Latest GB Voting Intention
(18 January 2021)

January 19, 2021
R&WS Research Team
Approval Rating | Boris Johnson | Conservative Party | GB Politics | Keir Starmer | Labour Party | Rishi Sunak | UK Elections | UK Politics | Voting Intention

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Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest voting intention poll in Great Britain finds the Conservative Party leading the Labour Party by 2%. The Conservative lead has decreased marginally by 2% since our poll a week ago. The full numbers (with changes from 11 January in parentheses) are as follows:

Conservative 40% (-1)

Labour 38% (+1)

Liberal Democrat 8% (–)

Scottish National Party 4% (-1)

Green 5% (–)

Reform UK 2% (–)

Plaid Cymru 0% (–)

Other 2% (+1)

When respondents who say they ‘do not know’ how they would vote in the next General Election are included, our voting intention result finds the Conservative Party leading by 2%, a marginal change of 1 point in the last week. 16% of our sample responded they ‘don’t know’ who they would vote for, a slight rise of 2% compared to a week ago. The proportion of those who voted Conservative in 2019 who now do not know how they would vote has increased marginally by 1% to 13%. Meanwhile, the proportion of 2019 Labour voters who do not know how they would vote has also risen by 1 point to 8%. A fifth (20%) of those who voted for the Liberal Democrats in 2019 say they are unsure who they will vote for at the next General Election.

At this stage, 59% say they are certain to vote in the event of a General Election, a decrease of 4% in the last week.

Currently, 35% think that the Conservatives are likely to win the highest number of seats at the next General Election, slated to be in 2024, while 33% currently say Labour are likely to do so. The proportion of 2019 Conservative voters who expect Labour to win the most seats at the next General Election has increased by three points since last week to 15%, a six point overall increase since 2 December.

The Government’s net competency rating has marginally improved by 1% to -13% since last week. Overall, 41% think the current Government is incompetent, the same as on 11 January. Meanwhile, 28% say the Government is competent­––a negligible increase of 1 point. A majority (52%) of Conservatives continue to consider the Government competent, while a strong majority (63%) of 2019 Labour voters say the Government is incompetent.  

For the eleventh consecutive poll, the Prime Minister’s net approval rating is below zero. However, the Prime Minister’s approval rating has improved by two points in the last week, and now stands at -2%. The proportion of the British public who disapprove of Boris Johnson’s job performance since he became Prime Minister has decreased by two points to 40%, whereas 38% continue to approve.

By contrast, for the third consecutive poll Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s net approval rating remains at +29%. Overall, 47% approve of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s job performance, while 18% disapprove.

Meanwhile, Keir Starmer’s net approval rating has dropped by 1 point to +8% overall. Altogether, 33% approve of Keir Starmer’s performance as Labour Leader, while 25% disapprove. Over a third (36%) continue to neither approve nor disapprove of Keir Starmer’s job performance––the same result as last week.

Boris Johnson’s straight contest lead over Keir Starmer has extended by two points to 8% this week. 42% now think Boris Johnson is the better Prime Minister for the UK at this moment (an increase of 2%), while around a third (34%) continue to think Keir Starmer would be.

Boris Johnson’s lead (8%) over Chancellor Rishi Sunak in regard to who the British public think would be the best Prime Minister has also increased by three points since 11 January. Altogether, 39% would prefer Boris Johnson, while 31% would prefer Rishi Sunak. 30% don’t know. A strong majority (62%) of 2019 Conservative voters would favour Boris Johnson, while only around a fifth (21%) would prefer Rishi Sunak. Nevertheless, a plurality (40%) of Labour voters think Rishi Sunak would be a better Prime Minister, compared to just 22% who say Boris Johnson would be.

The proportion of the British public who view Boris Johnson as the leader best placed to bring British people together remains at 37%. 36% continue to believe Keir Starmer is best placed to foster unity in Britain. The Prime Minister maintains considerable and stable leads in reference to who can build a strong economy (a 12% lead), which leader knows how to get things done (an 8% lead) and in regard to who will stand up for the interests of the United Kingdom (a 12% lead). Moreover, the Prime Minister’s lead in regard to who can best tackle the coronavirus pandemic has increased by 2 points to 8%, perhaps a reflection of the UK’s successful initial rollout of the vaccine.

As the “special relationship” prepares to enter a new phase with Joe Biden’s inauguration as US President on 20 January, the Prime Minister holds a 6% lead in regard to who has the better foreign policy strategy, and a 3% lead on who can work with foreign leaders. Furthermore, 37% of the public say that Boris Johnson best embodies the characteristics of a strong leader, compared to a third (33%) who consider that Keir Starmer does.

Meanwhile, the Labour leader holds a clear lead on which individual cares about people like me (7%), is willing to work with other parties when possible (6%), and represents change (5%). Keir Starmer also has an advantage in public perceptions of who tells the truth (5%)––although a higher proportion say  they do not know with respect to this quality––and who is in good physical and mental health (17%).

Overall, the Conservative Party has maintained a slight lead over the Labour Party in our latest GB-wide poll. The Government’s competency rating remains significantly below zero, and the Prime Minister’s personal approval rating is also negative. Boris Johnson has seen marginal improvements in his lead over both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer in regard to who would be the best Prime Minister for the country at this moment. Public opinion on which major party leader embodies certain characteristics has remained stable in the past week.

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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