Public favourability towards Johnson and the Conservatives dips after a challenging fortnight for the government

Ipsos MORI Political Pulse for August 2020 shows a dip in favourability towards Boris Johnson and the Conservatives.

The author(s)

  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs
Get in touch

The latest Ipsos MORI Political Pulse shows a dip in favourability towards Boris Johnson and the Conservatives compared to the last Ipsos MORI Pulse survey in July.

The nationally representative survey of 1,119 Britons, taken over the last weekend (21st – 24th August), shows 46% of Britons are unfavourable towards the Prime Minister (up 4 points from July) with just 29% favourable (down 12 points).

Favourability towards Boris Johnson - Ipsos MORI

Compared to other politicians in the poll:

  • 30% of Britons are favourable towards Labour leader Keir Starmer (down 3 points) and 28% are unfavourable (down 1 point). 33% are neutral towards Starmer and 8% don’t know.
  • Rishi Sunak is the politician with the highest ‘net favourability’ score in the poll (+20). 42% are favourable towards the Chancellor and 22% are unfavourable. However, the proportion of Britons that are favourable towards Sunak is down 6 points from July. The proportion unfavourable is unchanged.
  • Meanwhile 23% are favourable towards Health Secretary Matt Hancock (down 9 points) and 42% are unfavourable (up 4 points).

A similar pattern is observed when considering the parties themselves.

  • The proportion of Britons that are favourable towards the Conservative Party has fallen 7 points since July – from 35% to 28%. 46% are unfavourable towards the party (up 6 points). This gives the party a ‘net favourability’ score of -18.
  • Despite falling favourability for the Conservatives, only a similar number are favourable towards Labour. 29% are favourable towards the Labour Party (down 2 points from July) and 39% are unfavourable (down 3 points). This gives the party a ‘net favourability’ score of -10.
  • Meanwhile, just 13% are favourable towards the Lib Dems and 40% are unfavourable. Favourability towards the Lib Dems is considerably down on the 23% that were favourable going into the last General Election.

Favourability towards political parties - Ipsos MORI

Other findings in the poll show that just 26% of Britons think that things in Great Britain are heading in ‘the right direction’ – the lowest number this year (down 4 points from July). 45% think things are heading in ‘the wrong direction’ (down 1 point from July)

Ipsos MORI Research Director Keiran Pedley said of the findings:

It is clear from these findings that the reputations of the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party generally have taken a hit after a challenging few weeks – with a noticeable drop in public favourability towards both since July. However, what is less clear is whether this is a temporary shift or part of a longer-term trend where public opinion moves against the government. It would be wise not to jump to any conclusions too soon on that. We will need to wait for new voting intention polling to see if events this month have really moved the needle.

Technical note

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,119 British adults aged 18+. Interviews were conducted online from 21st- 24th August 2020. 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
  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs

More insights about Public Sector

Society