PM’s approval rating falls during covid-19 crisis and Starmer is becoming leader ‘in waiting’ - poll

10 June 2020, 15:48

Keir Starmer's popularity is increasing
Keir Starmer's popularity is increasing. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Boris Johnson's approval rating continues to fall amid his handling of the coronavirus crisis, a new poll has claimed.

But while the Prime Minister's points fall, his Labour rival Sir Keir Starmer's ratings have risen, and 40 per cent of Brits say they now see him as a "Prime Minister-in-waiting" - a rise of eight per cent from last month.

And according to the new figures released by YouGov, the government's rating on how it has dealt with coronavirus has fallen for a fifth week in a row.

Just 32 per cent now say they approve of the government’s performance, compared to 49 per cent who say they disapprove.

Mr Johnson's personal approval ratings have also taken a dive, with 50 per cent of those asked saying they think he is doing a "bad job" as Prime Minister.

However, Boris Johnson's popularity has continued to fall
However, Boris Johnson's popularity has continued to fall. Picture: PA
The government's approval rating has fallen for five weeks running
The government's approval rating has fallen for five weeks running. Picture: YouGov

43 per cent said they thought he was doing a good job, down from 57 per cent a month ago.

Sir Keir's popularity has seen a rise since he took over as Labour leader in April. 48 per cent of those asked now think he is doing a good job in the position, compared with 40 per cent a month ago.

But his popularity seems to be above that of the party he leads. Just 26 per cent think Labour are ready for government, compared to 51 per cent who still think they aren’t.

Earlier today, Sir Keir demanded Mr Johnson "took responsibility for his own failings" on Covid-19 following the "mess" over pupils returning to school.

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Speaking during Prime Minister's Questions, the Labour leader told MPs that parents have "lost confidence" in the Government's schools plan and millions of children could miss six months' worth of education.

After the Prime Minister claimed he had tried to reach consensus with Sir Keir over the issue, the Opposition leader shot back "let's have this out" before explaining the pair have not spoken one-on-one about his idea for a "national taskforce" to find a way forward.

50 per cent of adults asked said they think Mr Johnson is doing a bad job
50 per cent of adults asked said they think Mr Johnson is doing a bad job. Picture: PA

Mr Johnson later accused Sir Keir of being unsure over whether schools are not safe enough or should be reopened quicker and encouraged him to speak to "his friends in the left-wing trade unions" to help get schools ready.

The Government has been forced to admit defeat over its desire for all primary pupils in England to attend classes before the summer break, and is working to bring back as many pupils as possible in September.

Children in nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in England began returning to primary school last week but some schools argued they do not have enough space on site to admit all eligible pupils.