Sunak and Starmer Monthly Polling Report Card (December 2023)

January 3, 2024
R&WS Research Team
Approval Rating | Conservative Party | GB Politics | Keir Starmer | Labour Party | Rishi Sunak | UK Elections | Voting Intention

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As the election year of 2024 dawns, the Conservative Government faces an enormous uphill challenge if it is to remain in Government come 2025. 

The party begins January trailing the Labour opposition in all five of our regular tracker polls, including our nationwide Westminster Voting Intention poll in which the party now enjoys an 18% lead over the Conservatives, one point more than the 17% advantage the party held in the last poll of 2022.

Labour also holds double digit leads in both our Welsh (25%, +5) and Red Wall (20%, -4) trackers, while maintaining a narrow, one point advantage in the traditionally Conservative ‘Blue Wall’ (30% vs 29%).

Sunak’s personal approval ratings are down in four of our five regular trackers. His national rating ends 2023 at -19%, a drop of 14 points from where it stood at the end of 2022. At the same time, the Prime Minister’s current net approval ratings are the lowest he has ever held in both the Red Wall (-25%, -4) and Wales (-34%, -11).

On the question of who would be the better Prime Minister, Keir Starmer continues to lead Rishi Sunak in four of our five regular tracker polls, although Starmer’s leads have narrowed both nationally and in the Red Wall. 

Starmer’s nationwide lead over Sunak is now seven (39% vs 32%), down five points from the end of November, and the narrowest lead he has held nationally since 20 August. His lead in the Red Wall is down by six points to now stand at 7% (36% vs 29%), his smallest lead in those since 6 August. In better news for the Labour leader, Starmer’s lead over Sunak in Wales has grown by 12 points to 22% (47% vs 25%).

Sunak does, however, continue to lead Starmer in the Blue Wall, with his margin having grown to five points (40% vs 35%) since November.

As for Keir Starmer, while the Labour leader’s poll position remains strong, and his personal approval ratings remain in positive territory in four of our five trackers, December has seen some slippage in his standing both nationally and in the Red Wall.

Across Great Britain as a whole, Starmer’s net approval has fallen to +4%, down four points from November, and the lowest rating he has held nationally since 14 May. In the Red Wall, meanwhile, his rating has fallen eleven points from November to enter negative territory and an overall rating of -3%. This is his lowest rating in these electorally crucial seats since September 2022. 

At the same time, Starmer’s rating of +7% in Wales—up one point from November—is the highest net approval rating he has held in Wales since we began our monthly Welsh tracker in April.

With the announcement in late December that Jeremy Hunt would unveil his Spring Budget on 6 March, chatter about a May election date has increased dramatically. Given the current state of the polls, however, allowing the Government only five months to turn around their political fortunes appears ambitious, to say the least. 

For Rishi Sunak, time is a precious commodity which he and his Government is fast running out of.

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. Follow us on Twitter

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