Sunak and Starmer Monthly Polling Report Card (November 2023)

December 1, 2023
R&WS Research Team
Approval Rating | Conservative Party | GB Politics | Keir Starmer | Labour Party | Rishi Sunak | UK Elections | Voting Intention

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After changes to net zero policies and the party conference failed to provide a poll boost to Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives in September and October, this month it was the turn of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, via his Autumn Budget Statement, to try and boost the Government’s flatlining poll ratings.

He failed.

Instead, Labour enters December holding a lead in all five of our regular tracker polls, including our nationwide Westminster Voting Intention poll in which the party now enjoys a 20% lead over the Conservatives (the same as where it stood at the end of last month).

For the first time in our Scottish polling, Labour now leads the Scottish National Party in Scotland in our Westminster Voting Intention poll (36% vs 34%). In the ‘Red Wall’ seats in the north and midlands of England, Labour has extended its advantage by eight points to 24%, giving the party its largest lead in these seats since August. And in the traditional Conservative ‘Blue Wall,’ Labour has not only overturned the Conservatives four point margin from last month, but also now enjoys its widest lead in the ‘Blue Wall’ since July (34% vs 30%).

The news is no more encouraging for the Prime Minister when it comes to his own personal approval rating, which is down from last month in all five of our regular tracker polls.

Nationally, Rishi Sunak’s approval rating is down three points to -17%. Sunak’s current net approval ratings are the lowest he has ever held in both Scotland (-32%, -13) and the Blue Wall (-9%, -13).

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. Starmer’s nationwide lead over Sunak is now twelve points (43% vs 31%), down two points from the end of October, while his lead in the Red Wall is up by four points to now stand at 13% (42% vs 29%). Meanwhile, Starmer’s current lead over Sunak in Scotland (41%, +1 vs 21%, -9) is the largest he has held since we began our Scottish political tracker.

Sunak is narrowly leading over Starmer in the Blue Wall, but his margin is now down to only one point (37% vs 36%), having previously led the Labour leader by four points (40% vs 36%) in these seats last month.

While his party management problem over Labour’s position on the conflict between Israel and Hamas has not gone away, the strength of Labour’s position in the polls means most of the opposition to Keir Starmer from within the party has been kept in private to this point. 

The Labour leader’s poll position remains strong, although (perhaps in part due to his position on the war in Gaza) Starmer’s personal approval rating is down in four of  our five trackers this month.

Nationally, his net approval now stands at +8%, down two points from last month, while his most dramatic ratings drops have come in Scotland (+1%, -10) and the Blue Wall (-1%, -7). At the same time, Starmer’s rating of +6% in Wales is the highest net approval rating he has held in Wales since we began our monthly Welsh tracker in April.

For Rishi Sunak, time is swiftly running out to convince voters that the Conservatives are worth giving another term in office. The sense of a Government that is unfocused and flailing from issue to issue has not been helped by the Prime Minister wading into a wholly avoidable diplomatic row with Greece over the Parthenon marbles.

After more than a year in power, and with the next election slated to take place next year, nothing the the Prime Minister or his Government are doing suggests that they can chart a course out of the polling Mariana Trench in which they find themselves.

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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