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Starmer’s top team more popular with public than Sunak’s

by LLB political Reporter
23rd May 24 11:27 am

Labour leader Keir Starmer’s top team of prospective senior ministers are significantly more popular with the public than Rishi Sunak’s senior team, as both main parties gear up for a general election campaign.

New research from Savanta (17-19 May) suggests that across the Labour and Conservative politicians who are vying to be the next Prime Minister, Chancellor of Exchequer, Foreign and Home Secretaries, Labour’s Shadow Ministers are much more well-liked by the UK public than their Conservative counterparts:

  • Starmer has a net favourability of +1, compared to Sunak’s -22 – the largest gap between two comparable senior politicians
  • Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has a net favourability of +1, with 22% saying Don’t Know, compared with Jeremy Hunt’s -15 with 10% saying Don’t Know
  • Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has a net favourability of -1, with 24% saying Don’t Know, compared with James Cleverly’s -11 with 22% saying Don’t Know
  • Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy has a net favourability of -6, with 28% saying Don’t Know compared with David Cameron’s -13, the smallest gap between two comparable roles. Only 5% say ‘Don’t Know’ to the former Prime Minister

Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner (-2) and Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting (-2) have some of the highest net favourability scores among those Savanta tracks.

The lowest ranked politicians among Savanta’s regular favourability tracking were Donald Trump (-40) and Liz Truss (-42), suggesting both would be a liability for the Conservatives in a general election campaign.

When asked their view of ‘the government in general’, the net favourability score among the public is -28.

Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta said, “The Prime Minister already had a mountain to climb in this election, with a massive polling deficit and Labour leading them on every policy issue. On top of this, Sunak himself is hugely unpopular with the public, and based on our research, so are his most senior ministers.”

“Every single one of those currently filling a ‘great office of state’ is much less liked by the public than their Labour counterparts. The only saving grace for the Conservatives is that Labour Shadow Ministers are comparatively unknown to the public, and the government’s hope will be the more the public are exposed to them through the campaign, the more they will dislike them.”

“Our findings suggest the only person who would be less welcome than Donald Trump for the Conservatives in a general election campaign would be former Conservative Prime Minister, Liz Truss.”

Savanta’s research suggests that Keir Starmer is more popular among men (+6) and under 35’s (+19), compared to women (-4) and +55’s (-18). He is much more well-liked by Remain voters (+23) than those who say they voted Leave in the 2016 EU referendum (-23).

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