Polls ‘do not point to re-election’ for Conservatives

Conservative polling numbers “do not point to re-election” despite Rishi Sunak’s personal popularity, a pollster has said.

The Prime Minister’s favourability ratings deteriorated slightly in November, according to pollster Ipsos, but he remains only just behind Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in terms of personal popularity.

Some 29% of people said they had a favourable opinion of Mr Sunak, down from 34% in October, while 39% said they had an unfavourable view, only slightly up from 38%.

The poll of 1,000 British adults, carried out between November 25 and 28, found 32% said they had a favourable opinion of Sir Keir and 38% saying they had an unfavourable one.

The Labour leader had recorded a net positive favourability rating in October for the first time in almost two years, but the November poll suggested he had slipped back slightly.

However, Mr Sunak’s personal popularity did not translate into significant support for the Conservative Party.

More than half the public said they had an unfavourable opinion of the Tories, while only 20% said they had a favourable one – the same proportion that backed the party in October.

In contrast, Labour had a net favourability rating of only -1, with 37% backing the party and 38% opposed.

Adding to Mr Sunak’s problems was the finding that 62% of people thought the country was heading in the wrong direction while only 14% thought the opposite.

Keiran Pedley, director of politics at Ipsos UK, said: “These numbers show the extent of Rishi Sunak’s challenge as he seeks to win the Conservatives a fifth consecutive term in office at the next general election.

“Whilst his own personal poll ratings are solid and comparable to his opposite number Keir Starmer, 6 in 10 Britons think things are heading in the wrong direction and a majority are unfavourable towards the Conservative Party itself – numbers that do not point to re-election for the governing party.”