April 21, 2022

Sunak Drops Below Johnson On Favourability Ratings

Author:
Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director
This does, however, mark the fifth consecutive month that Starmer is ahead of Johnson on the Best PM metric, having always trailed the Prime Minister until December of last year.

A giant 26 percentage point drop in net favourability for Rishi Sunak makes him less favourable than Boris Johnson, according to the latest April edition of Savanta ComRes' political tracker.

The public reaction to the Chancellor's Spring Statement and controversies over his wife's non-domicile tax status will contribute to the plummeting ratings, although fieldwork for this latest poll concluded before news broke about the Chancellor, and the Prime Minister, being issued with Fixed Penalty Notices in regards to Partygate.


Previously, the Chancellor had never had a negative net favourability rating in a Savanta ComRes poll, and had once benefitted from a positive rating as high as +30 (July & September 2020).

By contrast, the Prime Minister’s favourability rating has increased for the third successive month, closer now to his pre-Partygate score of -14. The impact of being issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice, however, remains to be seen.

The picture in the headline Westminster Voting Intention, though, remains virtually unchanged with Labour static on 40% of the vote for the second consecutive week, while the Conservative vote share increases by one percentage point from 33% to 34%.

The Best Prime Minister ratings also remains virtually changed, with both Boris Johnson (35%) and Keir Starmer (36%) up one point each at the expense of ‘Don’t know’.

This does, however, mark the fifth consecutive month that Starmer is ahead of Johnson on the Best PM metric, having always trailed the Prime Minister until December of last year.

Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes says,

“While the Partygate fines may have changed the headline here, in that the Prime Minister’s favourability may too have taken a tumble had fieldwork been delayed another week, the fact we’ve seen such a drop in favourability during a tumultuous month for the Chancellor ultimately points to the fact that all public goodwill he may have built up during the pandemic has all but evaporated. For context, even during the Partygate scandal, the PM’s favourability took two months to drop by a similar margin.”

“Of course, the Partygate scandal was leaked over a longer period, while a Christmas recess and the fact that Sunak has simply a greater height from which to fall will contribute to these numbers, a 26pt drop in one month feels unprecedented – and had it been conducted after being issued a Fixed Penalty Notice, it could have been even more severe.”


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