Latest GB Voting Intention
(19 November 2020)

November 20, 2020
R&WS Research Team
Approval Rating | Boris Johnson | Conservative Party | GB Politics | Keir Starmer | Labour Party | Rishi Sunak | UK Elections | 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 1%. The full numbers (with changes from 11 November in parentheses) are as follows:

Conservative 40% (–)

Labour 39% (-1)

Liberal Democrat 8% (+1)

Scottish National Party 5% (–)

Green 4% (-1)

Plaid Cymru 0% (–)

Other 4% (+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 two major parties tied at 33%. After weighting by likelihood to vote, 15% of our sample responded, ‘don’t know,’ a marginal rise of 1% compared to last week. A significant minority (16%) of 2019 Conservative supporters do not know how they would vote, an increase of 3% since last week. Meanwhile, the proportion of 2019 Labour voters who do not know how they would vote remains at 6%. A fifth (20%) of those who voted for the Liberal Democrats in 2019 say they are unsure who they would vote for at the next General Election, and so are 42% of those who did not vote in 2019.

While the major parties remain closely matched in overall voting intention, a greater proportion of respondents (36%) now say that the Conservatives are likely to win the highest number of seats at the next General Election, while less than a third (32%) say Labour are likely to do so. This result contrasts with last week, when an equal percentage of the British public considered Labour and the Conservatives more likely to win the most seats. The proportion of 2019 Conservative voters who now expect Labour to win the most seats in 2024 has decreased by 4 points, to 11%.

This week, our poll measured a significant change in respondents’ stated likelihood to vote. At this stage, only 60% said they would be certain to vote in the event of a General Election in the United Kingdom, which is 5% lower than a week ago.

Meanwhile, the Government’s Net Competency Rating has improved by 2% this week to -14%. Overall, 41% think the current Government is incompetent, while 27% say the Government is competent. Among 2019 Conservative voters, less than half (49%) say the current Conservative Government is competent, whereas 17% go as far as to say it is incompetent. Meanwhile, two thirds (65%) of Labour voters say the Government is incompetent, and just 10% think it is competent.

For the eighth consecutive poll, the Prime Minister’s net approval rating is below zero. Currently, 44% disapprove of Boris Johnson’s job performance since he became Prime Minister, whereas 36% approve, giving him a net approval rating of -8%, which is 1% lower than in our last poll. The resignation of the Prime Minister’s chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, does not appear to have affected Boris Johnson’s approval rating.

By contrast, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s approval rating continues to improve. A majority (52%) continue to approve of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s job performance, while only 17% disapprove, leaving him with an overall approval rating of +35% (2% higher than last week).

In the last week, the Labour Party has readmitted former leader Jeremy Corbyn, although Labour Leader  Keir Starmer has said that Jeremy Corbyn will not sit as a Labour Party MP in the House of Commons. Amidst this crisis in the Opposition Party, Keir Starmer’s approval rating declined by 1%, and it now stands at net +13% approval. Overall, 36% approve of the Leader of the Opposition’s performance, while 23% disapprove. Over a third (36%) of the British public neither approve nor disapprove of Keir Starmer’s job performance.

Boris Johnson’s straight contest lead over Keir Starmer rose by one point to 5% this week. Whereas 39% think Boris Johnson would be the better Prime Minister for the UK at this moment, just 34% think Keir Starmer would be. Interestingly, 15% of 2019 Labour voters think Boris Johnson would be the better Prime Minister for the UK at this moment, compared to only 10% of Conservative supporters who believe Keir Starmer would be.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak now leads the Prime Minister in regard to who the British public think would be the best Prime Minister. Altogether, 35% would prefer Rishi Sunak, while 33% would prefer Boris Johnson.

Moreover, Rishi Sunak enjoys a 10% lead over Keir Starmer––double the Prime Minister’s current advantage over the Labour Leader. A strong plurality (41%) thinks that Rishi Sunak, rather than Keir Starmer, would be the better Prime Minister for the UK at this moment.

By contrast to last week, a slight plurality (37%) once again views Boris Johnson as the leader best placed to bring British people together. Furthermore, the Prime Minister maintains considerable leads over Keir Starmer in regard to who can build a strong economy (a 10% lead), knows how to get things done (a 6% lead), and will stand up for the interests of the United Kingdom (a 10% lead). Perhaps most notably given the current circumstances, Boris Johnson holds a 6% lead over which leader can best tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Nevertheless, a greater proportion of respondents continue to say that the Leader of the Labour Party better embodies the characteristics of someone who cares about people like them (36%), tells the truth (30%), represents change (41%), is in good physical and mental health (46%), and is willing to work with other parties when possible (40%).

Overall, the Conservative Party has re-gained a narrow lead over the Labour Party this week. Although seen as important moments in the Westminster bubble, the departure of Dominic Cummings and the controversy surrounding Jeremy Corbyn appear to have had a very limited effect on public opinion with regard to voting intention and approval rating. Rishi Sunak has enjoyed a further boost to his approval rating and leads both Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer in regard to who would be the best Prime Minister for the country at this moment.

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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