Good Friday Afternoon,

It’s time to take a look at the polls! This week’s issue of Magnified will be a short one in which we discuss yesterday’s by-election results. 

This week, our research also covered:

  •  Support for working from home by social class
  •  State pensions increases and warnings against wage-price spiral
  •  Decrease in favourability of Emmanuel Macron among Britons

If you would like to find out more about how Redfield & Wilton Strategies can help your organisation succeed through polling and strategic advice, click here.

Westminster Insights

Westminster Voting Intention
(22 June):

Labour 41% (+1)
Conservative 32% (-1)
Liberal Democrat 13% (–)
Green 5% (–)
Scottish National Party 4% (–)
Reform UK 4% (–)
Other 2% (+1)

Changes +/- 19 June

All Net Approval Ratings
(22 June):

Keir Starmer: -1% (+1)
Rishi Sunak: -7% (-1)
Boris Johnson: -25% (-1)

Changes +/- 19 June

Our mid-week poll (which we are releasing today instead of yesterday to avoid any conflict with the by-elections in Tiverton & Honiton and in Wakefield) finds Labour leading by 9%, a very slightly greater lead than in polling on Monday (7%) and last week (7-8%).

With sizeable double-digit swings, yesterday’s by-election results greatly exceed what national voting intention polling has been telling us. There are two key reasons for this difference between the national picture and these two particular by-elections.

First, third parties such as the Liberal Democrats are able to compete, resource-wise, in a by-election campaign, whereas they are otherwise forced to spread their smaller share of resources thin in a national election. 

Second, by-elections provide voters the unique opportunity to wage a protest vote against the Government without the risk of the Government losing power. In a by-election, the Conservatives cannot squeeze uncertain or unmotivated voters who lean conservative by dangling the possibility of a Labour Government or a coalition involving the Scottish National Party.

It is therefore unlikely that yesterday’s results in Tiverton & Honiton would be replicated in a national election across other seats where the Conservatives won a similarly large majority in 2019.

Even so, that yesterday’s by-election results exceed national polling is telling considering that national polling already show a dismal situation for the Conservatives. 

Readers of Magnified will know that our polling has consistently found the Government to be out of sync with voters on a number of issues, including the cost of living crisis, ‘levelling up’, taxes, the NHS, the coronavirus pandemic, immigration, policing, energy, and the environment

With half of the British public consistently saying they disapprove of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s job performance—double the amount that say they approve—discontent with the Government is clearly widespread. If our latest polling result were to be replicated in a national election, the Conservatives would easily lose their majority.

Nevertheless, the hard reality of an election loss, even one in the unique circumstances of a by-election, can be a far more vigorous jolt to a rudderless Government than an abundance of incisive polling. One can feel the taste, not just the prospect, of defeat.

Will the Conservatives read the writing on the wall?

Data Tables

Chart of the Week

Support for the continuation of working from home is considerable in Great Britain. 53% of the public supports the prospect of people continuing to take advantage of the shift towards home working during the pandemic. Indeed, a clear majority (55%) thinks our society should adapt towards people working from home rather than encourage people to return to the office, an option selected by 32% of the public.

There is, further, little sentiment that those working from home are just being lazy. 56% of the public disagree with this view while just 22% agree. 

Interestingly, support for continued home working varies somewhat by class. Those that describe themselves as middle (58%) or upper (81%) class are more likely to support this continuation than those who identify as working class (51%), likely owing to the greater number of opportunities for those in these class groups to work from home. That said, a majority of working-class respondents are supportive.

Hire Us: If you are a business, campaign, or research organisation looking to expand your understanding of public opinion, Redfield & Wilton Strategies has the tools to help. Get in touch to find out more.

Perspective: The R&WS Take on the News

Pensions to surge by 10pc as workers told to accept a pay cut
The Telegraph | 21 June 2022

OUR TAKE: The Government is increasing state pensions and universal credit payment in line with inflation while simultaneously warning that pay rises for workers could trigger a wage-price spiral that exacerbates inflation. 46% of the public finds this duality contradictory, against 32% who do not find the two positions contradictory. Of those who find the twin stances contradictory, a clear majority (54% to 14%) think the Government should resolve this contradiction by increasing public sector wages in line with inflation. And why not? If the Government truly believed wage-price inflation is a threat, surely then they wouldn’t be raising pensions in line with inflation?

French elections: Macron loses majority as French vote fragments
BBC | 24 June 2022

OUR TAKE: French President Emmanuel Macron’s party failed to win a majority in this month’s parliamentary elections. As with French voters, the opinions of the British public towards France’s President have also taken a turn towards the worse. Whereas virtually as many Britons (26%) expressed a favourable view of Macron as expressed an unfavourable (24%) of him in early March, we now find that just 17% of the British public say they have a favourable view of the French President. 30% have an unfavourable view of him while a majority remains either neutral (39%) or undecided (13%).

R&WS in the Media

Each week we bring you the top stories from the media that have featured our research.

Seventy per cent of British voters say the cost of childcare keeps mothers at home
New Statesman | 22 June 2022

Voters are giving Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak some good old political advice: It’s the economy, stupid
iNews | 18 June 2022

Rail strikes test Tory culture war on working from home
New Statesman | 21 June 2022

Are you a journalist needing a stat for your latest piece? We can be your resource—our polling covers hundreds of issues in multiple countries each week. If you are working on an article on a topical issue, chances are we have already asked the public about it. Get in touch and we’ll share our polling data with you!

Our Research on Social Media

Top 5 Tweets This Week

  1. Highest % to say ‘worsened’ and lowest % to say ‘improved’ that we’ve recorded.How have Britons’ financial situations changed in the last three months? (12 June): (see full tweet)
  2. Do voters most associate the current Conservative/Labour Party with raising taxes, lowering taxes, or neither? (22 June): (see full tweet)
  3. Which of the following statements comes closest to Britons’ view?I would prefer a Prime Minister who is… (22 June): (see full tweet)
  4. Keir Starmer Approval Rating (19 June): (see full tweet)
  5. At this moment, between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party, which party do voters most associate with being tough on immigration? (19 June): (see full tweet)

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