Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest UK voting intention poll finds the Conservative Party leading by 2%. This lead is yet another reduction in the lead held by the Conservative Party from the 7% lead in our previous voting intention poll on the 3rd of June and from the double digit leads held by the Conservatives since the election until early May. The full numbers for our voting intention poll (with their changes from 3 June in parenthesis) are as follows:
Conservative 41% (-2)
Labour 39% (+3)
Liberal Democrat 9% (–)
Scottish National Party 5% (+1)
Green 4% (-1)
Plaid Cymru 0% (-1)
Other 2% (–)
On this occasion, while still a relatively high number compared to closer to election day, somewhat fewer respondents (13%) selected ‘don’t know’ to our voting intention question than in our previous two voting intention polls (17% and 18% respectively). This slight change may have been mostly from 2019 Labour voters, of which, for the first time since the election, more than 80% of the entire sample now said they would vote Labour in a general election.
Likelihood to vote was somewhat lower in this iteration of our voting intention poll, but this change did not account for the decrease in the Conservatives’ lead.
It is, again, worth noting that a poll is only a snapshot at a moment in time, and more polling results will be needed to determine whether this particular result reflects the current situation in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, the Conservative Party’s lead, which had been nearly 20% in April, had begun declining significantly in early May as the public’s perception of the Government’s handling of the coronavirus changed.
Indeed, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s net approval rating stands at just a positive 4%, with 42% approving and 38% disapproving.
His handling of the coronavirus crisis in specific stands at -2% net approval.
Meanwhile, the new leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer enjoys a 21% positive net approval rating, with 41% approving and 19% disapproving. It is, however, worth noting that 41% of respondents selected ‘neither approve nor disapprove’ or ‘don’t know,’ reflecting the broader unfamiliarity of the UK public with Keir Starmer.
In a straight contest as to whom respondents would prefer as Prime Minister to confront the coronavirus crisis, 12% more respondents would prefer Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, with a significant 28% of respondents saying ‘don’t know.’
Notably, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has been somewhat of an exception to the Conservatives’ Party downward trend. A majority of respondents (56%) approved of his job performance, with only 15% disapproving. While this result is certainly less than what it was in April, it is still considerable positive and nowhere near the decline in net approval for the Prime Minister.
This bright spot could provide an opportunity for the Conservative Party, by allowing the party to focus on its economic policies as the United Kingdom seeks to recover from the coronavirus crisis, returning to some of the key themes of its 2019 General Election landslide victory. At the same time, the Government will find it difficult and unpopular to reign in this widely supported, but unprecedented, fiscal expansion.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party is challenged with showing itself to be a credible alternative to the Conservatives. With a considerable number of respondents selecting ‘neither approve nor disapprove’ or ‘don’t know’ to Keir Starmer’s approval rating, the key challenge for Labour will be to make itself and its differing vision for the United Kingdom known.
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.
 ‘Don’t Knows’ are excluded from our final voting intention table. See our full tables to see the more-detailed results of our poll.