Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest UK voting intention poll from yesterday finds the Conservative Party leading by 4%. Compared to our previous voting intention poll on the 25th of June, this latest result represents a slight 2% decrease in the lead held by the Conservative Party. The full numbers for our voting intention poll (with their changes from 25 June in parentheses) are as follows:
Conservative 42% (-2)
Labour 38% (–)
Liberal Democrat 8% (+1)
Scottish National Party 4% (–)
Green 5% (+1)
Plaid Cymru 0% (–)
Other 2% (–)
Likelihood to vote has remained constant over the past few weeks and months, with 61% saying this week that they are certain to vote, and a further 19% saying they would probably vote in the event of a general election in the near future. These figures remain unchanged from last week, and are not very different form our findings in mid-February, when 66% of respondents said they were certain to vote, and a further 15% saying they would probably vote.
Despite not representing a major change from our poll last week, this week’s figures reinforce our suggestion that the Conservative Party’s lead is now stabilising around 4% to 6%. Whereas there have been slight fluctuations in the percentage who would vote Conservative, the proportion who would vote Labour has remained constant at 38% for the past three weeks.
Nonetheless, there is a clear difference between this week’s results and those of our voting intention polls conducted earlier this year. For example, in mid-February we found that the Conservatives had an 18% voting intention lead over Labour, with 49% of respondents saying they would vote Conservative in the event of an election compared to 31% who would vote for Labour. Two months later, in mid-April, the Conservatives’ lead had grown to 21%, with 52% saying they would vote Conservative versus 31% who said they would vote Labour in the event of an election. Thus, the recent stabilisation in June around a 4% to 6% lead for the Conservatives represents a roughly 15% decrease in the Conservative lead in comparison to our polls from February through to early May.
In terms of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s overall approval rating, it has decreased slightly this week from net +11% approval to net +7% approval. This week, 44% said they approve of Johnson’s overall job performance since becoming Prime Minister, and 37% said they disapprove. There was no change in the proportion who neither approve nor disapprove of his performance (18%).
Johnson’s current approval rating appears to be stabilising around the +10% approval mark in the past few weeks. Although still a favourable figure, it is far less favourable than in early April, where the Prime Minister enjoyed a stunning net +39% approval. Although it is possible that this April figure partly stems from the “rally around the leader” effect at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, especially at a time when Boris Johnson himself was sick with coronavirus, the difference with this week’s figures represents a roughly 30% decline in his approval rating since April.
Like the Prime Minister, Labour Leader Keir Starmer also saw a slight decrease in his overall approval rating this week, falling from net +23% approval to net +18% approval. This week, 39% approve and 21% disapprove of Starmer’s overall performance since becoming Labour Leader. The proportion who neither approve nor disapprove changed slightly from 35% to 33%.
Compared to last week, Boris Johnson’s lead over Keir Starmer in a straight contest as to whom respondents would prefer as Prime Minister at the present moment dropped slightly from 19% to 16%. However, it remains larger than Johnson’s 12% lead over Starmer two weeks ago. Johnson’s lead over Starmer over the past weeks, which has ranged between 12% and 19%, is still somewhat lower than it was in mid-May, when the Prime Minister commanded a 22% lead over the Labour Leader. Nonetheless, the decline is not as dramatic as that which can be observed in Johnson’s overall approval rating or in the Conservative lead in voting intention.
Like the Prime Minister and the Labour Leader, Chancellor Rishi Sunak also experienced a slight change in his overall approval rating this week, which decreased from net +45% approval to net +42% approval. This week, 55% approve and 13% disapprove of Sunak’s job performance since becoming Chancellor. Meanwhile, the proportion that neither approves nor disapproves of his performance increased slightly from 24% to 27%. When compared to our figures from early April, approval of Sunak has declined noticeably, but not as dramatically: back then, 66% approved and 9% disapproved of the Chancellor’s job performance. This latest result represents a 15% shift from net +57% approval in early April to net +42% approval.
This week, we repeated our straight contest between Johnson and Sunak over who would be a better Prime Minister for the UK at the present moment. The result was that Johnson’s lead fell slightly from 13% last week to 9% this week. However, this lead is still greater than Johnson’s 7% lead over Sunak two weeks ago.
As for how the Chancellor would perform in a straight contest again the Labour Leader, the Chancellor’s lead also fell slightly from 9% last week to 7% this week. Meanwhile, the proportion who selected the ‘don’t know’ option increased slightly from 25% to 26%.
Overall, our results this week do not represent a significant change in comparison to the past few weeks. There is an overall pattern of increasing stabilisation, with the Conservative voting intention lead over Labour stabilising around at 4% to 6% (for the time being), and Johnson’s lead over Starmer in a straight contest remaining consistently in the double digits, moving within the 12-19% range in the past three weeks. However, all of these figures represent a narrowing of the gap between Conservatives and Labour in comparison to polls we conducted earlier this year, with Johnson’s having seen his overall net approval rating drop by 30% in three months, and even Rishi Sunak’s net approval falling by 15% since early April.