Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest UK voting intention poll of 2,000 respondents in Great Britain, conducted on the 1st and 2nd of April, found the Tories leading the Labour Party by a staggering 20% (49.0% to 29.0%). With Keir Starmer officially taking on the leadership of the Labour Party today, the largest party currently in opposition faces a daunting challenge of returning his party the mainstream. At this moment, 7% of those who voted for Labour in December 2019, where Labour performed extremely poorly, would now vote Conservative.
There is also somewhat more enthusiasm for the Conservative Party. When taking into account the stated likelihood to vote of respondents, the Tories retained about 93% of their current voters, whereas Labour retained 89%. This difference in enthusiasm accounted for 3% of the Conservatives lead.
As for the Government itself, a strong majority of respondents approved of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s job since he took the reins of government, with a quarter of respondents “strongly” approving of his performance and another 36% “somewhat” approving of his performance. Only 22%, by contrast, disapproved.
When looking at his handling of the coronavirus crisis specifically, these numbers only changed slightly, suggesting that most respondents’ look at the Prime Minister’s overall performance and his handling of the coronavirus crisis as mostly congruent. Even so, fewer 2019 Conservative voters approve of his handling of this specific crisis as opposed to his performance overall, whereas more 2019 Labour voters approve of his handling of this specific crisis compared to his overall performance.
Even more respondents’ expressed approval for the performance of the new Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, with only 9% expressing disapproval of his performance thus far. This is also perhaps indicative of how new to the scene Mr. Sunak is, compared to the Prime Minister who has been a major political figure since he became Mayor of London in 2008.
Altogether then, the popularity of the current Government is extremely high. Whether they are able to maintain such strong support to the end of this pandemic and afterwards remains to be seen. Much of that will depend on what the newest opposition leader brings to the table.