Just how unpopular is Liz Truss's government?

Prime Minister Liz Truss during a visit to Berkeley Modular in Northfleet Kent, to coincide with the Government's new Growth Plan. Picture date: Friday September 23, 2022.
Much of the public are yet to make up their minds about the new prime minister (PA Images)

Less than a month into her job as prime minister, Liz Truss is facing a crash in the value of the pound, soaring inflation, rising interest rates and a looming recession.

Just two days after entering Number 10, Truss revealed her £60 billion plan to help keep energy bills down amid a cost of living crisis, but her long awaited proposal was overshadowed by the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Now the government is facing criticism from the International Monetary Fund over its raft of tax cuts revealed by chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, which disproportionately benefit the rich.

The Treasury said this would be paid for by a ramping up of public borrowing, which left investors spooked and prompted a crash in the pound, which is expected to add to the UK's crippling inflation.

Foreign currency exchange rates are displayed in Fleet Street for the benefit of travellers to the UK, on 27th September 2022, in London, England. The exchange rates for US Dollars almost reached parity this week, in the aftermath of volatile money and wider financial markets caused by Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-budget last Friday. (Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's tax and borrowing plans have fuelled a crash in the pound. (Getty Images)

On top of that, on Wednesday the Bank of England launched an emergency government bond-buying programme to prevent borrowing costs from spiralling out of control and stave off a “material risk to UK financial stability”.

Truss certainly has a lot on her plate since becoming the UK's fourth prime minister in a little over six years, but what do the British public think of her and her government so far?

According to polling by Ipsos conducted from 7 to 15 September 2022, 70% of the public are dissatisfied with how the new government is preforming, while just 20% think it is doing a good job.

As for Truss herself, many voters are yet to make their minds up.

Some 44% of the survey's participants said they couldn't decide if she was doing well, compared to 29% who are dissatisfied with how she is doing and 27% who are satisfied.

Read more: Close friend of Liz Truss says: 'You won't like this budget if you care about the poor'

Polling on Liz Truss' approval in her early weeks as prime minister carried out by Ipsos, graphic made by Yahoo News
The outlook for Liz Truss is uncertain, as much of the public are undecided on her performance. (Yahoo News)

How does this compare to other prime ministers?

Truss has the lowest approval ratings of the UK's most recent PMs who have taken office mid-parliament.

According to pollsters, 31% of the public were satisfied with Boris Johnson as he started as prime minister, compared with 27% for his successor.

Theresa May enjoyed a 54% approval rating in her early days, compared to 36% for Gordon Brown and 37% for John Major.

Polling on Liz Truss' approval in her early weeks as prime minister carried out by Ipsos, graphic made by Yahoo News
Ms Truss is less popular than her prefecessors when they first entered No 10. (Yahoo News)

Read more: Liz Truss dismisses Vladimir Putin's nuclear warning as 'bogus threat'

What about a general election?

The latest Westminster polling figures make for grim reading for Truss.

According to the latest data from YouGov, 45% of voters would back Labour in a general election, compared to 28% who would back the Tories. This represents a severe hit to the Conservatives’ numbers since Kwarteng revealed his mini budget.

On specific issues, Ipsos polling foundvoters had more trust in Labour to manage Brexit, tackle the cost of living, set the right level of taxation and improve the NHS, reduce inequality between regions and protect the environment.

Labour was also in the lead on managing immigration and reducing crime - issues often seen as natural territory of the Conservative Party.

The only two issues the Tories were leading on was managing inflation and growing the economy.

Polling on Liz Truss' government's approval in her early weeks as prime minister carried out by Ipsos, graphic made by Yahoo News
Labour is leading on many issues and are also currently ahead in Westminster voting intention polls. (Yahoo News)

Keiran Pedley, Director of Politics at Ipsos UK, said: “With the Conservatives ahead on growing the economy and managing inflation and Labour ahead on the cost of living, NHS and levelling-up, we can see the contours of a potential future general election campaign in these numbers.

"Meanwhile, whilst there is no obvious sign of a significant polling bounce for Liz Truss in the numbers here, they are an improvement on her predecessor’s final numbers.

"The new Prime Minister will hope that recent events mean that her political honeymoon is delayed rather than denied; as we head into what is likely to be a challenging winter."