Boris Johnson fans now outweigh his detractors

Abigail Axe-BrownePolitical Research Executive
November 08, 2019, 10:11 AM GMT+0

More Britons now consider Boris Johnson to be likeable than dislikeable, but Jeremy Corbyn is still struggling in the polls and falls some way short of the Prime Minister

New YouGov data, collected at the start of the election campaign, shows that there has been a positive shift in the public’s perception of Boris Johnson but that Jeremy Corbyn is still failing to win over the general public.

At the end of September more people saw Johnson as dislikeable than likeable (46% to 39%), but that has now passed a tipping point. Some 46% now see him as likeable, compared to 41% who say the opposite.

At the same time there’s been a marginal improvement in the Prime Minister’s perceived competency; 41% of Brits believe Johnson is competent, compared to 36% at the end of September.

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But it’s not all good news for him. There has also been a drop in his decisiveness rating (from 61% to 55%). While he’s still seen as more decisive than indecisive, the gap between the two has narrowed. Interestingly, this characteristic saw the greatest boost after his first month in office. Between the end of July and end of August, Johnson’s decisiveness rating increased by more than twenty percentage points (from 38% to 62%). This now stands at 55%.

Elsewhere, there’s been little change. He is still seen as someone more untrustworthy than trustworthy (53% to 25%), more out of touch than in touch (55% to 27%) and more dishonest than honest (50% to 23%). His perceived strength, which saw a boost one month after taking office, continues to hold strong at 49%. This compares to 34% who currently consider the PM weak.

It’s bad news for Corbyn (again)

More people see Jeremy Corbyn as authentic than believe he’s putting on an act (40% to 37%) but the results are so close that they fall within the margin of error.

He is performing poorly across all other measures, with negative ratings exceeding positive. He is viewed particularly poorly on decisiveness, strength and competency: 69% of Britons believe him indecisive, 64% think him weak and 63% see him as incompetent.

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There’s been little change since we last asked the public to rate the leader of the Labour Party at the beginning of September. While much has happened politically, public perceptions of Corbyn remain fairly consistent.

There’s been a marginal change in the proportion of people who think of him as in touch with ordinary people (from 27% to 31%). But this slight improvement still falls some way short of the 49% who consider him out of touch.

Putting the party leaders directly up against each other, Corbyn comes out on top in just three of eight areas. The public see Corbyn as more honest (Corbyn’s 31% to Johnson’s 23%), more authentic (40% to 31%) and more in touch with ordinary people (31% to 27%).

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As for other qualities and characteristics, the public predominately view Johnson more favourably, and particularly so in terms of his decisiveness (Johnson’s 55% to Corbyn’s 16%) and strength (49% to 17%).

The pair however find themselves fairly evenly matched in their perceived trustworthiness. Johnson and Corbyn enjoy trustworthiness ratings of 25% and 24%, respectively.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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