Six in ten Britons think Keir Starmer has done a bad job at setting out a clear alternative to the government

But Labour leader’s satisfaction ratings recover slightly post the Batley and Spen by-election, and fewer Britons think he should be replaced this month compared with June.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs
  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Glenn Gottfried Public Affairs, Ipsos MORI North
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
  • Dylan Spielman Public Affairs
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The latest Ipsos MORI Political Monitor shows 59% of Britons think that Labour leader Keir Starmer has done a bad job at setting out a clear alternative to the current government to voters. 18% say he has done a good job and 23% don’t know. Among Labour voters, 33% think he has done a good job and 48% say he has done a bad job.

There is slightly more positive news for Sir Keir elsewhere in the poll. His leadership satisfaction ratings remain negative but have recovered slightly following the Batley and Spen by-election. 27% Britons are satisfied with the job he is doing as Labour leader (+5 points from June) but half (50%) are dissatisfied (-1 point).

Starmer satisfaction

Around one in three (34%) think Labour should change leader before the next election but this is down 16 points from June. 31% disagree that Labour should change leader, an increase of 5 points. By way of contrast, 42% think the Conservatives should change leader before the next election (+2 points) and 30% disagree (-9 points). But among their own party supporters, 38% of Labour voters believe their party should change its leader, compared with 19% of Conservatives who want a new leader for their party.

The poll also asked whether a series of Labour politicians would do a better or worse job than Keir Starmer as leader. The standout alternative was Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham. 43% of the public overall, and half of Labour voters, think he would do a better job than Keir Starmer, with 12% and 13% respectively thinking he would do a worse job.

Alternative leaders

None of the alternative Labour politicians in the poll see significantly more than one in four Britons thinking they would do a better job than Sir Keir. In the case of Tony Blair and Jeremy Corbyn, the public are much more likely to say they would do worse. 42% of Britons think Mr Blair would do worse than the current Labour leader (25% say better) and 6 in 10 (60%) think Mr Corbyn would do worse (just 15% said better).

Ipsos MORI Director of Politics Keiran Pedley said:

Labour’s narrow victory in Batley and Spen could prove a political lifeline for Keir Starmer in the short-term. Our data this month shows his public satisfaction ratings ticking up slightly and the public are much less likely to think he should resign than they were before that by-election. However, his scores are still much lower than at the start of his leadership, and don’t stand out as very good historically. With almost 6 in 10 telling us he has done a bad job at setting out a clear alternative to the current government, Keir Starmer has plenty of work to do to genuinely turn things around, rather than just stop the rot.

Technical note

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,053 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone: 2nd July to 8th July 2021. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error. On the basis of the historical record of the polls at recent general elections, there is a 9 in 10 chance that the true value of a party’s support lies within 4 points of the estimates provided by this poll, and a 2 in 3 chance that they lie within 2 points. This is especially important to keep in mind when calculating party lead figures.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Public Affairs
  • Keiran Pedley Public Affairs
  • Glenn Gottfried Public Affairs, Ipsos MORI North
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
  • Dylan Spielman Public Affairs

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