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Both main party leaders have seen their ratings decline since the last conference season – Corbyn’s more May’s

October 4th, 2018

Corbyn needs to turn things round for LAB to have a chance

The end of the Party Conference season is a good time to look back at the past year through the prism of the Ipsos MORI leader satisfaction ratings. This is part of the longest running polling series in the UK and is now in its fifth decade.

As can be seen from the chart both leaders have experienced a marked decline in the levels of satisfaction over the past year but the one that has suffered the most is Mr Corbyn.

It’s very easy to seek to correlate numbers like this with specific events and I am a great believer in the maxim – don’t confuse correlation with causation. But there’s little doubt that things turned for the Labour leader in March which saw the Salisbury attacks and Corbyn’s responses to that together with the emergence of anti-semitism as a big issue in the Labour Party.

At the moment it looks as though Corbyn will be the one of the two who will still be in place at the next general election with a large consensus within the Conservative Party that Mrs May will step down at some stage after Brexit next year.

We should expect any new leader and Prime Minister to get something of a ratings honeymoon as all the focus will be on him or her for the first few months. Remember what happened in 2007/8 to Gordon Brown during his first few months at Number 10.

I don’t need to remind PBers that I put a lot more trust in ratings than I do in voting intention polls when you are actually asking respondees not for an opinion but an indication of what they might do in a few years time.

Mike Smithson