Which Party Is Having the Best (And Worst) Campaign?

June 21, 2024
R&WS Research Team
Conservative Party | GB Politics | Keir Starmer | Labour Party | Liberal Democrats | Rishi Sunak | UK General Election 2024 | UK Politics

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With just two weeks to go until polling day, the oddest General Election campaign in living memory is now entering the homestretch.

Whereas, traditionally, the major party leaders would now be crisscrossing the country, visiting the same handful of key target seats in order to try and cobble together a majority, the state of the polls make this campaign different.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is spending his days in seats with notional Conservative majorities of 20,000 or more, a frank admission of how dire the Conservative Party now sees its prospects. Keir Starmer, meanwhile, is visiting seats that Labour hasn’t held in decades, while Ed Davey—between visiting theme parks and enjoying some paddle boarding—is hitting as many Blue Wall seats with vulnerable Conservative candidates as he can.

Labour, meanwhile, enjoys a fundraising advantage over the Conservatives which means that, while the former can buy out advertising on the homepage of The Sun, the latter are having to pull resources out of seats which Conservative MPs won by 10,000+ votes at the last election in order to defend those with even bigger majorities where the party is now vulnerable. 

Last weekend, we at Redfield & Wilton Strategies asked British voters about their perceptions of how the various parties’ campaigns have gone.

When it comes to the various party leaders, 40% have seen or heard the most about Rishi Sunak in various media over the past week. 23% have seen or heard the most about Keir Starmer, while 12% have seen or heard the most about Nigel Farage.

35% of Britons believe the Labour Party has had the best General Election campaign so far, followed by 13% who think Reform UK has had the best campaign.

Only 12% think the Conservative Party have had the best campaign of all the various parties listed thus far.

By contrast, 40% of voters think the Conservative Party has run the worst General Election campaign so far, more than twice the number who selected the next most popular answer (Labour, 15%). 

A further 7% think the Liberal Democrats have run the worst campaign, while 5% think Reform UK have run the worst campaign.

When asked which party is trying the hardest to win the support of voters like them, 37% of voters say Labour, against only 20% who say the Conservatives.

13% answer Reform UK, 7% say the Liberal Democrats, and 17% don’t know.

Our poll was conducted in the days immediately after the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and Labour published their manifestos.

When asked whether they support or oppose some of the policy proposals contained in those manifestos—without being told which party had made which proposal—net support is highest for Labour’s policy of delivering 40,000 more NHS appointments and operations per year (+73%). 

The second and third most supported proposals are both Conservative proposals: Hire 120,000 new doctors and nurses for the NHS (+71%) and deliver 100,000 extra new apprenticeships (+65%).

All other proposals prompted receive net support, apart from Labour’s proposal to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030 (-6%) and Labour and the Liberal Democrats proposal to reduce the voting age to 16 (-6%). 

However, voter awareness of which proposals have been made by which parties is mixed.

Majorities do know that introducing 20% VAT on private school fees (55%) and ensuring the regular departure of migrant deportation flights to Rwanda (52%) are Labour and Conservative proposals, respectively.

However, 39% of voters think a proposal to hire 120,000 new doctors and nurses for the NHS is a Labour manifesto commitment, against only 23% who know that it is, in fact, a Conservative Party proposal.

Similarly, 28% think rejoining the European Single Market is a Labour manifesto commitment, whereas it is, in fact, something to which the Liberal Democrats are committed (only 24% guessed the correct answer).

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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