Few Britons think the government is doing a good job at delivering Rishi Sunak’s ‘five pledges’

Joanna MorrisData Journalist
March 27, 2023, 1:40 PM GMT+0

From small boats to NHS waiting lists and the economy, most Britons believe the government is handling key issues badly

In the eyes of the British public, the state of the economy, health care, and immigration are the top three issues facing the country.

The prime minister’s key pledges from January seem well-chosen, therefore, with three of the five concerning the economy and the others addressing the NHS and immigration.

Rishi Sunak’s priorities for the government are to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce national debt, cut NHS waiting lists and pass new laws to stop small boats.

Now a new YouGov poll shows the scale of the public opinion mountain the PM has to climb, with the large majority of Britons thinking the government is doing badly in all of those areas.

Two thirds of Britons say the government is doing badly at encouraging economic growth (66%) and creating better paid job opportunities across the country (67%). Only 18% and 15% respectively think the government is doing well on these measures – and these are the most positive scores Sunak receives on his five pledges.

Almost seven in ten (69%) say the government is doing a bad job at reducing the national debt, while 79% say the same of taming inflation.

Despite headline grabbing measures aimed at tackling the small boats crisis, 73% think the government is doing a poor job here too.

The government scores worst on cutting NHS waiting lists – fully 83% say they are doing a bad job, including 56% who say they are doing a “very bad” job.

Labour voters take an unsurprisingly negative view of the government’s performance – but so too do Conservative voters. More than three quarters of those who backed the Tories in 2019 think the government is handling NHS waiting lists (76%) and small boats (79%) badly. Two thirds say they are doing a poor job bringing down inflation (66%), and while fewer Tory voters think they government is doing a bad job creating economic growth and better paid job opportunities (49% in both cases), they still outnumber the 37% and 27% respectively who think the government is performing well on these pledges.

Picture: Getty

See full tables here

Explore more data & articles