Home Business News March political tracker sees favourability boost for the Prime Minister

March political tracker sees favourability boost for the Prime Minister

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
19th Mar 21 2:40 pm

The latest wave of Savanta ComRes’ monthly Political Tracker will be encouraging for Boris Johnson (+3%) and the Government (0%) with both seeing rises in their net favourability ratings. This is Johnson’s highest favourability rating since last May where he scored +15%, and the Government’s highest since last June (+1%).

Boris Johnson also sees a slight improvement in our ‘best PM’ rating, up 1pt from last month to 44%, while Sir Keir Starmer is unchanged on 27%, and those who say that they don’t know is down 1pt to 29%.

Favourability ratings: Changes in brackets from Feb 2021

Boris Johnson +3% (+5)
UK Government 0% (+2)
Sir Keir Starmer -7% (-3)
Rishi Sunak +18% (+1)
Matt Hancock -5% (-2)
Dominic Raab -4% (-1)
Priti Patel -17% (-2)
Sir Ed Davey -7% (-1)

As with his favourability rating, Boris Johnson appears to be turning the tide somewhat on the proportion of those who say that they dislike both him and his policies. Although three in ten still say this for this month (30%), it is a 6pt drop from January (36%).

Conversely, Sir Keir Starmer continues to appear to struggle in cutting-through with the electorate as his favourability rating slides to -7%, down 3pts since last month’s tracker. This is further evidenced by the proportion who say that they dislike both him and his policies (27%), which is 5pts higher than the first wave of our Political Tracker, last May. The Leader of the Opposition may take some consolation in the fact that the proportion of those who say that they ‘don’t know’ in relation to him and his policies has fallen 9pts since last May, although remains high at 28% for this month.

Leader & their policies: Boris Johnson vs Sir Keir Starmer 

  Johnson Starmer
Like both leader & their policies 29% 18%
Like leader but dislike policies 16% 16%
Like policies but dislike leader 9% 10%
Dislike both 30% 27%
Don’t know 15% 28%

It is a similar story for our tracker of the public’s like or dislike of the Leaders and their parties. As with his ‘leader & policies’ rating, three in ten say that they dislike both Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party (29%), but this is 6pts lower than the proportion who said the same in January (35%).

Again, Sir Keir Starmer’s ‘leader and party’ rating is moving in the opposite direction, with over a quarter saying that they dislike both him and the Labour Party for March (27%), level with February (27%), but up 4pts since we began tracking last May (23%).

For a Labour Leader tipped to change the party when he took the reigns last year, Starmer will be worried to see a steady increase in those who say that they dislike him but like the Labour Party (13% now vs 9% last May), and a decrease in those who say that they like him but dislike the Labour Party (17% now vs 20% last May).

Leader & their party: Boris Johnson vs Sir Keir Starmer

  Johnson Starmer
Like both leader & party 27% 17%
Like leader but dislike party 16% 17%
Like party but dislike leader 9% 13%
Dislike both 29% 27%
Don’t know 18% 25%

On a personal level, over a quarter (27%) say that Johnson is ‘charismatic’, with just one in ten saying the same for Starmer (10%). A similar proportion say that Johnson and Starmer are ‘intelligent’ (27% vs 26%), ‘genuine (16% vs 17%), and ‘trustworthy’ (13% vs 13%).

Starmer and the Labour Party will be please to see that a higher proportion say that he ‘understands ordinary people’ (18%), 5pts higher than the proportion who say the same of Boris Johnson (13%).

Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “With even Sir Keir Starmer admitting that the Conservatives are experiencing a ‘vaccine bounce’, it will come as little surprise that our Political Tracker paints a good picture for Boris Johnson and his Party. How long this can be maintained remains to be seen, but with Scottish and local elections, as well as the sure-to-be hotly-contested Hartlepool by-election looming, the Government may feel quietly confident of upsetting the apple-cart.”

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