The latest Ipsos Political Monitor, taken 19 to 23 July 2023, asked the public whether past Prime Ministers going back to Margaret Thatcher had changed Britain for better or worse during their time in office.
They were also asked if they thought current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak would end up changing Britain for better or worse by the time of the next general election.
The Ipsos Political Monitor found:
- 72% think Liz Truss changed things for the worse and just 5% said better.
- Just over 6 in 10 (62%) said Boris Johnson changed things for the worse, (25%) better.
- The public were more likely to think Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair had changed things for the better than worse. 46% said Mrs Thatcher changed things for the better during her time in office (37% worse) with 42% saying Blair changed things for the better and 36% saying worse.
- This was also true of John Major (26% better, 19% worse) but a majority said neither or don’t know.
- Overall, 24% expect Rishi Sunak to change Britain for the better by the time of the next general election and 38% say worse. 35% think he will have made Britian neither better nor worse.
Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos, said, “Rishi Sunak’s last two successors continue to cast a shadow with most Britons judging them to have changed the country for the worse over their tenure – especially Liz Truss, who is the only premier for whom a majority of their own supporters are also critical.
“But it’s also notable that none of the Prime Ministers who have been in power since the financial crash, from Gordon Brown onwards, receive a net positive rating. Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair get the best scores from the public for the impact that they had, although even for them there is a sharp partisan divide.
“Expectations for Rishi Sunak are not quite as pessimistic as people’s judgements when looking back over more recent PMs, but they are still pretty tepid, with only 1 in 4 expecting him to have changed the country for the better by the time of the next election.
“Young people are the most pessimistic, but even among the Conservatives’ own 2019 voters less than half think he will improve things.”