Opinium’s latest poll reveals Labour’s lead has risen to 15-points, as the party’s share of the vote rises 1 point to 41%.
The Conservatives continue to trail behind with 26% (n/c), whilst the Liberal Democrats have 11% (+1) of the vote share and Reform UK have 9% (-1). The Green Party vote share remains the same at 7%.
Rushi Sunak’s approval rating remains poor, with 24% approving and 47% disapproving (-4). We see a small recovery in Keir Starmer’s approval rating, with 29% approving (n/c) and 34% disapproving (-3).
The ratings for who the public believe would make the best Prime Minister have narrowed slightly, with Starmer still in the lead on 27%, compared to 24% who would pick Rushi Sunak – compared to 28% for Starmer and 23% for Sunak a fortnight ago.
There is scope for considerable movement in vote share before the next election, with many voters not having fully made up their minds at this point in time.
Over half (55%) of those who intend to vote think there is a chance they will change their mind before the next election, and only 45% of voters say they have completely made up their mind on who to vote for.
Just over half (54%) of current Labour voters think they “will definitely vote for this party and won’t change their mind before the election”, with 46% believing there is a small (36%) or good (10%) chance they will change their mind.
Current Conservative voters are less certain of their vote choice; 44% are sure they won’t change their mind, but 56% say there is a small (39%) or good (17%) chance they will change their minds.
Current Liberal Democrat voters are even more unlikely to be certain of their vote. Only around a quarter (27%) say they will definitely vote for the Liberal Democrats, while 73% say there is a small (51%) or good chance (22%) they may vote for another party.
When asking former Conservative voters what the government would need to do for them to consider voting Conservative again, the key answers revolved around immigration, health, and inflation:
- Reduce illegal immigration to the UK (such as the small boats) – 39%
- Cut NHS waiting times / backlogs – 39%
- Cut inflation and reduce the cost-of-living generally – 32%
- Improve UK energy security and reduce energy/fuel costs – 24%
Only a fifth (20%) said nothing would make them consider voting for the Conservatives again, adding to the notion that there is a large portion of ex Tory voters who are open to considering the party again if they can respond to these challenges.
Similarly, of former Conservatives who would consider voting for the Conservatives again, only 16% think a Labour government led by Keir Stamer would be better at achieving these priorities than the current government, and almost three quarters (63%) think a Labour government led by Keir Stamer would not be any better.
Tory hopes sail away after stop the boats week
Following the government’s ‘stop the boats’ week, immigration has overtaken energy and power as one of the top 3 issues facing the country for the first time this year.
The top three issues are health / NHS (63%), the economy (50%), and now immigration (33%). Energy / power (29%) is now in fourth place as one of the most important issues facing the UK, followed by housing and house prices (21%).
Despite small boats week increasing the salience of immigration as a key issue from 29% to 33%, Labour’s lead on it has increased from 6 points to 8 points – with 29% now saying they’d trust a Starmer Labour government on immigration, vs 21% for a Sunak Conservative government.
James Crouch, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Opinium said, “The Conservative focus on small boats this week appears to have worked… to an extent.
“The public now see immigration as a top three issue, moving above energy (although even if the weather is rubbish, it is still summer). Reducing illegal immigration is also joint top of the list for former Conservative voters when we ask what could sway their vote back to the Tories.
“However, as if to illustrate the dangers of raising the salience of an issue you are not fully in control of, while more people say immigration is an important issue this week, Labour’s lead on the issue has also increased, as has their general lead on share of the vote.”