Two months into his role as leader of the opposition, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is achieving satisfaction ratings comparable to Tony Blair and David Cameron both of whom went on to reach Number 10 from opposition.
However, Boris Johnson is still narrowly seen as a more capable PM and the Conservatives maintain a slender poll lead over Labour, although after a fall from the last Ipsos MORI political monitor taken pre-lockdown in March, before Starmer became Labour leader.
Keir Starmer vs past leaders of the opposition
- 51% of Britons are satisfied with the Labour leader, 20% dissatisfied. 29% don’t know. 77% of Labour voters are satisfied with him.
- Starmer’s overall ‘net satisfaction score’ of +31 matches the best score achieved by Tony Blair in opposition of +31 in Dec 1994 and +30 in March 1995.
- David Cameron’s best net satisfaction score (+23) was achieved in April 2009, a similar number of Britons indicated satisfaction with Cameron then (52%) compared to Starmer now but more were dissatisfied with Cameron (29%) at the time and fewer said don’t know (19%).
- The best net ratings for Labour or Conservative opposition leaders who did not go on to be Prime Minister tended to come at the beginning of their tenure when they were less well known. The exception is Jeremy Corbyn, who achieved his best rating as Labour leader just after the 2017 General Election.