Following the Bank of England rate announcement raising rates to a 15-year high, Opinium’s latest poll has found that the majority (58%) of the public think that the UK economy will worsen over the next year, compared to only 15% who think it will improve.
26% of voters say they are already struggling financially with 24% of mortgage holders and 43% of renters saying this. Meanwhile almost all are feeling the pinch, with 92% saying the cost of living and the cost of groceries has gone up. (92%). Additionally, over four fifths (85%) say that there has been a rise in energy bills and (81%) council tax.
Labour makes significant gains while Sunak’s approval slips to all time low
Compared to a fortnight ago, Labour has made gains with 44% of the vote (+3) with the Conservatives on 26% (-3). Reform UK has risen slightly to 10% of the vote (+3) whilst the Lib Dems have dropped to 8% (-3), and the SNP to 2% (-1). The Green party sees no change, with 7%.
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When looking at approval ratings, Keir Starmer leads Rishi Sunak on the “best prime minister” question by 30% to 22% for Rishi Sunak. 24% approve of Sunak’s performance as prime minister with 47% disapproving, giving him a net rating of -23%, the worse we have recorded for him. Keir Starmer remains on -7 with 30% approving and 36% disapproving (-7 is due to rounding).
Voters believe the UK economic situation is worse than other countries’
When we ask whether the economic situation in the UK is better or worse than some comparable countries, in all cases the public returned a negative score, meaning that more say the UK’s situation is worse than the other country than say it is better. 31% think the UK economic situation is worse than that of the US with 19% believing it is better, giving a net score of -12%. This is similar for France, Australia and Germany. Figures are slightly less bad when we ask about Italy, Ireland and Poland but still net negative.
Adam Drummond, head of political and social research at Opinium said, “The Bank of England’s rate rise is a stark reminder of why the Conservatives are currently favourites for the opposition benches next year.
“By the end of 2023 about 1.4 million households will see their fixed rates come to an end and, just in the last two months, Labour’s lead among mortgage holders has grown from 20 to 30 points. It’s hard to see this situation improving, especially when voters blame the government (39%) and the Truss/Kwarteng mini-budget (30%) to a far greater degree than the Bank of England (14%).
“The fact that a third of those who voted Conservative in 2019 blame the mini-budget shows how Truss and Kwarteng have managed to make the Tories synonymous with an economic storm that is unlikely to clear before the next election.”