58% think Keir Starmer should resign if fined for Covid breaches but 6 in 10 think he should not resign if he is not, whilst Andy Burnham tops the list of potential replacements with the public but few alternatives stand out.
The latest Ipsos Political Monitor, taken May 11-17th, shows 58% of Britons think Labour leader Keir Starmer should resign if he is issued with a fixed penalty notice for breaking Covid laws. However, if he is deemed to have broken Covid guidelines and regulations but not fined, 61% think he should not resign.
Do you think Keir Starmer should or should not resign if the police issue him with a fixed penalty notice fine for breaking Covid laws?
- Should resign 58%
- Should not 36%
- Don’t know 5%
And do you think Keir Starmer should or should not resign, if he is not issued with a fixed penalty notice fine for breaking Covid laws but is found to have broken official guidance and recommendations?
- Should resign 31%
- Should not 61%
- Don’t know 8%
When asked more generally if Labour should change their leader before the next General Election, 37% agree they should (+1 pt from April and unchanged from January this year), 33% disagree (down 2 points from April and down 5 points from 38% in January. The highest score recorded by Keir Starmer on this measure was 50% in June 2021. Starmer’s predecessor Jeremy Corbyn recorded a high of 66% agree in July 2016 and a low of 42% agree in October 2015.
Meanwhile, 55% of Britons think the Conservatives should change their leader before the next General Election and 24% disagree. This is similar to the 55% agree and 26% disagree scores last month. However, in January 61% agreed the Conservatives should change their leader before the next General Election and 23% disagreed. The level of agreement at that time being the highest recorded by Johnson in his time as Prime Minister.
Who might replace Starmer?
When the public are asked who should replace Keir Starmer if he does resign there is no runaway leader with the public. 17% choose Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and 12% choose deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner. More than two in five say none of these or don’t know.
Among Labour supporters Burnham and Rayner are neck and neck but among non-Labour supporters Burnham leads alternatives (although two in five say none of these or don’t know)
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos said, “As far as the public is concerned, whether or not Keir Starmer receives a Fixed Penalty Notice will be crucial to if they think he should resign, but otherwise the ‘beergate’ story has not seen an increase in the numbers who want him to go this month (and are still lower than those for Boris Johnson).
“That may partly reflect that there is not an obvious Labour successor in the public’s eyes (although Andy Burnham has the highest profile), but we also know that this is not the top issue by which voters are judging the leaders – their policies to deal with the cost of living are more important.”
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