Good Thursday Afternoon,
It’s time to take a look at the polls! In this week’s issue of Magnified, we respond to last week’s by-election results.
This week, our research also covered:
- Our latest Westminster polling
- The first edition of our new US voter sentiment tracker with Newsweek
- Americans views of Supreme Court Justices
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 Voting Intention (23 July):
Labour 45% (+1)
Conservative 28% (+1)
Liberal Democrat 14% (+1)
Reform UK 6% (-2)
Green 4% (–)
Scottish National Party 2% (-1)
Other 1% (–)
Changes +/- 16 July
Combined Net Approval Ratings (23 July):
Keir Starmer: +8% (–)
Rishi Sunak: -10% (+4)
Changes +/- 16 July
For the second time this year, the abundantly clear conclusion from a set of election results has been obfuscated due to some extenuating factor or another.
In May, it was the National-Equivalent Vote projection from the local council elections.
Last week, it was the Uxbridge & South Ruislip by-election result.
In truth, neither of these change the overall picture we first outlined in May: we are on course for a Labour majority.
Nationally, Labour this week holds a 17% lead over the Conservatives in our Great Britain tracker, slightly wider than their leads following May’s local elections. The party leads by 18% and 4% in our most recent tracker polls of the Red Wall and Blue Wall, respectively, and they are also competitive in Scotland while comfortably 22% ahead in Wales.
Governments lose elections, oppositions do not win them—as we wrote recently. On the issues that most matter to voters, whether the economy, the NHS, immigration, or housing, approval for Rishi Sunak’s government is markedly in the red. Voters are not so much persuaded by Starmer’s and Labour’s ability to handle these policy areas as they are convinced that they do not trust the Conservatives’ ability to handle them now.
That distrust, combined with the circumstantial nature of the Conservatives’ 2019 victory and the possibility of widespread anti-Conservative tactical voting, help explain where we are now.
Last week’s by-elections in Somerton & Frome, where the Liberal Democrats overturned a Conservative majority of 19,000, and in Selby & Ainsty, where Labour overturned the largest majority ever (20,137) in a by-election, are in line with this broader polling picture.
In these two constituencies, much like in most of the rest of the country, the Conservatives are very clearly the government. Their record therefore decided those by-elections, which should provide the best indication of where we are heading.
In Uxbridge & South Ruislip, however, the Conservatives just managed to hold on by framing London Mayor Sadiq Khan as the primary entity that governs voters and running against the planned expansion of the capital’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (an exceedingly local policy that is more popular than unpopular among Londoners at large).
After thirteen years in Government, the Conservative Party will have to run next year on what they have managed to achieve in power. They cannot hide and run against Labour. Uxbridge & South Ruislip should provide no consolation to Conservative MPs. Rather, the exceptional nature of that by-election should frighten them more.
Redfield & Wilton Strategies Announces New Partnership With Newsweek
Last week, we at Redfield & Wilton Strategies announced an exciting new partnership with Newsweek to provide that globally renowned and respected publication’s millions of readers in-depth polling and insights on the issues that matter to Americans in the run-up to the 2024 U.S. presidential election.
The new voter sentiment tracker will cover issues from the war in Ukraine and the cost-of-living, to education and abortion.
The first poll in our new tracker was published last week. Among the key findings:
- 60% of Americans name the economy as the most important issue facing the country right now.
- 57% support the existence of the Second Amendment.
- 57% also believe America is still an institutionally racist country today.
- 53% agree that the defense of Ukraine is vital to the United States national interest.
The tracker will run from now through to the Presidential Election in November 2024.
Chart of the Week
In June, a trio of important decisions on hot-button issues yet again threw the US Supreme Court into the centre of American political debate.
In delivering important rulings on cases dealing with matters of affirmative action, free speech, and the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan, the Court set off a storm of political reaction from both the left and the right.
In all three cases, the six conservative justices on the court (Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barret) formed the majority opinion, with none of their more liberal colleagues (Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Ketanji Brown Jackson) joining them.
In addition, those rulings came after months of stories about ethically suspect personal and professional relationships between Justices and outside parties. In the wake of those exposés, the Senate Judiciary Committee last week advanced (on a party-line vote) a bill which would tighten ethics, disclosure, and recusal rules for Justices on America’s highest court.
Nevertheless, despite these on-going concerns, we at Redfield & Wilton Strategies find more American voters have a favourable than an unfavourable view of every single Supreme Court Justice, with not a single member of the nine-member body holding a negative net favorability rating.
Our latest polling finds Sonia Sotomayor holding the highest net favorability rating (+21%) and Clarence Thomas the lowest of +3%.
Despite the controversy over recent decisions, Chief Justice John Roberts is the only justice whose favorability rating has fallen in the past month (down two points to +15%), while Sotomayor (+21%, +5), Ketanji Brown Jackson (+20%, +8), and Elena Kagan (+14%, +6), who make up the Court’s liberal wing, all see their favorability ratings increase by five or more points from early June.
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.
R&WS in the Media
Each week we bring you the top stories from the media that have featured our research.
Why Plaid Cymru is not benefitting from Welsh independence support
The National | 23 July 2023
Does Susan Hall have any hope against Sadiq Khan?
The New Statesman | 19 July 2023
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!