Theresa May is Britain's most popular politician

Theresa May is Britain's most popular politician

New survey shows Conservative leader is viewed more favourably than any other senior politician in the country

As revealed this morning on PoliticalBetting, a new YouGov favourability survey has shown that Theresa May is the UK’s most popular politician and the only one to be viewed favourably overall. With 48% of people having a favourable view of the Prime Minister, against 36% who view her unfavourably, she holds an overall net favourability rating of +12%.

She is seen favourably by 84% of those who voted Conservative in 2015, and despite campaigning for Remain during the EU referendum is seen more favourably by Leave voters than Remain voters at 63% vs 40% respectively.

May significantly outperforms rival Jeremy Corbyn, who has a net favourability score of -25%, being seen favourably by just 29% of people, compared to the 54% who see him unfavourably. Corbyn is viewed favourably by just 49% of those who voted Labour in 2015.

In terms of just those with favourable opinions, Theresa May is fourteen points more popular than her party – vital for any politician who seeks to appeal beyond their party’s usual support base. In fact, Theresa May is seen far more favourably among C2DE voters – the Labour party’s traditional support base – than Jeremy Corbyn is, at 44% vs 27%. She is also much more popular than him in every region of the UK except Scotland. Whilst Corbyn is very popular among the youngest voters, being viewed favourably by 41% those aged 18-24 (who are notoriously hard to get to turn out on election day), May edges him by four points amongst 25-49 year olds, beating him 37% to 33%.

Our tracker finds that the Conservatives are the most popular party, with 34% of voters viewing them favourably, as well as 79% of those for voted for the party in 2015. They are still, however, seen unfavourably by 53% of people, giving an overall net favourability rating of -19%. The Labour party are significantly less popular, with 28% of voters viewing them favourably, a net favourability rating of -28% and the support of 65% of those who voted Labour in 2015.

MPs in general are viewed particularly badly, with a -54% net score overall. The mood improves when people think of their own MP, with a net score of -2% and a third of people having favourable opinions of their local MP. Conservative voters in 2015 are significantly more likely to approve of their local MP than voters from other parties – presumably because they are more likely to be represented by the MP they wanted.

Looking at global politicians, Barack Obama is still wildly popular in the United Kingdom, with a massive net favourable score of +46%. In terms of his potential replacement, it is clear that British voters would much prefer a Hillary Clinton presidency than a Donald Trump one, with Clinton seen favourably by 42% of people vs Trump’s meagre 8%. Clinton does seem to struggling as much on likeability in the UK as she is in the US though, with 38% of people viewing her unfavourably and performing poorly among 18-24 year olds, men, C2DEs and Leave/UKIP voters.

German chancellor Angela Merkel is seen negatively overall, with a net rating of -10%. Her attempts to help David Cameron keep the UK in the EU have clearly been recognised, as she is popular with Remain voters (56%) as well as Lib Dems (64%), and particularly disliked by Leave (65%) and UKIP (72%) voters.

The other European leader listed – Vladimir Putin, is seen poorly across the board, with a rating nearly as bad as Donald Trump’s on -64%. He is, however, significantly more popular among 2015 UKIP voters than voters for other parties, with 21% of ‘kippers seeing him positively, compared to 9% of Conservatives, 6% of Labour voters and just 1% of Lib Dems.

Photo: PA

See the full results here

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