Archive for the 'Leader approval ratings' Category


PB GE2019 Analysis: Corbyn’s Satisfaction Ratings at elections

Monday, December 9th, 2019

I’ve written before about Jeremy Corbyn’s personal ratings difficulties, and they did not improve in the following months.

In September and October of 2019, he racked up satisfaction ratings of -60, the lowest any Leader of the Opposition has rated since Ipsos-Mori started polling it in 1977 (snatching the record from Michael Foot). In October that came from satisfied a rating of 15%, the third lowest rating on record (narrowly losing out to William Hague in June of 1997 and Michael Foot in the summer of 1982).

In September he scored a dissatisfaction rating of 76%, which is comfortably the lowest on record since no other LotO has ever gone past 69%. Corbyn has had eight ratings in 2019, the first seven were the seven highest dissatisfaction ratings recorded (his best rating of 68% tied for 10th worst ever). In the latest results collected up to the 4th December he rated at -44 on 24% satisfied, 68% dissatisfied, which was a big improvement for him and the 19th worst rating ever recorded (only Foot and Corbyn have rated worse).

The caveat hanging over Corbyn’s ratings is that during the 2017 election he produced the greatest rise in personal ratings of any election campaign (rising alongside Labour’s poll ratings). His rating in March 2017 (the last one before the election was called) was -41. Shortly before election day he was at -11 (and peaked a month later at -1). Leaders of the Opposition normally show a gain in the four months leading up to an election, but Corbyn’s rise is on a different level to any other on record.

Corbyn’s gain of 30 points in net satisfaction is on a different level to any other gain in, the next highest was +16 in 2015 and 2005 (where unfortunately we don’t have a rating close to the election to see if the rise would have continued). Corbyn’s rise also happened entirely during the election campaign itself which takes it even further out in front.

Corbyn’s October rating of -60 was taken just before the election was called, so he’s starting from 19 points further back than he did in 2019 and had less campaigning time to work with. Here’s a fun table.

Which makes it appear that Corbyn isn’t having as good a campaign as last time, a week out from election day he is rating much lower and improved much less. But what that misses is that in 2017 Theresa May opted for a longer election campaign in 2017 than is taking place in 2019. If we centre the ratings around the date the election was called, we get a somewhat different picture.

Corbyn’s ratings are actually improving at about the same incredible rate as in 2017, but he’s starting from a much lower point and has nine fewer days to work with.

His ratings performance in both his election campaigns is hugely better than his (awful) ratings performances outside of them, but in 2019 he started in a much deeper hole with less time to climb out of it. It leaves him heading into this election with the worst ratings of any leader of the opposition in the last forty years.

Tomas Forsey

Tomas Forsey is a longstanding PBer who posts on PB as Corporeal and tweets as PBcorporeal


The killer polling numbers for Corbyn – the pre election Ipsos-MORI leader ratings

Friday, December 6th, 2019

As I have said repeatedly over the years leader ratings are a better guide to election outcomes than voting intention numbers. The reason is that this form of questioning is what pollsters do best – asking for opinions not seeking to get poll participants to predict whether they might take part in some future event and what they will actually do.

Ipsos-MORI has been doing this in the UK since the late 1970s and has resisted the temptation to mess about with its long term trackers.

The result is that it is able to put together a chart like above and we are comparing like with like.

Assuming Johnson’s Tories do win then he’ll have the distinction of winning with the worst ratings on record. The reason, of course, is that Corbyn has reached record lows for an opposition leader on this metric.

It is extraordinary that he has survived with numbers that surely would have led to a replacement in earlier times.

We are where we are and it is hard to see Corbyn still being in the post a week today.

Corbyn’s net rating of -44 compares to -11 at this stage of the 2017 General Election and a score of -41 at the beginning of that campaign.

Swinson’s satisfaction level has stayed the same since October at 29%. Her problem is that her dissatisfaction numbers have moved from 41% to 51%. Essentially the don’t knows of October have moved against her.

Mike Smithson


Swinson opens up a 28 point ratings gap over Johnson in six London remain seats

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

In deepest Remainia the polling picture is very different

For the last couple of Sundays the former YouGov president, Peter Kellner, has published a total of six constituency polls as part of an effort to examine potential tactical voting possibilities in seats which voted Remain at the referendum. So far all of them have been in London but next weekend we are promised a selection from elsewhere in England.

The voting figures in all six seats have the Tories in the lead with in all but one of them showing much reduced gaps over the LDs compared with the last general election.

As well as voting questions in the  polls, carried out by Deltapoll, there have been leader ratings in every survey asking whether those sampled thought Johnson/Corbyn/Swinson are doing well/badly.

Given that the sample for each seat is about 500 taking one set of numbers is probably not very helpful. However with six polls and an aggregated sample of more than 3k then we get something more meaningful and I’ve put together the net aggregated leader numbers in the chart above.

These should be compared with the ratings latest national Deltapoll which has Johnson on net minus 10%, Corbyn on net minus 34% and Swinson net minus 22%.  The biggest variation in this series of constituency surveys is with Swinson.

What is clear is that a very different election is taking place in strong Remain areas suggesting the possibility of CON losses if enough tactical voting takes place

Mike Smithson


The first sign that Boris Johnson is going to repeat Theresa May’s dire campaign performance at GE2017?

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

Corbyn reducing the PM’s net approval ratings lead by 23 points in a week is a worrying sign for Boris Johnson.

Longstanding readers of PB will know that leadership ratings are a much better predictor of electoral outcomes than headline voting intention figures, they foretold the unexpected Conservative majorities of 1992 and 2015. The 2017 ratings were also an indicator that Mrs May was about to squander David Cameron’s majority.

From this piece I wrote in the final weekend before the 2017 general election I looked at Mrs May’s collapsing ratings saying it should alarm Conservatives of which the YouGov figures were indicative of all the pollsters.

Boris Johnson must hope these Deltapoll findings are an outlier and not a harbinger, nearly halving a 47 point lead in the space of a week is not the sign of him winning over the voters he needs to win a majority. In a week Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn have received a lot of coverage thanks to the debates the more people see Boris Johnson the less they like him, with the reverse situation for Corbyn?

We should be getting the Ipsos MORI ratings in the next few days, these are considered the gold standard because they’ve been polling since the 1970s and it allows to put the current figures into context. If Ipsos MORI show something to Deltapoll then it really will be déjà vu all over again.

The only real game changers I can see left are if it turns out Nick Timothy has once again written the Conservative Party manifesto or Donald Trump making a decisive intervention during his visit to the UK next month before the general election. The one thing I feel confident in saying and betting on is that Donald Trump will not be circumspect during his visit.



The voting polling’s bad for LAB but Corbyn’s ratings are even worse

Friday, November 15th, 2019

Above is the Wikipedia list of all the published polls since the general election campaign began. The overall picture is of not that much variation with the Tories in a range of 37-42%,  LAB 27-31% and the LDs 15-17%.

The one party where there’s a lot of variance is Brexit which has a polling range of 4-10%. That’s largely explained by YouGov’s methodology change that factors in the fact that Farage’s party will be only be contesting non-CON seats.

Generally I’m not a great fan of voting intention polling as a means of getting a feel for how things are going – leader ratings have historically been a better guide.

What’s  pleasing about the current election is that we are getting a wider range of regular leader ratings than we’ve seen before.

The weekly Deltapoll have joined Ipsos-MORI and Opinium in always including a ratings element. Ipsos MORI has also added a favourability question.

Swinson has the the largest number, 33%, saying don’t know and that should get smaller during the campaign. Johnson tops on favourability while Corbyn has the most saying they have an unfavourable view. This is in line with other pollsters and other question formats.

Mike Smithson


Corbyn’s Ipsos-MORI satisfaction ratings drop to the lowest for an opposition leader since it started in 1977

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Hardly the platform for an election campaign

Ipsos-MORI, has been polling UK politics since 1977, and throughout that time has been asking in exactly the same manner if those sampled are satisfied/dissatisfied with a range of political leaders. We had the latest numbers for Jo Swinson yesterday. Today the Corbyn figures are released and have the LAB leader with a dissatisfied rating of 76% with just 16% saying satisfied.

Amongst those who voted LAB at 6E2107 33% said they were satisfied with 60% saying satisfied. Compare that with the 42% satisfied to 35% dissatisfied that the same segment recorded for Jo Swinson.

As Keiran’s Tweet points out these are the worst figures any opposition leader recorded by the firm and his Tweet looks at the record lows for all who’ve held that post for more than half a century.

The LAB leader needs to stage a recovery far far in excess of what happened at GE2017 for his party to have any chance. Then Corbyn started the campaign with a net rating of -25%. That compares with today’s net rating of minus 60%.

Mike Smithson


It took 330 days before TMay’s “best PM” rating dropped below 40% – Boris has done it within a fortnight

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Comparing the new man with his predecssor

With all the numbers coming out about the new government it is perhaps worth looking at how Johnson and his team are comparing with Theresa May for the period starting when she became prime minister in July 2016.

Although the voting intention polling is looking pretty sound for the Conservatives a worry might be the leader ratings that Boris Johnson has been getting since assuming the keys of number 10.

One question pollsters asked repeatedly is who would make the best Prime Minister and generally the comparison is with the leader of the opposition. Here, as shown in the chart, it is worth noting that Theresa May enjoyed figures of 40% to 50% for the first 330 days of being at number 10. Boris Johnson, in his first numbers from YouGov, managed to get 42% but the latest, out today has him down below 39%. So he’s down in a fortnight to the level it took look for nearly a year for Theresa May to get to.

Of course this is only one poll although the same broad ratings picture has been seen in the recent Opinium and Ipsos-MORI polls

The great plus of the Tories is that Jeremy Corbyn continues to lead the Labour Party and and has been continuing to receive poor polling ratings of all sorts from posters across the board. I know that many LAB supporters are hopeful that in the context of a general election, when the broadcasters have to be more balanced, that their man might start to do better. After all that is what happened in 2017.

Maybe it will maybe it won’t. That was then this is now and the political environment has very much changed.

Mike Smithson


Another set of PM Johnson leader ratings has him in deep negative territory

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Generally when PMs are replaced during a parliament the new person gets a boost in their leader ratings which I have long regarded as a better indicator of the political weather than voting intention polls.

With BJohnson, only two weeks now into the job, things have been very different. Opinium had him on a net minus 3% in its approval ratings. Ipsos-MORI which asks how satisfied people are the mew CON leader and PM came out with minus 7%. Now, today, YouGov has published its latest favourability tracker which has him at a net minus 21%.

For comparison at exactly this stage in TMay’s occupancy of Number 10 YouGov had her on a net plus of 12%. Generally over time things get progressively worse for incumbent PMs and TMay’s final youGov ratings were minus 49%.

If it is any consolation JCorbyn’s latest YouGov figure has a net minus of minus 50%.

All this for Johnson is before the heavy lifting of Brexit gets under way.

Mike Smithson