With all available evidence suggesting that Liz Truss will be unveiled as the new Conservative leader on Monday, Opinium’s latest poll shows that her ratings among people who voted Conservative in the 2019 general election have plunged over the course of August.
Three in ten (31%) 2019 Conservative voters agree that Liz Truss is ‘principled’ while 35% disagree, giving her a net score of -4%. By comparison at the beginning of August her net score on this measure was +29%.
The pattern is similar across all of Opinium’s leadership attributes with the biggest falls being “has similar views to my own” (from +26% to -16%) and “looks like a prime minister in waiting” (+28% to -11%).
Opinium has tracked her ratings since the leadership contest came down to the final two candidates, and while Truss saw a spike in support for these characteristics at the start of August, these latest figures show a sharp fall across the board:
|NET agreement that Liz Truss is each of the following, among 2019 Conservative voters|
|Liz Truss||20th July poll||3rd August poll||31st August poll|
|Gets things done||+26%||+42%||+5%|
|Is a strong leader||+13%||+29%||-4%|
|Looks like PM in waiting||+5%||+28%||-11%|
|In touch with ordinary people||+15%||+24%||-12%|
|Has similar views to my own||+9%||+26%||-16%|
Among current Conservative voters, however, Truss comes out as net positive across all of the above measures but that pool is substantially smaller than the 44% who voted for the party in 2019.
Truss’s lead over Sunak as the preferred PM choice of 2019 Tories has also shrunk from 7 points (34% to 27%) in our last poll two weeks ago to just 2 points this week (30% to 28%) while her lead among current Conservative voters remains largely unchanged, 41% (-2) vs. 31% for Sunak (no change).
In terms of voting intention, Labour currently leads by 4 points with 38% of the vote share (-4 since 17th August), while the Conservatives are +3 with 34%.
When asked who would make the best Prime Minister between Truss and Keir Starmer, 29% of the public chose Starmer (-2 since 17th August) compared to 20% who chose Truss (-3). The most popular choice was ‘none of these’ with 37% (+5). If choosing between Starmer and Sunak, 29% picked Starmer (no change) while 21% chose Sunak (-2). This time 36% selected ‘none of these’ (no change).
When respondents were asked who the best Prime Minister would be between the current leadership candidates, 24% chose Sunak (+2) and 17% picked Truss (-2).
James Crouch, head of policy and public affairs at Opinium, said, “If Liz Truss becomes Prime Minister on Monday, this will be because she caught the interest of Conservatives at a pivotal point in the campaign.
“However, she will arrive in Downing Street with much of that initial enthusiasm on the wane, seen even by Conservatives as out of touch and with unpopular views.
While all we can say for certain is that views on Liz Truss remain highly volatile, if she becomes Prime Minister she will be hoping dearly for a polling bounce that will cushion what is likely to be a very difficult first few months in office.”
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