The proportion of UK adults who say that Keir Starmer would make the best Prime Minister is at its highest level ever according to the latest wave of Savanta ComRes’ Monthly Political Tracker.
Two in five say the LOTO would make the ‘Best PM’ (39%), up 3pts from last month and 12pts higher than this time last year (27%). Johnson’s rating for Feb (31%) is also up 3pts from the previous month, although 17pts down from a high of 48% in May 2021.
Amongst 2019 Conservative voters, three in five (59%) say that Johnson would make the best PM, although around one in six say that Starmer would be better (18%). After a turbulent few months for the Prime Minister, he’ll be encouraged to see that the proportion of 2019 Conservative voters who say he’d make the best PM is up 8pts from the January wave of our tracker (51%).
Conversely, seven in ten Labour voters (71%) say that Starmer would be the best PM, although one in five say it would be Johnson (19%).
Despite this, Starmer’s Net Favourability rating actually fell by 2pts from last month to -6%, although his score amongst 2019 Labour voters is +34% for this month. Johnson’s score on the other hand sees a 3pt increase from January’s tracker, although the PM’s Net rating is still -34%, a far cry from the +15% he enjoyed when we began tracking in May 2020.
Despite being tipped as one of the most likely candidates to replace Johnson as the next party leader, Rishi Sunak’s Net Favourability has fallen by 7pts from last month to a lowest ever score of +3%. Whilst the score is still positive, it’s worth remembering that the Chancellor’s rating was +17% this time last year, with a high of +30% in September 2020.
Elsewhere in the tracker, almost half of UK adults say that they are pessimistic about the economy in 2022 (46%), with just three in ten saying they feel optimistic about it (30%).
Interestingly though, equal proportions of the public say that they are optimistic (35%) and pessimistic (33%) about their personal finances this year, with those aged 18-34 the most likely group to say that they feel optimistic about it (43%).
Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “It’s always been easy for Sunak to be liked, due to his polished parliamentary performances and pandemic-related giveaways, but that could only last for so long and we are finally seeing him come back to the pack, with a relatively low favourability rating.
I would only expect that to drop further as the cost of living crisis bites, and particularly in April when National Insurance is due to rise, and his supporters may begin to wonder if he’s the candidate to back to replace the Prime Minister in the long-run.”