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The Northern Ireland Brexit agreement won’t rescue Rishi Sunak in the polls

In his latest coverage for The Independent, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta, shares his viewpoint on whether Rishi Sunak's successful Brexit agreement for Northern Ireland alters public perceptions of his party.

Chris Hopkins Political Research Director 01/03/2023
For every feeling that Sunak’s achieved something great in terms of diplomacy, the impact on those that could actually vote for him is negligible.

Rishi Sunak appears to have made the impossible, possible: he’s secured a Brexit deal that, so far at least, has satisfied all involved.

The so-called Windsor Framework appears to have satisfied the UK government that proposed it, the European Union, and the Eurosceptic ERG group of Conservative backbenchers, while opposition parties have indicated they’d vote it through Parliament. The final frontier will be the approval of Northern Ireland’s largest unionist party, the DUP, although I’m sure we’d have heard a lot more negativity from their leader and MPs if the framework was unworkable from the outset.

The sheer complexity of the framework makes the public reaction to it difficult to poll. However, in terms of a snap reaction, we can see that there is broad public support for Sunak’s solution, with Leavers and Remainers equally likely to support it.

This is the clear leader in the clubhouse for Sunak’s greatest success as Prime Minister so far, and at the end of his tenure will perhaps be seen as the greatest success of his premiership full stop.

Attention will now likely turn to what boost, if any, this framework will bring to Sunak’s ailing poll ratings.

You can read the full article as seen in The Independent here.

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