The latest Ipsos Political Monitor, taken 11 to 18 October 2023, explored public attitudes to the Labour and Conservative parties and their leaders, which party had the best policies on a number of issues and whether they trusted Keir Starmer or Rishi Sunak more to ‘delver the change Britain needs.
- When asked which leader the public ‘trust the most to deliver the change Britain needs if they win the next General Election’, 40% choose Keir Starmer and 26% choose Rishi Sunak. The rest trust neither (22%) or say they don’t know (11%) or it won’t make any difference (1%).
- Voter preferences are unchanged from September with the Labour lead at 20 points. Labour 44% (nc from September), Conservatives 24% (nc), Lib Dems 13% (+1), Greens 9% (+1), Other 11% (nc).
Leader satisfaction ratings
- 8 in 10 Britons (80%) are dissatisfied with the way the Government is running the country. 14% are satisfied, giving a net score of -66, similar to the -68 recorded last month.
- 26% are satisfied with the job Rishi Sunak is doing as PM (+4 from July) and 63% are dissatisfied (-3). His net satisfaction score of -37 has improved slightly from a low of -44 last month.
- Keir Starmer registers a net satisfaction rating of -23 with 30% satisfied with the job he is doing as Labour leader (+1 from September) and 53% dissatisfied (+2).
Starmer vs Sunak in-depth
- Keir Starmer is seen as the most capable PM by 35% and Rishi Sunak by 31%. Starmer’s 4-point lead is the same as September (before the party conference season).
- The public are split on whether Keir Starmer is ready to be Prime Minister. 37% agree he is but 41% disagree. In July 39% agreed and 37% disagreed.
- 47% agree that they don’t know what Keir Starmer stands for. In June this figure was 50%, in January 44%. For Rishi Sunak, 43% agree that they don’t know what he stands for today, compared to 45% in June and 40% at the start of the year.
Labour and the Conservatives in-depth
- 65% do not believe that the Conservatives deserve to be re-elected +2 points from September), 19% agree they do (-2 pts).
- However, the public remain divided on whether Labour is ready for government. 43% say they are and 39% disagree. Labour’s net score of +4 contrasts with the -5 seen in September when 38% agreed and 43% disagreed.
- When asked which party has the best policies, Labour leads on a range of issues. In particular Labour holds large leads on some of the most important issues to the public including Healthcare (by 39% to 17%) and the cost of living (37% to 20%).
- However, the Conservatives have narrowed the gap on ‘managing the economy’ since June. 30% think the Conservatives have the best policies (+6 pts), with Labour unchanged on 29%.
- On Asylum and immigration, whilst 26% think Labour have the best policies and 19% say the Conservatives do, it is notable that a majority choose neither party. This is also true on the environment (where the Greens are preferred), defence, crime and transport.
Economic optimism and best Chancellor
- 55% expect the economy to worsen in the next 12 months (unchanged from September). 21% expect it to improve (+1) and 20% say it will stay the same (-3). 5% don’t know (+3).
- Rachel Reeves is seen as the more capable Chancellor over Jeremy Hunt by a margin of 41% to 29% – an identical lead to what she had in June. Before Rachel Reeves was Chancellor, the last Shadow Chancellor to have a lead was Ed Balls in 2013.
Keiran Pedley, Director of Politics at Ipsos, said, “These findings show the scale of the political challenge the Prime Minister faces as he looks to reverse the Conservatives recent struggles at the ballot box. The Conservatives were 21 points behind Labour when he took over and they are 20 points behind today. As it stands, Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives will need a significant change in the public mood to stay in office after the next General Election.”