Rishi Sunak's popularity slumps in new poll as Keir Starmer overtakes him as 'most capable PM'

30 January 2023, 14:37

Rishi Sunak is trailing Sir Keir Starmer in a new poll
Rishi Sunak is trailing Sir Keir Starmer in a new poll. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Rishi Sunak's popularity has plummeted, according to a new poll that shows Sir Keir Starmer is now seen as the more capable leader of the country.

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Some 32% of people in the UK believe Conservative Mr Sunak has the right qualities to be a good Prime Minister, down ten percentage points from November, according to a poll by Ipsos Mori.

Compounding the bad news for Mr Sunak, 43% of people disagree that he has what it takes to be a good leader, an increase of nine points.

It comes amid a wave of recent political issues that have buffeted Mr Sunak, who only became Prime Minister since October.

Most recently he has fired Tory chairman Nadhim Zahawi after he breached the ministerial code over a tax issue, but was criticised for reappointing him in the first place.

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak. Picture: Getty

Mr Sunak is also under pressure over a series of bullying claims against his deputy Dominic Raab, and has come under pressure amid a series of public sector strikes over pay disputes.

And he is now trailing Sir Keir as the most popular candidate to be Prime Minister. Some 39% of people see the Labour leader as the more effective PM according to the poll, which was commissioned by the Evening Standard.

Some 55% of people polled said they were dissatisfied with the Prime Minister, compared to 49% in December. Just 26% are satisfied, down from 28% in the previous poll.

For Sir Keir, 37% are satisfied and 40% are dissatisfied.

Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Getty

Meanwhile 44% say they don't know what Sir Keir stands for, compared to 40% for Mr Sunak.

Labour remain well ahead in general, with 51% backing them at the next election. Some 26% will vote for the Conservatives, according to the pollsters.

Only 20% of people agree that the government is competent, with 62% disagreeing. Two thirds think it's time for a change of government at the next general election.

Some 40% of Tory voters think it's time for change, while 53% disagree.

Caller says Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak aren't 'particularly different to each other'.

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos UK, said: “The public remain sceptical about how effectively the Government can deliver on their main concerns on public services, the economy and cost of living, and now the Prime Minister’s own ratings are also slipping.

Read more: Rishi Sunak says there is no 'magic wand' to solve NHS pay dispute

Read more: Sunak allies vow new 'zero-tolerance' toward errant ministers as friends of Zahawi bemoan 'no fair trial'

“Combined with much less apprehension about the prospect of a Labour government than in 2019, this is all helping to create a sense among Britons that it is time for a change.

“However, there are also areas for Labour to be wary of; Keir Starmer still has more to do to define what he stands for.”