The Prime Minister’s net favourability rating has dropped a further ten points to -37 in Savanta ComRes’ January Political Tracker.
The net score makes the Prime Minister the least favourable of all of the politicians tested by some margin, and represents a drop of 23pts since November, and 29pts since this time last year. The figure is the lowest net favourability score in Savanta ComRes’ Political Tracker since it started in May 2020.
The government’s net favourability also drops 6pts since December to -33, also its lowest ever score since the tracker began.
The poll shows the Labour Party maintaining a large lead in the Westminster Voting Intention, with Keir Starmer’s party on 41% of the vote, while the Conservatives are back on 32%, the same as they were last week.
According to elections website Electoral Calculus, if these results played out at a General Election it would leave the Labour Party just seven seats short of a majority, with the Conservatives losing 129 seats.
The poll comes as rumours within Westminster of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers nearing the threshold of letters needed to hold a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson as Conservative leader get ever stronger.
Some of those rumoured to be orchestrating MPs to submit letters, such as MP for Bishop Auckland, Dehenna Davison, and MP for Bury South, Christian Wakeford, would be in line to lose their seats, according to Electoral Calculus, if those numbers played out at a General Election.
Of the Cabinet ministers tested in this poll, only Rishi Sunak (+10) has a higher net favourability score than Labour leader Keir Starmer (-4), indicating that if the Conservatives were to choose a new leader who is a current Cabinet minister, although being seen more favourably than Boris Johnson, unless it was Sunak they may still find themselves less favourable than their Labour counterpart.
Sajid Javid (-6), Liz Truss (-8), Nadim Zahawi (-8), Alok Sharma (-8) and Kwasi Kwarteng (-8) all have reasonable net favourability scores, but those who say ‘Don’t know’ for all except Javid range between 25-35%.
The poll also finds Keir Starmer leading in the Best PM metric for the first time ever, on 36% ahead of Don’t know on 35%. The Prime Minister, who would ordinarily benefit from an incumbency boost on this metric, is at 28%. Just half (51%) of those who voted Conservative at the last election now think that Boris Johnson would make the best Prime Minister.
Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “Every poll seems to get worse and worse for this ailing Prime Minister, and this one is no different, with another sizable slump in net favourability for both the PM and the government, scores that are so markedly different from just two months ago.
Partygate has brought this government to its knees and Conservative backbenchers are sensing the opportunity to clean house, with many in line to lose their seats if the current Labour poll lead were to play out at a General Election.”
“If there’s one crumb of comfort for the Conservatives here it is that Keir Starmer is not running away in the popularity stakes. His net favourability is well behind Rishi Sunak’s, and only marginally ahead of some other Cabinet ministers (many of whom have considerably lower recognition) and therefore there’s plenty of opportunity for the Conservatives to turn things around; but only they can decide whether Boris Johnson is the person they trust to do it.”