Almost half UK adults (45%) say that Rishi Sunak would be better at managing the economy as Prime Minister than Boris Johnson is, according to new polling by Savanta ComRes.
The figure rises to half of 2019 Conservative voters (49%) who say the same of Sunak, with just one in five saying that Boris Johnson is better at it (21%). And, almost half of Labour voters from 2019 also say that Sunak would be a better PM than Johnson when it comes to the economy (47%).
The public are also twice as likely to say that Sunak would do a better job at uniting the Conservative Party than Boris Johnson (36%) than the other way around (16%). The same is true amongst Conservative voters with two in five saying Sunak would do better at uniting the party as PM (41%), with just one in five saying Johnson would do better (22%).
Likewise, when it comes to the Conservative Party’s flagship ‘Levelling Up’ programme, UK adults are significantly more likely to think that the Chancellor would do a better job at achieving this if he were Prime Minister. Three in ten say he would do a better job than Johnson (31%), compared to one in six who say Johnson would do better (17%).
Conservative voters are more divided on the question, with similar proportions saying that each of Sunak (31%) and Johnson (26%) would do better than the other when it comes to ‘Levelling Up’.
When it comes to the policies Sunak has implemented during his tenure as Chancellor, a third of the public say that they have been ‘centrist’ (32%), with three in ten describing them as ‘right wing’ (28%), and more than one in ten saying that they have been ‘left wing’ (14%).
Amongst Conservative voters, the proportion who say that Sunak’s policies have been ‘centrist’ rises to two in five (40%), with around a quarter saying they have been ‘right wing’ (27%).
Interestingly, even amongst 2019 Labour voters, around one in six say that Sunak’s policies have been ‘left-wing’ (17%), more than the proportion of Conservative voters who say the same (13%).
Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “Much has been made of Rishi Sunak’s popularity – he’s been the sole politician with a positive favourability score in our political tracker for some time – and judging this data there is a significant proportion of the population, including Conservative voters, who think he’d do a considerably better job than Boris Johnson in various metrics and policy areas.”
“However, it’s easy for Sunak to be liked right now. He’s been relatively untarnished by any of the controversies that have dogged the government and the Prime Minister recently, but his popularity could quickly fall if he were to ever get the top job, amid a cost of living crisis and repaying the vast expense of his support measures to get the country through the pandemic.”