Following a week of scrutiny for Rishi and his wife, the Chancellor’s approval rating has dropped by a further 3 points to 28% (-3), while his disapproval rating rises to over 43% (+8), giving him a record low net approval rating of -15), according to Opinium’s latest poll.
As a result, Sunak is now only slightly less unpopular than the prime minister – with Boris Johnson’s approval rating dropping to 27% (-1), while his disapproval rating rises by 1 point to 53%, giving a net approval rating of -26 (-2).
When it comes to voting intention, Labour now have a lead of 4 points, with 38% of the vote share (no change) while the Conservatives drop to 34% (-2).
With energy prices skyrocketing this month, nearly four fifths (78%) appear to be in favour of wind farms / turbines taking place in the UK, followed by 44% favouring nuclear power stations and a third (32%) preferring gas power stations.
Coalmining and coal power stations are both looked upon relatively unfavourably, with over two fifths (44%) opposing them both in the UK. Shale gas drilling / fracking is also unpopular, with over 42% opposing this method.
When asked how they would feel a source of energy was built nearby, nearly 7 in 10 (67%) said they would be in favour of wind farms / turbines being built in their local area. However, there was less support for other sources of energy, with just under a third (31%) saying they would be in favour of a nuclear power stations being built nearby and under a quarter (23%) being in favour of gas power stations.
When it comes to tax, just under two-thirds (63%) think the level of taxation in the UK is too high, with only 5% thinking it is too low.
Two fifths (38%) think the level of government spending in the UK is high, with only a quarter (25%) thinking it is low.
When asked to select three priorities for the Chancellor in the current climate, over half (53%) chose reducing the levels of poverty, while 44% chose improving wages and take-home pay and over a 36% chose reducing taxes.
James Crouch, Head of Policy & Public Affairs at Opinium said, “The change in Rishi Sunak’s fortunes is a big reminder that no politician, no matter how popular, can take their public support for granted.
“Over the course of 2021 we saw the chancellor’s popularity slowly ebb away, but in a few weeks he has seen his ratings fall so low he is almost as unpopular as his neighbour in Downing Street. Both No 10 and No 11 will be in need of a fightback plan this year.”