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 1st of July, this result represents a slight 1% increase in the lead held by the Conservative Party, a difference which falls within the margin of error. The full numbers for our voting intention poll (with their changes from 11 June in parentheses) are as follows:
Conservative 44% (+2)
Labour 39% (+1)
Liberal Democrat 7% (-1)
Scottish National Party 4% (–)
Green 4% (-1)
Plaid Cymru 0% (–)
Other 2% (–)
This week’s figures once again confirm our suggestion that over the course of June and early July, the Conservative Party’s lead has stabilised around 4% to 6%.
Likelihood to vote increased slightly by 2%, with 63% now saying they would be certain to vote in the event of a general election in the near future, up from 61% last week. These figures have remained largely constant since mid-February, when 66% of respondents said they were certain to vote. It is important to note that, throughout the pandemic, we modified our likelihood to vote question to emphasise a hypothetical general election when it is safe for an election to be held again.
Despite the stability in the Conservative Party’s lead, the approval rating for Prime Minister Boris Johnson fell once again this week, going from net +7% approval last week to net +5% approval this week. In the previous week, his approval rating had fallen from net +11% to net +7%, meaning that the Prime Minister’s current net approval rating is now half of what it was two weeks ago. This week, 43% said they approve of Johnson’s job performance since becoming Prime Minister, and 38% disapprove.
Unlike the Prime Minister, the approval rating for Labour Leader Keir Starmer rose slightly this week. Whereas last week it fell from net +23% approval to net +18% approval, this week it increased slightly to net +22% approval. Currently, the Labour Leader enjoys 41% approval and 19% disapproval, with a further 32% neither approving nor disapproving. Thus, whereas the Prime Minister has seen a six-point drop in his approval rating over the past two weeks, the Labour Leader saw his approval rating fall last week, but it has now returned to where it was two weeks ago.
Despite the similar decline in net approval for both Johnson and Starmer in the past two weeks, Starmer has significantly narrowed the gap with Johnson in a straight contest over who would be the best Prime Minister for the present moment. Whereas last week Johnson’s lead fell from 19% to 16%, this week it has fallen even further to 11%, which is only slightly more than half of what it was two weeks ago. Although Johnson’s current 11% lead is similar to the 12% lead that he enjoyed three weeks ago, it is nevertheless lower than in mid-May, when the Prime Minister commanded a 22% lead over the Labour Leader.
The Chancellor’s approval rating this week remained stable in comparison to last week, with Rishi Sunak currently enjoying a net +41% approval for his job performance since becoming Chancellor. This is only slightly lower than the net +42% he received last week, yet it does remain lower than the net +57% approval that he enjoyed in early April.
More interestingly, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are now each polling at 38% in a straight contest over who would be the better Prime Minister for the UK at this moment. This result represents the erosion of Johnson’s 9% lead last week, and his 13% lead two weeks ago. Thus, despite the relatively stable net approval of the Chancellor, the slight decline in Johnson’s approval rating in the past week appears to be translating into a greater proportion of the public viewing Sunak as a viable alternative. It is worth mentioning, however, that our poll was live around the time in which the Chancellor made several budgetary announcements, including the decision to cut stamp duty, and this popular announcement may have had a pronounced effect on our result here.
For now, however, one thing to consider is that the Chancellor’s lead over the Labour Leader has remained fairly stable, with Sunak having an 8% lead over Starmer this week compared to a 7% lead last week. This pattern has remained the same in the past few weeks.