Latest GB Voting Intention
(19 August)

August 20, 2020
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 GB voting intention poll from yesterday finds the Conservative Party leading by 7%. Compared to our previous voting intention poll on the 12th August, this result represents no change in the lead held by the Conservative Party. At the same time, this result is a slight 2% gain (i.e. within the margin of error) from the Conservative Party’s 5% lead on the 29th July. The full numbers for our voting intention poll (with their changes from 12 August in parentheses) are as follows:

Conservative 44% (+1)

Labour 37% (+1)

Liberal Democrat 7% (-2)

Scottish National Party 4% (–)

Green 4% (+1)

Plaid Cymru 0% (­–)

Other 3% (–)

Likelihood to vote also remained exactly the same as last week, with 62% saying they would be certain to vote in the event of a general election in the near future.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson saw his approval rating decrease by 7% since last week. The PM’s net approval rating now stands at +2%, with 41% saying they approve of his job performance since becoming Prime Minister and 39% saying they disapprove. The Prime Minister’s significant drop in approval rating may be a result of the Government’s controversial handling of this year’s school grading process. The considerable shift in the Prime Minister’s approval rating this week contrasts with the stabilisation of his approval ratings across the previous two polls: his approval rating stood at a net +9% on 12 August as well as on 29 July.

Meanwhile, the net approval rating for Labour Leader Keir Starmer rose by a further 3%, following a 5% increase in his net approval rating in our previous poll on 12 August. This week, Starmer’s approval rating stands at a net +19%, which is still slightly down from a high of +22% six weeks ago. However, a significant proportion of the public continues to remain either unfamiliar or ambivalent about the Labour Leader: 31% neither approve nor disapprove of the Starmer’s job performance.

Johnson now leads Starmer by 6% in a straight contest over who would be the best Prime Minister of the UK. This result represents a 8% decrease from a week ago in Johnson’s lead over Starmer, when Johnson led Starmer by 14%.

On the other hand, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s approval rating rose by 4% this week and is now at net +41% approval. The continued rise in Sunak’s approval may be linked to the sustained popularity of the Treasury’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme, which provided 35 million discounted meals during its first two weeks. A majority (53%) continues to approve of Sunak’s job performance, with only 12% saying they disapprove. Similar to Starmer, Sunak’s relatively recent appointment translates into 29% saying they neither approve nor disapprove of his job performance.

Johnson now has a 4% advantage over Sunak in a straight contest over who would be the better Prime Minister for the UK. Although Johnson’s lead has increased by 1% compared to last week, this change falls well within the margin of error of our poll. This week, 37% selected Boris Johnson and 33% selected Rishi Sunak when asked who would be the better Prime Minister for the UK at this moment.

Surprisingly, Sunak’s lead in a straight contest with Starmer now stands at only 3%, which represents a 13% decline from Sunak’s 16% lead a week ago. This week, 37% of respondents selected Sunak and 34% selected Starmer.

Although the Prime Minister’s approval rating decreased significantly this week and the Labour Leader’s approval rating rose, these changes did not translate into a material change in the public’s voting intention. Indeed, despite the 7% decrease in Boris Johnson’s approval rating this week, the Conservative lead over Labour remained the same as last week, suggesting that the decline in the Prime Minister’s approval rating could be a short-lived reaction to the handling of exam results.

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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