A Look at Undecided Voters (14-17 June 2024)

June 19, 2024
R&WS Research Team
Approval Rating | GB Politics | Keir Starmer | Rishi Sunak | UK General Election 2024 | UK Politics | Voting Intention

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With less than three weeks to go until polling day in the 2024 UK General Election, the Conservatives remain a distant second to Labour, with Reform UK now level in terms of popular support and threatening to overtake them into second.

For many Conservatives, their last hope of avoiding a cataclysmic defeat—although not defeat itself—may be winning over currently undecided voters, many of whom backed the Conservatives in the 2019 General Election.

When weighted by their current likelihood to vote, 46% of the 9% of undecided voters in our latest poll voted for the Conservatives at the last election.

However, when undecided voters are pushed on which way they lean towards voting, they appear unlikely to give the Conservatives a poll boost that might bring them clear of Reform and closer to Labour.

When weighted by likelihood to vote, only 20% of currently undecided voters say they are leaning closest towards voting for the Conservatives, the same percentage as say they are leaning closest towards voting for Labour, and less than half of the 46% who say they voted Conservative in 2019.

In fact, more undecided voters (24%) say they are leaning closest towards not voting than to voting for any one of the parties prompted.

Among those who voted Conservative in 2019, only 36% are leaning closest towards voting for the Conservatives. 21% are leaning closest towards voting for Reform UK, 16% are leaning closest towards voting for Labour, and 14% are leaning closest towards not voting than voting at all.

Among undecided voters who did not vote in 2019, a plurality of 47% say they are leaning closest towards not voting. 17% are leaning closest towards voting for Labour, 10% for Reform UK, and 7% for the Conservatives.

The Conservative Party’s hopes of convincing undecided voters to back them in the final weeks of the campaign are further undermined by these voters’ sense of their own wellbeing and that of the United Kingdom.

41% of undecided voters—and 39% of 2019 Conservative voters who are now undecided—feel worse off now than they did a few years ago, against only 11% and 19% of respondents in these two cohorts who feel better off now than they did a few years ago.

When considering the state of the United Kingdom now compared with how it was in 2010, 60% of all undecided voters and 69% of undecided voters who voted Conservative in 2019 say the UK is in a worse state now than it was in 2010.

Nor can the Prime Minister rely on a personal appeal to try and sway undecided voters, who overwhelmingly disapprove of his job performance.

Among undecided voters, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earns a net approval rating of -26%, two points worse than his rating with the public as a whole of -24%. Only 14% of currently undecided voters approve of Rishi Sunak’s overall job performance, while 40% disapprove. 

Sunak’s approval rating with 2019 Conservative voters who are now undecided stands at -21%, with only 19% approving of Sunak’s job performance, against 40% who disapprove.

At the same time, undecided voters also give Labour Leader Keir Starmer a negative net approval rating. 29% of undecided voters disapprove of Starmer’s job performance, against 14% who approve, giving him a net approval rating with undecided voters of -15%.

When undecided voters are asked which of Rishi Sunak or Keir Starmer they think would be a better Prime Minister, the overwhelming majority (65%) say they don’t know. 19% choose Starmer while 16% choose Sunak.

However, it is worth noting that undecided voters are largely unimpressed with the choice before them at this election. 56% agree with the statement ‘Between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, I wish there was someone else.’

Among 2019 Conservative voters who are now undecided, that figure increases to 75%.

As a final point, undecided voters’ indecision may also be due to their conclusion that the election is over.

Among undecided voters as a whole, only 7% expect the General Election on 4 July to result in either a Conservative majority (4%) or minority (3%) Government. By contrast, 44% expect the election to result in a Labour Government, be it a majority (33%) or a minority (11%) administration. 

On a different question, 41% expect Keir Starmer to be Prime Minister after the election, while just 8% expect it to be Rishi Sunak.

2019 Conservative voters who are now undecided on how to vote are even more likely to expect a Labour victory: 62% of these voters expect the General Election to result in a Labour Government, against only 8% who expect it to lead to the formation of another Conservative Government. Likewise, just 7% of these voters expect Rishi Sunak to be Prime Minister after the election.

To find out more information about this research contact our research team. Redfield & Wilton Strategies is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Follow us on Twitter

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