Archive for the 'Leader approval ratings' Category


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


BJohnson’s first Ipsos-MORI leader satisfaction ratings in NEGATIVE territory

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

The historical comparisons don’t look good

As well as the Ipsos voting numbers we have the firm’s satisfaction ratings which it has been asking in the same form since the 1970s. This means that there are records going  back decades and we can easily make comparisons.

From the helpful chart above BJohnson becomes the first PM to take over mid-parliament with a negative rating – that is fewer people were satisfied with him than were dissatisfied.  This might not be a good position to be planning an early general election

I’ve long regarded standardised  leader ratings like this as a much better indication of electoral campaigns than voting intention polling as was shown at GE1992 and GE2015 when the pollsters had a pretty poor time.

The main consolation for BJohnson is that the leader of the opposition, JCorbyn, continues to have appalling numbers. A total of 69% said they were dissatisfied and just 19% satisfied. This is slightly better than last month but he continues to have the worst opposition leader numbers ever.

Mike Smithson


Swinson and Farage should now be included in polling “best PM” ratings alongside Johnson and Corbyn

Thursday, July 25th, 2019

Latest surveys are clear  – the binary CON-LAB choice much less applicable

Given that UK politics has changed dramatically in the last three months to reflect a four party choice  surely the time has come to to include in the options the newly elected leader of the Lib Dems, Jo Swinson and the Brexit party leader for life Nigel Farage in “Best PM” polling.

Simply sticking to the old CON-LAB leader format is not providing interesting information that could help us judge what’s happening.

Situations can be envisaged when any one of these four could be in a position to become Prime Minister.

The cross-breaks in such polling move was adopted could be extremely revealing. How many current CON and LAB supporters would opt for Nigel Farage as the best prime minister? It might be a lot of higher than we think. And Jo Swinson could be attracting some Remainer Tories as well as quite a number of Labour voters who currently are reluctant to say they will back Corbyn.

Polling needs to keep up with the times to reflect the new four main party environment.

I have approached the main firms that have regular “Best PM” ratings  – Ipsos MORI, Opinium and YouGov suggesting a change. Hopefully we might see something soon.

Mike Smithson



At least TMay and Jezza have one record they can claim

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

The Ipsos-MORI leader satisfaction ratings have been carried out in the same manner since the 1970s with the question being put in the same way over the decades. It is the longest lasting series of leader ratings in British politics and we can make historical comparisons.

Normally when one of the opposition leader or PM is up the other one is down. So the current trend of both Corbyn and TMay having terrible figures is something of a rarity and the current numbers say something about post Referendum UK politics. That narrow victory for LEAVE three years ago has changed so much.

As as I have pointed out many times the historical record is that leader ratings are a much better guide to electoral outcomes than standard voting intention polls. Given that the Tories are changing their leader this summer then it can be expected that the new person will get something of a boost whoever wins the leadership contest. At the very minimum they will have the advantage of not being Theresa May.

The same is not the same for the Labour because whatever happens it appears Corbyn seems absolutely rock solid in his position of leader. That he is proving to be electorally toxic doesn’t seem to bother the party and it is likely that it will lose another parliamentary by-election next week.

Normally opposition parties proper in parliamentary by-election while governments struggle. In fact Corbyn was two years ago the first Labour leader since 1982 to suffer the loss of a seat while the party was in opposition.

But he ain’t going anywhere.

Mike Smithson


Both TMay and Corbyn drop to record lows in YouGov’s favourability tracker

Monday, March 25th, 2019

I always feel a sense of ownership with the YouGov favourability ratings for shortly after the referendum, in 2016, I got into a  discussion with the pollster about a line of questioning that I suggested that the firm should do. My desire was favourability ratings on key figures.

The first ones ran here as the PB/YouGov Favourability Ratings when TMay had a net plus 12 while Corbyn was a net minus 25. This is calculated by subtracting the “unfavourable” responses from the “favourable” ones.

Of all the leader rating formats I regard favourability as the best. Ipsos-MORI have satisfaction ratings which has the problem that opponents of a party could well be satisfied with their leader if they perceived him/her as poor.

We ran these in conjunction with the pollster several times until YouGov adopted it as one of their regular trackers.

An interesting feature the current May/Corbyn comparison is a gender divide when TMay is the subject. Men give TMay a net negative of minus 50 while women have her as minus 28. With Corbyn there is nothing like as big a difference.

Amongst GE2017 LAB voters just 42% have a favourable view of Corbyn with 52% an unfavourable one. TMay still has a small net positive, plus 6%, with those who voted for the party last time.

Mike Smithson


Even though TMay slumped to her worst ever Ipsos-MORI PM ratings & Corbyn has the second worst Opposition leader rating

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

Never have the views of both CON & LAB leaders been so poor

Just out today is the latest Ipsos-MORI political monitor whicht has the Tories taking a lead of 4% over labour. Last time the two main parties were level pegging.

Also, as ever, included are the firm’s  leader satisfaction number a polling series that is now into its forty-third year. For the Corbyn and TMay the ratings are dreadful. The former has the second worst Opposition leader numbers on record only slightly better than last month which were the worst.

TMay’s ratings were the worst she’s experienced since becoming PM although she has a “lead” over the LAB leader in the sense there his net negatives are 16  points worse than hers.

We’ve never had a time like this when the leaders of the two main parties are simultaneously recording record lows. TMay has had Brexit while Corbyn continues to be hit by the anti-semitism rows which simply won’t go away.

In one sense the Tories are in a better position in that TMay has said she won’t fight the next general election as leader. Corbyn’s still there.

Mike Smithson