A third (36%) of 2019 Conservatives say Rishi Sunak is an incompetent Prime Minister, according to new polling from Savanta.
This figure rises to six in ten (58%) among the general population, with just a third (34%) of Brits saying Sunak is a competent PM, rising to six in ten (57%) Conservative voters.
The polling, released ahead of Sunak’s keynote address at Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, also found that incompetence features heavily when voters are asked to describe Sunak in one word.
The word cloud represents a significant change from when Sunak first became Prime Minister, where his wealth dominated voters’ thoughts on him. That word cloud from October 2022 can be viewed here.
On the policy front, the public do not perceive Sunak to have made significant improvements; in fact, they tend to believe many policy areas have gotten worse during his tenure.
Six in ten (56%) say Rishi Sunak has made the NHS worse during his time as Prime Minister, while half (51%) say Labour are best placed to manage health compared to just a quarter (24%) that say the Conservatives.
Just under half (45%) of Brits say Sunak has made control of the UK’s borders worse during his time as PM, while only one in six (17%) say the issue has gotten better. Two fifths (39%) say Labour are best placed to manage immigration, compared to three in ten (29%) that say the Conservatives are.
And while a quarter (24%) say the economy has improved under his leadership – the highest ‘better’ score of all policy areas tested, half (49%) say it has gotten worse, with 2019 Conservatives evenly split on Sunak’s economic success (37% better; 37% worse).
Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta said, “The mood at Conservative conference felt positive to begin with, and Rishi Sunak’s policy pitch to voters was seemingly going down okay. However, this polling indicates what an uphill battle he faces among the general public, who generally view his time as Prime Minister as having an adverse impact on issues to that are important to voters, such as immigration, healthcare and the economy.”
“Sunak’s personal ratings are also poor, and they will need to turn around significantly in the coming months if he’s to stand any chance of remaining in No.10 after the next election.”