%) say they like the Labour leader, down from 46% in September 2017 and lower than when he first took over as leader in September 2015 (37%). Nearly two-thirds (64%) say that they don’t like Mr Corbyn, compared with 48% last year. These ratings are similar to those received by Ed Miliband in 2013-15 and Gordon Brown in 2008.
On the other hand, more people like the Labour party now than they have done for the last 10 years. Almost six in ten say they like the Labour party (57%, up 3 points since September 2017). Overall, one in three (32%) say they like the Labour party but not the leader, up from 21% last year. There has been a similar trend among Labour supporters. They remain attached to the Labour party (91% say they like the party, as did 87% last year), but the proportion saying they like the leader has fallen from 81% to 60%.
Jeremy Corbyn’s regular leadership satisfaction ratings have also fallen. A quarter (24%) say they are satisfied with the way the Labour leader is doing his job (down 4 points from July), while two-thirds (66%) say they’re dissatisfied (up 8 points) – leaving him a net leadership satisfaction score of -42. A shift can also be seen among Labour supporters, who are now split on how they view Mr Corbyn doing his job. Half (48%) say they’re satisfied with him (down 11 points) while 44% say they’re dissatisfied (up 14 points) – giving him a leadership satisfaction score of +4.
However, ratings for Theresa May and her government are also low. Three in ten (29%) are satisfied with the way Mrs May is doing her job as Prime Minister and 62% dissatisfied (little change from July) giving her a net leadership satisfaction score of -33. There’s also been little shift amongst Conservative supporters where 56% say they’re satisfied with Theresa May and 35% dissatisfied, giving her a leadership satisfaction score of +21 among party supporters. Satisfaction with the way the government is doing its job is even lower, with 20% satisfied (down 2 since July), and 72% dissatisfied (up 3), the lowest rating for a government in Ipsos MORI’s time series since 2009. Conservative supporters are also negative on balance: 40% satisfied with the government (down 5), 51% dissatisfied (up 7), giving a net satisfaction score of -11.
Vince Cable has also seen little change from his July figures with 24% satisfied with him as Liberal Democrat leader and 39% dissatisfied, though 38% say they ‘don’t know’.
Nevertheless, Theresa May remains ahead of Jeremy Corbyn when people are asked who would be the most capable Prime Minister. Just under half (46%) choose Theresa May, while 37% choose Jeremy Corbyn – very similar to the picture in July 2017. A quarter agree that Jeremy Corbyn has what it takes to be a good Prime Minister (27%, down from 31% in July 2018), while 60% disagree (little change). Amongst Labour supporters 57% agree Jeremy Corbyn would make a good Prime Minister (29% disagree).
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:
Labour’s brand as the party of the heart is as strong as ever, and dissatisfaction with the government is high, amid concerns over Brexit, the economy and public services. But the gains Jeremy Corbyn made over the election campaign in his public image have fallen away over the last year. Labour supporters are still attached to the party, but no longer feel quite the same affection for its leader.
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Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,070 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 14th – 18th September 2018. Data are weighted to the profile of the population.