Support our Nation today - please donate here

Majority of public think Tories cannot run the country competently – poll

13 Jul 2023 3 minute read
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak departs 10 Downing Street. Photo James Manning PA Images

More than half of the UK public think the Conservative Party cannot run the country competently, a new survey has found.

Just 23% of people questioned by polling firm Ipsos UK at the beginning of July said they think the Tories can run the country competently, while 57% said they cannot.

The figures will make grim reading for Conservative leaders ahead of three by-elections on July 20, especially as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has previously warned there is “no path (to re-election) for us without a reputation for economic competence”.

The poll also found that 43% of people dislike the Tories’ individual policies – around twice the number who said they like them.

Favourability ratings for the Conservatives continue to slide as well, with 54% saying they have an unfavourable view of the party and just 22% saying they have a favourable opinion, while the proportion of people saying the country is heading in the wrong direction increased to 63% from 60% at the end of May.

Negative perceptions

Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos, said: “As the general mood around the direction of the country dips further this month, most people continue to have unfavourable views towards the Conservatives as they struggle with negative public perceptions towards both their individual policies and how competently they are running the country.

“If we focus on their 2019 voters, it seems as if rebuilding their reputation for competence should be key – this group is much less likely to dislike their policies than to dislike the way they are running the country.”

Despite the problems for the Conservatives, the poll was not completely positive for Labour either.

The public appears divided on whether they like the Opposition’s policies, with 27% saying they do, 28% saying they do not and 25% saying they do not know much about Labour’s policies.

Some 35% said they think Labour could run the country competently – higher than the Conservative total – but 45% said do did not think the party is competent.

Overall, Labour’s favourability scores increased slightly over the past month and have now reached parity, with 36% saying they have a favourable opinion of the party and 36% saying they have an unfavourable view.

Mr Skinner added: “Views on Labour’s individual policies are fairly evenly split between those who like them, dislike them, and just don’t know much about them. In total, one in four say they don’t know much about the party’s policies – and this group is also evenly divided on how well Labour would run the country.

“Even so, while there are still doubts about Labour’s potential competence in government, they are clearly ahead of the Conservatives on this measure.”

Meanwhile, the proportion of people saying Brexit has had a negative effect on the UK has reached 57%, its highest level since Ipsos started asking the question in January 2020.

– The Ipsos poll was carried out between June 30 and July 3 and surveyed 1,087 adults.

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.