Keir Starmer sees jump in voters saying Labour ready for Government as he leads Sunak as 'best PM', new poll

Sir Keir Starmer has seen a jump in the number of Britons saying Labour is ready for Government, according to a new poll with just a month to go before the July 4 polling day.

The exclusive Ipsos survey for The Standard showed nearly half of adults, 47 per cent, say Labour is ready for Government, up eight points since May.

It is Labour’s equal best score under Sir Keir, equal best since Labour went into Opposition in 2010, and the same level as David Cameron got in April 2010, shortly before becoming Prime Minister.

A third, 34 per cent, disagree that Labour is ready for Government, down three points since May.

The poll was published as a fierce row was raging over whether senior Tories had told “lies” over their party’s claim that Labour would hit households with a £2,000 tax hike, though the fieldwork was done beforehand.

It also came after the first TV showdown debate between Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir and following Nigel Farage’s U-turn to become Reform UK leader.

Other key findings:

* Labour has a 20-point lead over the Conservatives, on 43 per cent, compared to the Tories on 23 per cent, Green Party and Reform UK both on nine per cent, and Liberal Democrats eight per cent.

* Sir Keir maintains his clear lead over Mr Sunak as the “most capable Prime Minister” by 46 per cent to 22 per cent, compared to 44 per cent to 22 per cent last month.

* But nearly half of adults, 49 per cent still say they do not know what the Labour leader stands for, with only 32 per cent disagreeing, both figures little changed since February. The respective figures for Mr Sunak are 41 per cent, down five points, and 38 per cent, similar to February.

* Two thirds (67 per cent) do not think the Conservatives deserve to be re-elected (up one point since May), with only 20 per cent saying they do (up six points since May).

* Eighty-three per cent are dissatisfied with the Government, 73 per cent with Mr Sunak’s performance as PM, and 52 per cent with Sir Keir as Labour leader.

Gideon Skinner, Senior Director of UK Politics at Ipsos, said: “The fundamentals in public opinion are still shoring up Labour’s strong lead as the 2024 election campaign starts in earnest.

“Concern about health care, the economy, cost of living and immigration are voters’ top issues, in head-to-heads Keir Starmer has a clear lead over Rishi Sunak on key leader attributes, and no Prime Minister or government has started an election campaign with worse satisfaction ratings since Ipsos started measuring public opinion just before Margaret Thatcher’s first election victory.

“This means the public are increasingly open to the prospect of a Labour government.

“However the public’s choice this time seems to be less driven by the leaders themselves than in previous elections, with neither seen as having a strong personal brand, and Keir Starmer still needing to tell a more convincing story to voters over what he would stand for in government.”

Sir Keir continues to lead the PM on key leader image metrics including being a capable leader (34 per cent to 21 per cent), sound judgement (31 per cent to 21 per cent), understanding Britain’s problems (48 per cent to 23 per cent), being patriotic (44 per cent to 39 per cent), gives me confidence for Britain’s future (25 per cent to 13 per cent), more honest than most politicians (27 per cent to 18 per cent), and a good representative for Britain on the world stage (33 per cent to 25 per cent).

Three quarters (75 per cent) believe Mr Sunak is out of touch, compared to 40 per cent for Sir Keir, while 42 per cent say the PM is more style than substance, compared to 29 per cent for the Labour leader.

Both party leaders score poorly on being good in a crisis, 23 per cent for Sir Keir and 22 per cent for Mr Sunak, and for having a lot of personality, 20 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.

Tuesday’s ITV debate saw Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer go head to head (Jonathan Hordle/ITV/PA) (PA Media)
Tuesday’s ITV debate saw Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer go head to head (Jonathan Hordle/ITV/PA) (PA Media)

Sir Keir’s ratings have mostly improved since April including being up five points on capable leader, sound judgement, good in a crisis, giving confidence for the future, and patriotic, up 13 points on understanding Britain’s problems, and up eight points on being a good representative for Britain on world stage.

But April itself was a low point for him, so in most cases the scores are just going back to his previous scores.

Mr Sunak also sees some marginal improvements, his biggest being up five points on being patriotic.

He is up four points on sound judgement, and on having a lot of personality.

But his image scores are generally worse than his figures last September.

* Ipsos interviewed 1,014 adults in Britain between May 31 and June 4. Data are weighted. Full details at