The latest ‘Best PM’ rating from Savanta ComRes’ Monthly Political Tracker sees Boris Johnson stay on 44%, while Sir Keir Starmer sees a 3pt rise to 30%. Amongst those aged 18-34, Johnson’s score is 40%, with Starmer’s on 34%.
Amongst 2019 Labour voters, one in six say that Johnson would make the best PM (17%), with three in five saying Starmer (62%).
Favourability ratings – NET scores
Despite Boris Johnson’s NET favourability rating down 1pt since last month (+2%), and Sir Keir Starmer’s unchanged (-7%), there is a 9pt gap between the two party leaders. This is the same gap recorded in our latest Westminster Voting Intention which showed the Conservatives on 43% of the vote share and Labour on 34%.
Leader characteristics – Johnson vs Starmer
The two party leaders are fairly level on most personal metrics. Boris Johnson, however, is almost three times as likely to be viewed as ‘charismatic’ (31% vs 11%), whilst also significantly outperforming Starmer as ‘strong’ (21% vs 14%).
Despite this, the Labour leader is viewed as both more ‘intelligent’ (33% vs 30%) and more ‘honest’ (17% vs 13%).
Leaders and their policies – Johnson vs Starmer
Despite Starmer seeing a 2pt rise in the proportion who say that they like both him and his policies (20%), over a quarter still say that they ‘don’t know’ (27%), and a further three in ten say that they dislike both him and his policies (28%).
Equal proportions say that they like both Boris Johnson and his policies (31%), as those who say that they dislike both him and his policies (31%).
Party characteristics – Labour vs Conservative
Three in ten UK adults say that the Labour Party is ‘divided’ (29%), compared to just one in five who say the same about the Conservative Party (20%).
Whilst Labour are more likely to be seen as understanding the issues facing ordinary people than the Conservatives (24% vs 15%), as well as the issues facing society’s most vulnerable (23% vs 13%), the Conservative Party are more likely to be seen as understanding the issues facing the country as a whole (23% vs 20%).
Leaders and their parties – Johnson vs Starmer
The proportion who say that they like both Sir Keir Starmer and his party (23%) is up 6pts since March, with the proportion who say that they dislike both is down 1pt to 27%.
Since the last wave of our tracker in March, there has been a 1pt rise in those who say that they like both Boris Johnson and his party (28%), and a 1pt rise in those who say that they dislike both (30%).
Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “Parts of this poll do show some glimmers of hope for Keir Starmer, with the public more likely think he would make the best Prime Minister and more keen on him and his party than they were last month.
However, the data over time really shows that Starmer has failed to capitalise on being unknown a year ago when he was elected Labour leader.
Many of those who do now have an opinion on him are split, and he hasn’t actually changed many opinions at all in the last 12 months. While Labour stagnates, the Conservatives, enjoying a vaccine bounce in the voting intention, do not have to pull up any trees to be well on course for another majority in 2024 and, while there’s still a long way to go, I would have expected Starmer to have made more inroads than he has.”