Archive for the 'Leader approval ratings' Category


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


Whilst the Tories plough on totally divided over Brexit LAB has its worst polling month since GE2017

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

If ever there was a period when LAB should be making headways in the polls then surely it has to be at the moment well that always continue to be divided on brexit.

The latest David Cowling table above showing the monthly polling averages for each party has LAB at 35%, the worst since the general election. February was also only the second time since then that Corbyn’s party has failed to have at least one polling lead. Generally all published them have been poor for the party.

Of course much attention has been focused on the splits within LAB with the launch of The Independent group and the ongoing divisions over antisemitism that just don’t seem to go away. Quite jow Umunna’s spin off will progress is hard to say but it does need more recruits or something to keep the media momentum going.

As a general rule I pay much more attention to leader ratings than voting intention polls because the former historically have given a better guide to where things stand and electoral outcomes. Hear the same picture as in the polling table is reflected with Corbyn’s numbers, at a low point in the few polls that do asked some form of leader question.

Yet on the betting markets Mr Corbyn is assessed by punters as the main party leader who looks most secure in his job. Theresa May is odds on favourite to go first with Vince Cable not far behind. Both of those, of course, have indicated that they won’t be leading their parties at the next general election.

Meanwhile LAB’s divide has got worse with the new role that the deputy, Tom Watson, appears to have established. A big question is whether the informal grouping of MPs that he is trying to establish will actually lead to something more is hard to say. But there’s little doubt that Corbyn continues not to have the level of backing from his MPs as you’d expect an opposition leader to enjoy.

Mike Smithson


The past three months have been tough for both main leaders but the polling suggests that Corbyn has been hit the most

Monday, February 25th, 2019

For all the different polling questions being asked at the moment I prefer tracker questions which use the same format in the same way in poll after poll to get an historical picture of how things are developing. The best, as I repeatedly argue, are leader ratings which rarely get the attention they deserve often being ignored completely by the media outlets that commission them.

Unlike voting intention surveys which seek to establish what respondents might or might not do at an event more than three years hence leader ratings seek opinions which, of course, are what opinion polls are best at.

Deltapoll, the new name on the block founded a year ago by Joe Twyman, ex-YouGov, and Martin Boon, ex-ICM, has joined Ipsos-MORI and Opinium being part of a very select group of pollsters that carry out regular ratings of this form. Other firms may occasionally include a question but not on a regular basis so we can track the data. Each of them might ask a different leader rating question but they always ask one set of standardised question.

The Delta format is to ask the “well/badly” question and the past three laest surveys for TMay and Corbyn are featured in the chart above. Both have seen their net negatives get bigger since December but with Corbyn being it the hardest. The trend in with the other leader ratings pollsters is the same.

The question for Labour is whether and when this can be reversed.

Wikipedia has an excellent page where most, but not all, leader ratings are

Mike Smithson


Corbyn harking back to LAB’s GE2017 vote share is no solution to the party’s current challenges

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

For many he is seen as the problem

Little noticed in this week’s political turmoil was some new polling from YouGov that had Corbyn dropping to a new low in its well/badly ratings. The trend was in line with all the other leader ratings that we’ve seen the last few weeks that whatever the pollster and whatever the question format Corbyn’s position is on the decline.

The historical record shows that for an opposition party to re-take power the leader has to have a clear ratings margin over the incumbent PM.

The 54% negative number from YouGov was not as bad as the 72% who told Ipsos MORI that they were dissatisfied but it is still the worst it has been with this particular question in this polling series

This coincided with the 8 MPs announcing their departure with their reasons all pointing to the leadership of Corbyn particularly on Brexit and his failure to address the ongoing anti-semitism within the party.

Looking back since the 2017 General Election the factors that seemed to have triggered a decline in Corbyn’s personal position have related to anti-semitism and his ambivalence on Brexit. It was the events in March last year that lead to MPs demonstrating against him outside Parliament that ended his comparative ratings honeymoon.

That Corbyn’s position is secure because of the membership base should give lots of hope to those opposed to LAB.

Labour’s fundamental problem is that it has a leader who is not popular even amongst many of those who voted for the party in 2017 but is almost totally secure in his position.

Mike Smithson


Corbyn’s Ipsos-MORI ratings take a huge tumble with 72% saying they are dissatisfied with him

Friday, February 8th, 2019

These looks being the worst LAB leader ratings on record

The latest Ipsos-MORI voting intention figure have LAB and CON level pegging which puts the pollsters out of line with Opinium and YouGov which both have CON leads of seven points.

But there’s a shock for the LAB leader in the firm’s satisfaction ratings which have been recorded in every published survey since the 1970s. A total of 72% of those in the sample said they were dissatisfied with Corbyn against just 17% who said said they were satisfied.

I’ve scanned through every poll from the firm since 1977 and cannot find anything that is as bad as this for a LAB leader.

Historically these ratings have been a better pointer to general election outcomes than the voting intention numbers.

The Standard in a commentary notes:

“..It’s not hard to work out why. He has led Labour into the intellectual wilderness, allowed nasty anti-Semitism to flourish, encouraged deselections by the hard Left of moderate MPs, visited the graves of terrorists and made alliances with Venezuelan dictators. But all this was known some time ago.

What is the reason for the more recent collapse in Mr Corbyn’s ratings?

The answer, according to the polling, is his position on Brexit.

A mere 16 per cent think he is providing strong leadership on this central issue facing the country, less than half Mrs May’s rating — 47 per cent of the public think he is acting in his personal interest rather than the national interest. They are right. ..”

Things, of course, could change between now and the next general election and we might look back at this and see it as a low point. But this should be worrying for the party.

Mike Smithson


The battle between LAB & CON viewed through the perspective of their leaders’ approval ratings since GE2017

Monday, February 4th, 2019

I have been meaning to compile this for sometime – how Corbyn and May compare with each other month by month based on the Opinium leader approval ratings. The pollster is the only one that asks this question in every survey it does for the Observer though the figures often don’t get reported.

Corbyn was doing better than the Tory leader until after March 2018, the month that saw his response to the Salisbury attack and the anti-LAB anti semitism demonstrations outside the Commons.

TMay’s drop back into negative territory in July 2018 coincided with the negative coverage she got for the Chequers Brexit deal.

Mike Smithson