Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest GB voting intention poll from yesterday finds the Conservative Party leading by 5%. Compared to our previous voting intention poll on the 22nd of July, this result represents a 3% fall in the lead held by the Conservative Party. Likewise, this result virtually represents a return to the Conservative Party’s 4% lead at the very beginning of this month, therefore erasing the slight gains made by the Conservatives in recent weeks. The full numbers for our voting intention poll (with their changes from 22 July in parentheses) are as follows:

Conservative 43% (-1)

Labour 38% (+2)

Liberal Democrat 7% (-1)

Scottish National Party 4% (–)

Green 4% (-1)

Plaid Cymru 0% (­-1)

Other 3% (–)

Likelihood to vote remained relatively constant from last week, with 61% still saying they would be certain to vote in the event of a general election in the near future. This figure is slightly higher than the 59% from last week, but it remains lower than the 63% who said two weeks ago that they would be certain to vote in the event of an election.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson saw a 4% increase in his approval rating, thus nearly reversing the 5% decrease he experienced in our previous weekly poll. This week, Johnson’s approval rating stands at a net +9%, with 45% saying they approve of his job performance since becoming Prime Minister and 34% saying they disapprove. Over the course of the past month, the Prime Minister’s approval rating has moved significantly on a weekly basis: four weeks ago, his approval rating was net +7%, then it fell slightly to +5% three weeks ago, and then it rose to net +10% two weeks ago only to fall back to net +5% last week.

Meanwhile, the approval rating for Labour Leader Keir Starmer fell by 3%, following an 8% decline in his net approval rating over the previous two weeks. This week, Starmer’s approval rating stands at a net +11%, down from +22% three weeks ago. Nonetheless, as in nearly every Keir Starmer approval rating question so far, 31% continue to say they neither approve nor disapprove of the Labour Leader’s job performance, highlighting that a significant proportion of the public remains unfamiliar with the new Labour Leader. However, the rapid decline in his net approval rating over the past three weeks suggests that those who are familiar with his job performance as Labour Leader are not particularly pleased with it.

Reflecting the Prime Minister’s improved approval rating and the Labour Leader’s decline, Johnson now leads Starmer by 16% in a straight contest over who would be the best Prime Minister of the UK. This represents a 4% increase from last week in Johnson’s lead over Starmer, but it is virtually equal to his 15% lead two weeks ago.

As the public becomes increasingly familiar with him and the furlough scheme approaches its end, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s approval rating fell by 4% this week, and is now at net +34% approval. However, a majority (51%) continues to approve of Sunak’s job performance, with only 17% saying they disapprove. Similar to Starmer, Sunak’s relatively recent appointment translates into 27% saying they neither approve nor disapprove of his job performance.

Last week, after two weeks in a row of Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak each polling at 38% in a straight contest between them, Johnson pushed ahead and secured a slight 3% lead over Sunak. This lead has widened this week, and Johnson now has an 8% advantage over Sunak in a straight contest over who would be the better Prime Minister for the UK.  This week,  41% selected Boris Johnson and 33% selected Rishi Sunak. It is likely that the two weeks in which Sunak and Johnson enjoyed equal levels of support were a result of the Chancellor’s popularity being temporarily boosted by the announcement of a raft of economic measures to support the economy, and that this week’s return to Johnson having a significant lead represent a return to normal levels.

Nonetheless, Sunak sustained his 11% lead over Starmer in a straight contest for the second week in a row, with 42% of respondents selecting Sunak and 31% selecting Starmer. Thus, even though the Chancellor trails the Prime Minister when it comes to who respondents think would be the best Prime Minister, the Labour Leader remains far behind both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, reflecting the increasingly common view that the UK Government has successfully protected the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic, and taken appropriate measures to protect jobs and the economy from the subsequent fallout.

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.

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