Confidence in Tory leadership falls to levels last seen when Truss PM – poll
Public confidence in the Conservatives’ leadership of the UK has fallen to levels last seen when Liz Truss was prime minister, a new poll has suggested.
Some 25% of the public told pollster Ipsos UK they were confident that the Conservatives could provide “strong and stable leadership”, with 70% saying they did not.
The figures were similar to those seen shortly before Ms Truss left office in October 2022, when 71% said they did not have confidence in the Tories’ leadership.
They also represented a deterioration from when Rishi Sunak took over. Once Ms Truss had been replaced, the number of people saying they lacked confidence in the party fell to 54%, but this had risen again over the past year.
Ipsos director of politics Keiran Pedley said: “These figures suggest that any recovery of the Conservative brand that occurred when Rishi Sunak took over as Prime Minister has more or less been reversed.
“Voters are as unconvinced in the Conservative’s ability to provide strong and stable leadership as they were in the dying days of Liz Truss’s premiership – and they are equally negative about the party’s long-term economic plan.”
In a Downing Street press conference on Thursday, Mr Sunak insisted his economic plan was working and had already shown “demonstrable” progress, pointing to last year’s fall in inflation and the cut to national insurance at the start of 2024.
But the Ipsos poll, which surveyed 1,010 British adults between January 9 and 10, found 69% of the public said they lacked confidence that the Conservatives had a good long-term economic plan for Britain, with 26% saying the opposite.
Confidence in Labour was “lukewarm at best”, Mr Pedley said, but the opposition still outscored the Government on both leadership and economic questions.
Some 39% said they were confident Labour could provide strong and stable leadership, with 53% saying the opposite, while 36% said they had confidence in Labour’s long-term economic plan.
Despite this “lukewarm” confidence, a clear majority said they expected Sir Keir Starmer to become prime minister after the election expected to take place later this year.
Some 59% said they thought a Starmer premiership was the likely outcome of the next election – the highest figure yet recorded for the Labour leader – while some 20% thought it was likely that Mr Sunak would remain in Downing Street.
The Ipsos survey follows a run of concerning polls for Mr Sunak, with a YouGov poll on Monday suggesting Labour was on course to win a 1997-style majority and another YouGov poll on Thursday giving the opposition a 27-point lead.
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